Tiananmen, the iconic Tiananmen Square in Beijing, has been ordered to be removed by a university in Hong Kong. The statue of Chairman Mao Zedong was given to the Chinese University of Hong Kong back in 1997 by an artist who had lived in China for many years and felt that it needed a good home. It was not well received when it first arrived on campus, but now students have started protesting its removal due to safety concerns following the recent pro-democracy demonstrations there.
University authorities have said that the statue is not safe for public viewing, and Chairman Mao needs to be removed immediately. The safety concerns are being taken seriously after images of a man setting himself on fire at the protest site circulated online earlier this month. Additionally, the incident of a machete attack at Kunming’s railway station has left many on edge as many reported attackers shouted Allahu Akbar before they started attacking people.
The statue of Chairman Mao has been a cherished target for vandals since it was given to the university, and Tiananmen is slowly falling into disrepair. The university has no plans to return it to Beijing but instead would like to see it replaced with another statue. Tiananmen Square will be closed to the public for a few days while it is being removed, but the Chinese University of Hong Kong did not supply a timetable as to when it would be returned.
The incident has brought attention to the fact that many statues of Chairman Mao still exist inside China. They are mostly limited to rural areas, where tradition is very important. Many do not understand how students at a university could be protesting against having one of their most iconic leaders on campus.
Many students at other universities in Hong Kong have been voicing their opinion that a statue of Chairman Mao should not be demolished. They would much rather see it replaced with a new one, as they feel that the university is falling victim to political correctness by removing the statue from campus.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong plans on holding an event soon where they will discuss their stance on the future of Tiananmen Square.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong released a statement saying that “if his body is going to be removed, we would at least have to have a head. To remove Chairman Mao would destroy this statue.” Classes will resume on campus once Tiananmen Square has been removed and replaced with a new one.