On February 17, 100 Hong Kongese protested and yelled slurs targeting mainland Chinese shoppers in the crowded shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui.
Protesters held signs that said “locusts” and “zhi-na” (支那), a slur that has been linked to the Japanese invasion of China, and waving colonial era Hong Kong flags. Some of them approached mainland shoppers and yelled at them.
An opposition group flew People’s Republic of China flags and handed out “Welcome to Hong Kong” literature to tourists.
Sina Video News’s Weibo post about the protest was shared over 4,000 times and commented on 2,800 times.
Weibo user melon_sjj cried, “We are all Chinese people. Why?… [crying face]”
Other people laughed:
洋羽君在倭国：Haha, raising the British colonial flag to oppose colonialism, this wave of Hong Kong people is really cool. Except for yelling the slogans “Chinaman,” “locusts,” and “independence,” what other tricks do you have? Would singing a big imperial country’s national song make you feel strong? God Save the Queer, Oh, no, I mean Queen.
深情拥浮云：Raising the Union Jack to oppose imperialism. That’s a really good joke.
nbcherry：What do they mean by waving the British era flag? Being a dog for your compatriots isn’t as good as being a British running dog?
渣熊josh：I think British people are laughing until they cry.
XDH-谢: Really funny! If all the people holding up the Union Jack could go to England, then Hong Kong wouldn’t feel so crowded!
Some compared the Hong Kongese to the Shanghaiese:
星期天Life：Hong Kong people are just like Shanghai people, they think they are so dignified. Actually, it is just boring pride.
The reason many Hong Kong people express anxiety about the competition for resources caused by mainland tourism. Mainlanders who worry about the safety of domestic milk buy lots of milk powder in Hong Kong, and many mainland women go to Hong Kong to give birth and obtain Hong Kong citizenship for their children. Furthermore, some associate the rising mainland tourism with what they see as a growing Communist Party control over Hong Kong.
One Weibo user related these Hong Kong protesters’ concerns to the Chinese government’s use of the hukou system:
江湖很扯：Why do Beijing and Shanghai want to oppose outsiders taking the gao kao in their cities?? Is it not the same thing as in Hong Kong? They don’t want to share their benefits with other people. Those who retreat 50 paces laugh at those who retreat 100 paces. Before criticizing Hong Kong, Beijing should first open up their gao kao testing to people outside of Beijing. Otherwise, CCTV shouldn’t self-righteously criticize Hong Kong.
Tourism is helping Hong Kong’s economy, though. Powered by the increase in mainland tourism, tourism is the fastest growing industry in Hong Kong. Over 20 million mainland visitors come to Hong Kong each year.
Many mainlanders said Hong Kong should be thankful for their tourism:
吥愛柏拉图: If there weren’t mainland tourists, what would Hong Kong people eat? In Causeway Bay, the rent for one Chow Tai Fook gold shop is HK$5,000,000 each month. If there wasn’t freedom to travel, how would you pay the rent?
司马迁牛：Mainland tourists could stop going to Hong Kong and let Hong Kong go play on its on… The mainland could build some free trade zones, build 10! If this “Shopping Paradise” doesn’t have mainland economic support, it probably won’t be 10 years before it starts to fall behind. Remember back before 1937, Hong Kong was just a fart. Asia’s biggest city was Shanghai. Hong Kong’s prosperity was created by the special circumstances of that era in the mainland the the international environment.
周名廷：Mainland tourists also need to review their own behavior, but the Hong Kong people are too hypocritical. They don’t know that Hong Kong is only where it is today because of the mainland supporting it? Without the mainland’s support, what would Hong Kong become? British people aren’t your father!
Some more comments follow below:
圆脸骑士：Hong Kong may not have prepared to make the transition to being a tourist city. Actually, we must admit, a lot of tourists coming does have an impact on local people’s lives. The small area suddenly becomes crowded to the brim. When people come, the local people are naturally going to become annoyed. But a city isn’t anyone’s private playground. Hong Kong should open up some. Tourism is a good opportunity. Later, the mainland will be more opened up and Hong Kong won’t be very important. For our Hong Kongese comrades, Shanghai, add oil.
采花大婶：So extreme, so childish, so irrational to hold up “China” [支那 – a slur] signs and Hong Kong colonial flags… Why bother to show their lower limits. It is true that some mainland tourists display arrogance and lack of character, and pregnant mainland women are going crazy giving birth in Hong Kong. Mainlanders taking milk powder and food is also a reality. But Hong Kong locals have to act reasonably.
跑跑1002：This is coming from a small minority of brain dead Hong Kongese.
將你的手緊握：Hong Kong doesn’t know its own position. So funny…
风翎舞盼盼：It’s a fact that Hong Kong people’s character is low. Mainlanders’ impressions of Hong Kong after traveling there aren’t that this place is so prosperous but rather that the service there is so bad.
温暖的安静的：When the mainland had no money, they looked down upon the mainland. When the mainland has money, they envy us. The mainland should also open itself to free trade. The price would decrease and also wouldn’t be fake. We also don’t want to go down there to buy. But now there is no other options. We are worried about the quality of mainland milk powder and the like. Hong Kong people also think it’s inconvenient. I know some people who always go to Hong Kong to buy soy sauce and vinegar. Mainlanders go there an experience the people’s hate. Some of it is the government’s responsibility.