As one might expect, this generated a dozen competing narratives as to why Azov would show up in the first place: was it anti-communist solidarity? Proof that the protesters really are “Western fascists?” Some kind of “false flag” operation? Beijing’s supporters were quick to seize upon their presence to discredit the protests in general. See, for instance, the explanation as offered by Sputnik:
It’s unclear why the groups, sporting the apparel of a far-right hooligan group called “Honor” or “Gonor,” have gone to Hong Kong, but the fact that both the 2014 Ukrainian coup and the present protests in Hong Kong have enjoyed extensive support from the CIA-spawned National Endowment for Democracy may give a clue.
Few protest organization seem to have taken the bait, but demonstrations like the one full of Trump and MAGA gear are sure to attract the worst possible people attempting to prove their own bona fides. (The phenomenon extends to US politicians, too.)
The most pressing question, to me, though, is how Azov was able to enter Hong Kong in the first place, given previous denials of entry in Denmark and Czechia, at least. That’s the only part of this that seems as if it might have carried the tacit blessing of the CCP, and if I were trying to quietly discredit the protests, doing so through damned associations, allowing neo-Nazis and foreigners in to show their support, would be an easy way to do so.
But on th eother hand, it could just be relatively lax border controls and the attraction of right-wing moths to a flame.