Among the new crop of symbols used by Hong Kong protesters, two are more prominent: swastikas and the term “Chinazi.”
Urban dictionary gives the meaning for the word ‘Chinazi’ as the new Nazism built and rose in China by communist part of China. Chinazi can be understood as "socialism with Chinese characteristics" in Xi Jinping's thought.
The Chinazi flag to represent oppressive Communist rule in China is a red flag with yellow stars arranged in the shape of a swastika. Chinazi flag was used widely by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
At a demonstration earlier this month, when protesters marched to the US consulate they use a red flag with yellow stars arranged in the shape of a swastika to show the China’s authoritarian symbol. Protesters also tried to cast chief executive Carrie Lam as an unmistakable Hitler, giving her a the label “Butcher Carrie” against a backdrop of yellow swastikas.
Ahead of a march this month, organizers have shared a series of graphics on the event’s Telegram channel to explain the term “Chinazi,” drawing comparisons between the Holocaust’s concentration camps and China’s internment camps in Xinjiang. Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP service widely used by protesters in Hong Kong.
Making comparisons to Nazi Germany and the Holocaust has long been a sensitive issue. Adolf Hitler and the Nazis committed one of the worst atrocities ever in human history, orchestrating a state-sponsored genocide that led to the murder of millions of Jews.
Incidentally, the Chinese authorities also use the same Nazi concept against protesters also. Chinese state media has also called Hong Kong’s protesters “Blacknazi.” Last month, Chinese state media likened Hong Kong’s protests to the Holocaust.
Comparing China to Nazi Germany in fact predates Hong Kong’s protests, and traces its roots back to a book published last year, titled Nazi China, by the exiled Chinese writer Yu Jie, who is also the author of a biography of the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate and activist Liu Xiaobo. To some critics, comparing current events to the Nazis and the Holocaust risks diverting focus from present matters.
Seeing swastikas around Hong Kong can be an unsettling experience. History professor Noah Shusterman, who is Jewish and a Hong Kong resident, identifies himself as a supporter of the protests and their five demands, but said he was “never comfortable with the ‘Chinazi’ language.”
Still, many Hong Kong protesters see the Nazi comparisons as necessary. One protester who identified himself as Johnson, and who is an administrator in the public Telegram group for Sunday’s “anti-Chinazi march” said in an interview conducted over the messaging app that he understood concerns over the use of the term “Chinazi,” but that “the atrocities committed by the [Chinese Communist Party] may be greater than you originally thought of.”
Last month, protesters plan to form a human chain encircling the Chinese Embassy in Washington to protest the “Chinazi regime” and call for an independent Hong Kong. The #Chinazi hashtag has also become popular with activists on Twitter. But Chinese authorities alleged that the list of event sponsors proves that the anti-China movement in Hong Kong is backed not only by American politicians, but also by American money – through US government-funded groups.