In a reflection of Hong Kong’s growing uneasiness with an influx of visitors from Mainland China, a group of Hong Kong residents have displayed a full-page advertisement in a popular newspaper calling the Chinese “locusts.”
As increasing numbers of Mainland Chinese gain wealth, they have more frequently visited Hong Kong, thereby spurring tensions with local residents over their heightened political and economic influence.
The notice, which was funded by a web-based group in Hong Kong, stated, among other things: Hong Kongers have had enough! This city is dying, you know?
They also demanded that the Hong Kong government do something to reduce the numbers of Mainland Chinese who arrive daily,
Hong Kong natives are particularly incensed over the rising number of Mainland Chinese women who move to the island to give birth there -- an act that would give their children the right to live and work on Hong Kong in the future.
According to the Hong Kong Census, in 2010, almost 41,000 Mainland Chinese women gave birth to babies on the island, a 52 percent jump from 2006.
Why are Mainland mothers flooding in to take up resources in public hospitals, getting our benefits and social welfare?'' one of the people behind the advertisements told the South China Morning Post newspaper.
''Why do Mainlanders... refuse to follow our rules and order? We can't accept that.”
The conflict between Hong Kong residents and Mainland Chinese visitors was encapsulated in a bizarre incident a few weeks ago when officials at the local Dolce and Gabbana luxury store apparently banned local people from taking photographs in favor of deeper-pocketed Mainland shoppers. The incident sparked fury among Hong Kong residents.
Agence France Presse reported that a recent poll showed that almost 80 percent of Hong Kong residents do not identify themselves as “Chinese,” preferring labels like “Hong Kongers” or simply “Asians.”
On the Mainland itself, there is also some hostility towards Hong Kong.
A professor at Peking University named Kong Qingdong reportedly called Hong Kong residents bastards and running dogs of the British government” and charged that “they are dogs, not humans. (Hong Kong is a former British colony).
The professor was apparently enraged by a video that showed a Mainland Chinese girl being scolded by Hong Kong residents for eating on a train.
However, Hong Kong appears to be heavily dependent on Mainland Chinese visitors to prop up its economy. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board, almost one-fourth of all visitors to the island last year were from Mainland China. They tend to spend heavily on luxury shopping items.