French Spiderman scales Hong Kong skyscraper with ‘peace banner’

Updated August 17, 2019

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HONG KONG: French urban climber Alain Robert climbs the Cheung Kong Centre 
on Friday.—Reuters
HONG KONG: French urban climber Alain Robert climbs the Cheung Kong Centre on Friday.—Reuters

HONG KONG: Daredevil Alain Robert — dubbed the ‘French Spiderman’ — climbed a Hong Kong skyscraper on Friday and unfurled a “peace banner” as the financial hub is rocked by historic political unrest.

The 57-year-old adventurer, who specialises in unsanctioned ascents of tall buildings, shimmied up the 68-storey Cheung Kong Centre in Hong Kong’s main business district in hot and humid conditions on Friday morning.

During the climb he attached a banner featuring the Hong Kong and Chinese flags, as well as two hands shaking.

Prior to the ascent Robert put out a statement saying the message of his climb was to make “an urgent appeal for peace and consultation between Hong Kong people and their government”. “Perhaps what I do can lower the temperature and maybe raise a smile.

That’s my hope anyway,” Robert said in his media statement. But many were unimpressed.

“Do you really want (to) shake hands with butchers and dictators,” tweeted Australia-based Chinese dissident artist Badiucao.

“This shows many foreigners don’t understand the underlying issue between Hong Kong and China,” a user wrote on a popular forum.

Hong Kong has been battered by 10 weeks of huge — sometimes violent — democracy protests.

They were sparked by opposition to a plan to allow extraditions to the mainland, but have since morphed into a wider call for democratic rights.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2019