|The Milk Tea Alliance emerged last year in an expression of cross-border solidarity and shared fear of China. (File photo by=AFP/Jack Taylor)|
[Asia News Communication = Reporter Reakkana] On Thursday (Apr 8), the social media giant Twitter said launched an emoji to spotlight the "#MilkTeaAlliance" online protest movement that has forged links between activists around Asia
AFP said that the alliance - named for the shared love of sugary tea drinks across Hong Kong, Thailand, and Taiwan - emerged last year in an expression of cross-border solidarity and shared fear of China.
The campaign gained steam at a time when Hong Kong was emerging from months of protests and urban youth in Bangkok and other Thai cities were beginning their own street confrontations with authorities, demanding reform to the country's military-drafted constitution and other rights. The hashtag began in April last year as a backlash to Chinese nationalist attacks on a Thai celebrity for a perceived slight to China.
It has since spread to Myanmar - where tea with condensed milk is a staple breakfast accompaniment - after a coup ousted the country's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in February, sparking a mass uprising. "To celebrate the first anniversary of the #MilkTeaAlliance, we designed an emoji featuring 3 different types of milk tea colors from regions where the Alliance first formed online," Twitter said on Wednesday. The image appears in any tweet featuring the hashtag in English, Thai, Korean, and several other Asian languages.