Instead of the Chinese national anthem, a song associated with the anti-government forces in Hong Kong in 2019 was wrongly played at the Asian Classic Powerlifting Championship in Dubai on Friday.
The mistake was not corrected until the Hong Kong athlete, who won the gold medal in the 47-kilogram women's weightlifting competition, made a time-out gesture 16 seconds into the playing of the song, to alert the organizer to the blunder.
Worse, although the national anthem of China, March of the Volunteers, started playing about one minute after the wrong song was cut off, the volume of the Chinese national anthem was turned down suddenly and diminished soon.
The Hong Kong government on Saturday said in a statement that it "strongly deplores and opposes the incident". The Asian Powerlifting Federation apologized in a written statement, saying that its technical team made a mistake, and it would ensure that there are no similar incidents in the future.
A similar farce was also staged before the kickoff of the final of the Asia Rugby Sevens tournament between the Republic of Korea and Hong Kong in Incheon, the ROK, on Nov 13, when exactly the same song was also wrongly played instead of China's national anthem.
Earlier last month before a match between Hong Kong and Portugal started at the Rugby World Cup event in Dubai, although China's national anthem was played at the right time, the pro-independence song's title was broadcast simultaneously at the bottom of screen.
The results of a search on Google based on the key words "Hong Kong" and "national anthem" point to that wrong song, which has become an excuse for relevant event organizers.
Wikipedia also introduces that song in detail immediately after mentioning the March of the Volunteers as the national anthem of China, which certainly applies to Hong Kong as an inalienable part of the country.
It is clear that although the National Security Law of Hong Kong has helped bring order to the special administrative region, there remains a long way to go to deal with the collusion between local secessionists and their foreign patrons. They will always be ready to seize an opportunity to elbow their way into the spotlight on the world stage.