Dogs vs. Locusts (Disputes between Hong Kong people and Tourists and Immigrants from the Mainland)

What are your views on the recent controversies surrounding relations between Hong Kong and the mainland? What are the underlying causes? Is there any way to solve the problem? As this is a school forum, please keep your views civil.

The recent sparring has attracted international media attention: rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/one-country-two-systems-not-lately

The Dolce & Gabbana Fiasco

Things seemed to start off with public anger at Dolce & Gabbana, after a security guard at their Tsim Sha Tsui store prevented local residents from photographing the storefront (from the sidewalk outside the store), saying that only tourists from the Mainland and overseas were allowed to take photos) of the shop. This led to a protest outside the store on 8 January. (HK Standard Article, 9 January: Get the Picture)

The above article mentions an interesting reason why the store started banning photo-taking by locals: “A well-known mainlander, possibly a government official, was reportedly shopping in the store last month when he noticed people outside taking photographs. A complaint was made to D&G because the customer feared netizens would link the shopping spree to corruption. Then D&G instigated the ban.”

The MTR Noodle Incident

A video was posted on YouTube showing Hong Kong residents on the MTR angrily confronting a woman from the mainland because her daughter has spilled noodles on the floor while eating on the train (which is not allowed).

Personally, I think the accusations were too aggressive. Just the day before, I was sitting behind a local mother and her child on the bus who were both noisily slurping down cup noodles for almost the entire journey, with the daughter also accidentally spilling some broth on the floor when the bus slowed down. Why didn’t people on the bus jump up and criticize them?

The Controversial Survey

Meanwhile, the latest figures in a longitudinal survey (conducted bi-anually since 1997) were released: (hkupop.hku.hk/english/popexpress/ethnic/eidentity/poll/datatables.html)

The survey simply charts how people in Hong Kong view their identity when asked how they would identify. The proportion of people identifying themselves as “Chinese” dropped to 16.6%, the lowest in the survey’s history. Mainland government officials immeidately the validity of the poll. It should be noted, however, that the other respondents didn’t say they “did not” identify themselves as being Chinese; they merely indicated that they thought of themselves first as Hong Kong citizens (37.7%), Chinese Hong Kong citizens (25.3%), Hong Kong Chinese citizens (17.8%) of others. First, Hong Kong is a part of China, so identifying oneself as a Hong Kong citizen only deemphasizes Chinese nationality (it doesn’t show necessarily show rejection of that nationality). Second, the proportion of people identifying themselves as either Chinese, Chinese Hong Kong citizens of Hong Kong Chinese citizens is quite high (59.7%). Therefore, the reaction of the survey’s critics seems misguided.

The Outrageous Peking University Professor

In response to the MTR incident and the opinion poll, a professor from Peking University. Kong Qingdong, gave a long online interview (shown at the top of this page) in which he repeatedly said that most Hong Kong people were dogs and thieves (as well as worse things). It appeared as though the purpose of the interview was to put uppity Hong Kong people in their place. Needless to say, that caused a lot of resentment in Hong Kong.

The Anti-locust Ad

In response, a group of Hong Kongers raised money to take out a full-page ad in the Apple Daily Newspaper on 1 February
(blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/02/01/about-that-hong-kong-locust-ad/). This ad plays on the local perception of mainlanders as locusts, descending on the city en masse and devouring precious resources (maternity beds in hospitals, baby milk powder, accomodation, etc.)

And this has in turn inflamed netizens on the mainland (AFP: Hong Kong ‘locust’ ad angers Chinese web users)

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12 Comments

  1. Conflicts of Hongkongers and Chinese are getting serious as Hongkongers said that they didn’t follow their rules. Eating in the MTR, being rude, not lining up waiting but pushing others,etc. Hong Kong people don’t agree with their behavier and habits, mouth fight always occure in the MTR, but why?

    The recent controversies surrounding relations between Hong Kong and the mainland are caused by the mainland permanent women who came to Hong Kong to born babies. They were labelled as locusts. Locusts are the type of insect that greatly damage crops, they will eat all the crops they meet on their way. People described the mainland women as locusts because they rushed to Hong Kong to born babies, the main purpose was to have benefits of Hong Kong residents and the health insurance , education and other thing else. But for the Chinese, they also called Hong Kong people as dogs, the dogs of British. I think this theory is absolutely inpolite and rude. The professor Hung Hing Dong didn’t admitt us as human and think that they were high above on us, but I want to tell him that we are all human, there isn’t anyone higher or anyone lower, we are EQUAL at all. By name, we need to look Chinese government as our boss, but in fact, we have our own rule of law and human rights, we are not similar to China that they lock people with different point of views up.

    I think Chinese shouldn’t look up among us , they aren’t always the best, they shouldn’t think they can use hard ruling to rule us. But there is still ways to solve this problem. Through different ways such as demonstration and forums, we can express our point of views freely. Hong Kong has freedom of speech so we are different from China. But recently, people and teenagers are saying Hong Kong to be seperate from China. I think this is too radical and this will anger the Chinese rulers, they will be much radical than us. We can be peaceful to have opinions but being radical isn’t a way to express our opinions.

    After all, I don’t think Chinese should call us dogs but we shouldn’t say Hong Kong to be seperate from China. We should work together and build up a better communication between the mainland people and Hong Kong people. By that, we can have a peaceful life and harmony among Chinese and Hongkongers.

  2. Recently the conflicts between Hong Kong people and the mainlander are becoming more and more serious. Hong Kong people misinterpret the mainland people and think they are all uncivilized, impolite and only want to take advantages in Hong Kong; like the incident of the mainland mothers give birth in Hong Kong. Hong Kong gives them a name called ‘Locusts’. On the other side, the mainlander called us, ‘Dog’. The situation is getting worse.

    From my point of view, I think that Hong Kong is part of China and we are all Chinese and live in the same country. We have the same identities and same color of skin. We should respect each other. However, because of some special reasons, such as behaviour, altitude and different educational background, we become disunite and even scold each other ‘Dogs’ and ‘Locusts’.

    I do believe that the main reason is the different background between us. We have some bad images of the mainlander in our mind before the handover of Hong Kong. We have not fully understood the mainland people. Some of the Hong Kong people think that the mainland people are rude and always talking loudly in public, cut the queue and spit everywhere. They have a negative thinking of the mainland people. Once they know or hear some sort of impolite acts of the mainland people do such as eating and talking loudly in the MTR, even though the child pee in public. They will have a great reaction and spread around all these things to their friends and cause a great impact and discussion in the society.

    I think this is over react. We should be rationalized to analyze the incident. Everybody knows that some of the Hong Kong people are doing the same things as the mainland people. They are eating and talking loudly in the bus or MTR. Why don’t we call them ‘Locusts?’ Why we have different standard for Hong Kong people and the mainland people? Hong Kong is an international commercial center; there are many people coming from different countries. We should learn how to accept the different culture and build up a harmonious society.

    For the incident of the mainland mothers give birth in Hong Kong. Unoubtedly, it is a great influence to Hong Kong. The beds in the hospitals are not sufficient for Hong Kong mothers. People query why the mainland women give birth in mainland? Do they want to take advantages on Hong Kong? They want to get the benefit and welfare of Hong Kong. In addition, the Hong Kong mothers may not have sufficient to give birth in government hospitals. They have no choice but go to private hospitals and the expense will be higher. Moreover, this also burdens the government a lot because the sudden increase of the population. This increases the anger of Hong Kong people towards the mainlanders. Luckily, Hong Kong government enacted the law to prevent the situation deteriorated. Otherwise, the problem will become more acute.

    All in all, I think the mainland government and Hong Kong government should work together and build up a better communication between the mainland people and Hong Kong people. Hong Kong will become a harmonious city. Let us work together and fairly treat each other.

  3. In my opinion, the conflicts made between Hongkongers and mainlanders are because of a main reason : there are big cultural differences which cause totally different daily behaviours between Hongkongers and mainlanders. For example, people grow up in different types of areas. Most of the Hongkongers grow up and live in urban areas while many mainlanders live in rural areas. this has caused the rural-urban disparity. Sometimes, people living in rural area who have lower education level, may always speak coarse language. This may not be accepted by some people. Also, people living in the urban area may care about hygiene more. They do not accept spitting on the floor (and it is prohibited). Clashes may occur and we know this is not good for the relationship.
    In order to solve the problem, we should respect each other. Here is an example: If someone spits or eat on the MTR trains(this always happens), you should correct him/her first. If s/he neglects you, you should call the staff to prosecute him/her. However, never use foul language to scold at the person, because it shows that you are uncivilized too. A conflict will happen and other passengers will be disturbed.
    Moreover, the mainland government should do more to promote being civilized. I always see banners saying ‘Be a civilized citizen’ but I don’t think that works much. The government should educate the public by holding talks to teach them paying attention to their behaviours, and educate students by their teachers when they are still young. If these solutions work, I think the conflict between will be greatly lessen and we will have a more peaceful environment to live in.

  4. Nowadays ,the conflicts between Hong Kongers and mainlanders become more serious and serious .In my opinion ,I think it is mainly due to the culture difference between Hong Kongers and mainlanders .

    Firstly ,Hong Kongers mostly hate people talking loudly in public area ,as it is annoying to others .But mainlanders have a opposite mind .This is the first causes of the conflicts .

    In recent year ,the “Mainland mothers ” came to Hong Kong to give birth more frequently ,in order to have better medical services and more secure medical technology .Therefore the local mothers cannot give birth to their babies as there are no quotas for them .In long run ,the mainland children may affect the educational system of Hong Kong as they will make the the system saturated .

    In the MTR Noodle Incident ,I think both Hong Kongers and mainlanders need to be responsible .They talked rudely to each other and it will make the conflict more serious .

    In conclusion ,both Hong Kongers and mainlanders pay effort to reduce the conflict.

  5. There are many conflicts between the people in mainland and the Hong Kong citizens. For example,great amount of the mainland mothers give birth in Hong Kong hospitals in order to help their children become a Hong Kong citizen.Second, a mainland professor Kong Qingdong published a theory of “Hong Kong people are dogs” These acts make Hong Kong citizens unsatisfied with the Mainlanders and
    give them a special name—Locusts.

    What do you about “Dogs” and “Locusts”?In my point of view, I think Hong Kong citizens and the Mainlanders also have their own faults.Hong Kong was a British colony before 1997.After a long period of the western governance,it made some difference between Hong Kong people and the mainland people.Therefore, confronting to the behaviours that Mainlanders, we feel that they’re strange and rude.

    For the Mainlanders, when they plan to travel Hong Kong,they should know more about what culture is Hong Kong like.Sometime they may think their acts like cutting a line and eating in the train are normal.However,they really have to know more about us and follow our culture.Other than this problem, recently, more mainland mothers come to give birth in Hong Kong in order to let their children to receive better education and welfare in the future.However, they have to consider about the feelings of Hong Kong local mothers.

    For us, we should calm down.Although someone said we’re dogs,it’s not good that we take revenge and said they’re locusts.In this situation, the conflicts between Mainlanders and Hong Kong residents will become more and more serious.Maybe sometime, their acts really make us feel annoying or disgusting,we should try to
    endure because they are also our tourist.We should give a nice impression to all the tourists from all the countries.If you really can’t help to bear them,you can tell the police or the security.They can have a better skill to persuade them to stop.

    We have the same rare.Therefore,we should tolerate each other.It’s not good to everyone when the conflicts continue.We’re not the dogs and they’re not locusts.We are all Chinese!

    2E (10)

  6. It’s quite a hot news between mainland and HK!!!But for my personal opinion,the arguments between are just the differences of culture.For example, When HK people wait for buses, they stand and line up. Mainlanders ,instead, sits or bounds. They don’t bother the other ones. So it’s sometimes nonsense to quarell about these things.Or in my comment for the MTR incident , if a HK people do this , he would also be blamed. So, nothing is related whether mainlanders are rude or not.

    And for the side that HK residents are unpleasant with the charity resources which was ‘taken away’ by the mainland pregnants, I think it’s sounding rediculous. Undoubtedly, the mainland mothers are giving birth in HK ,more and more. But the baby belongs to HK , no matter where is his origin. Once he grow up, may he contribute back to the society.So, it is nothing harm to HK, and I think it’s too short-sighted of the HK people.

    To think in a optimistic side, new species of population can solve the problem of elder population percentage inclamation .And , their parents ,who are from Mainland China,may bring technology and economic growth to HK.

    What’s the cause of this conflict?No one knows (at least I dont really know exactly) .But I think it is because HK people are more envy to Mainlanders ,who grows richer and richer, so they do impolite things to each others.

    Who need to be responsible?No one.It is just a kind of foolishnesses between mainlanders and HK peoples. Future is more important,I hope they can get along well.

  7. Well i think that either side should not accuse the other side, and both of them should take up the responsibility. It is a fact indeed, that the Chinese are fighting with us for our resources, and it is quite common to see people walking on the streets, demanding the government to take action in order to stop the mainlanders from flooding into Hong Kong. It seems that the discontent on the issue about the two sides of the identity of their next generations has worsen to the disunite of us Chinese because of the recent incidents, for example, the incident of Dolce and Gabbana and the quarrel that is aroused when mainland children ate noodles in the MTR where such behavior is strictly prohibited, and made the surroundings very dirty. As a result, people began to blame the other side, and bloggers even wrote songs and design advertisements to release their anger, which means that the argue between us has become very serious. But one thing that is true, is that both sides acted very subjectively in this incident. It may be true that we have become very inconvenient while we have to fight for the resources that originally belonged to us, but will it be suitable to call others locusts? Maybe you really have your reasons, but it is too rude for having dog for a nickname? I think it is the best solution when both two sides step one step backwards, and think of the consequences it will make before they act. Both governments should step in to solve the problem, by requesting Mr.Kong out to clarify his views, and asking the boutique shop to apologize to us Hong Kong people. Also, it would be a way to limit the number of mainlanders migrating to Hong Kong every year, and increasing the fee when mainlanders use our services. At last, i do hope that the conflict between Mainlanders and Hong Kong people will end as soon as possible, and i think live will be much better when we have less to be indignant at.

  8. In my opinion, I think the conflict between the Hongkongers and the mainlanders is quite serious. The Dolce & Gabbana Fiasco showed that the Hongkonger were extremely angry because of the discrimination. I think the security guard of Dolce & Gabbana should not ban Hongkonger to take pictures of the shop. It is totally a discrimination. It seemed that Dolce & Gabbana only serve for the wealthy mainlanders.

    Hongkongers showed their anger through demonstration. I think Dolce & Gabbana should respect Hongkongers due to the public pressure. Dolce & Gabbana should welcome everyone and not those mainlanders only. Although Dolce & Gabbana broke its apology for its photo ban against Hongkongers, it was too late and not every Hongkongers accepted its apology. Also, the speaking of the Peking University Professor insulted Hongkongers. I think he should not use dog to describe Hongkongs. He was very impolite.

    The Dolce & Gabbana fiasco,the outrageous Peking University Professor’s speaking and the controversial survey showed that there is a complicated conflict between the Hongkongers and the mainlanders. However, Hongkongers and the mainlanders used a bad way to express their opinion. Hongkongers said that the mainlanders were locust and the mainlanders said that Hongkongers were dogs. I think that both of them were not respect to each other. They should solve the conflict through a polite communication to share their ideas. They should not use some discriminated words to insulate each other.
    Although Hong Kong was a colony of Britain before, Hong Kong has been belonged to China for thousands of years. We should identify that we are Chinese and we should respect the mainlanders. I think that Hong Kong government can put more resource on promote the civic education so that we can know more about the culture of China. We may not discriminate the mainlanders anymore.

    2E (9)

  9. I think both Hong Kong people and mainlanders did wrong in the incident since they used impolite language to talk to others. However, the problem that ‘Hong Kongers vs Mainlanders’ was not a ‘brand-new’ issue and has been existing in Hong Kong for some years.

    First problem was the ‘Mainland Mothers’. They came to Hong Kong recently, in order to use the more advanced medical equipment here. Therefore local mothers had fewer quotas to give birth to their children. Those mainland children also affected the educational system in Hong Kong.

    Second issue was the ‘D&G incident’. Recently, some local citizens tried to take photos at the showcase of the shop, however, was impeded by the security. Those security said they would only let the mainlanders to take photo there. Some people then set up a group in a social network and protested outside that shop. This has already caused hatred to both sides of people.

    The third one was the above issue. Hong Kong people were called ‘dogs’ by the professor in China and we felt really angry this time. However, the professor didn’t apologize for that.

    Actually, I think the problem is due to the period of time that British ruled over Hong Kong. Hong Kong had better technology, better education system and better environment so the mainlanders yearned for the life in Hong Kong. Thus, they came to Hong Kong and tried to ‘share’ our resources. Of course, this brings much human labor to Hong Kong. However, due to the cultural differences between Hong Kong and mainland China, mainland people are always looked as uncivil people. For example, they pee in MTR stations.

    Some solutions can be done by both sides of government. Firstly, the China government can enhance the civic education in China so that the chinese citizens’ behavior can be ceased. Secondly, the China government should improve the living environment in China so that they would not come to Hong Kong in such a large amount for a better environment here.Thirdly, Hong Kong government can set up laws to stop those inappropriate behavior of mainlanders. Lastly, the Hong Kong and China government should cooperate to hold some activities that can make Hong Kong people and mainlanders to live harmoniously and without conflicts.

  10. Recently, the term “Hong Kongers” are replaced by a insulting one, “dogs” which was originated from the professor of the Peking University, Kong Qingdong, saying that most Hong Kongers are “dogs”.
    Causing more resentment, the reason why Hong Kongers are dogs were they were always penalizing the Chinese ( from mainland China) for defecating on the street and throwing litters on the street.
    In my opinion, the professor showed a great insult towards Hong Kong. In another hand, I think that the speech of the professor materialized the low standards of the Chinese from the mainland China.
    Firstly, the professor was insulting the Hong Kongers in a devastating way. To be honest, I think that Hong Konger will accept the reprimand only if the professor points out their shortcomings in courteous words. And in the online interview above, this kind of general acceptance will not be gained, even worse, the two “groups” of Chinese will be at variance.
    Next, I think that the professor, Kong Qingdong does not accommodate with the title “ the professor of the Peking Chinese” for he was neither respecting the Hong Kongers nor himself. An enlightened professor will show a good manner, which the Pekinese professor should be taught, even when he/ she is complaining or showing anger.
    Then, the online interview showed the poor standards of the Chinese, especially those came from mainland. From the speech of Kong Qingdong, he insisted that the Hong Kongers were impatient for they never show any empathy when facing crimes. “ They get angry easily when people don’t know how to read traffic lights or defecate on the street.” quoted from the professor. Did he mean that legislations should be enacted to suit the custom of the Chinese? In my prospective, the Hong Kongers, especially officers were only officially following the rules of the Basiclaw, penalizing the offenders. Also, there was no discrimination between the Chinese and Hong Kongers, as a result, the officers of Hong Kong never penalize the Chinese with inacceptable reasons. Moreover, not only tourists from the China were penalized, but the other tourists too.
    Nowadays, more and more signs are placed in public area, which are mostly showed for the Chinese tourists.
    “No peeing.”
    “Please follow the road safety.”
    “No eating and drinking in the MTR.”
    Will the above signals be necessary if the cosmopolitan tourists, the Hong Kongers, the Chinese tourists have a rising standards?

  11. In my opinion, both mainlanders and Hongkongers are impolite and not respectful for calling dogs and locusts each other. I think The Dolce & Gabbana Fiasco Incident and The MTR Noodle Incident show that there are serious conflicts on discrimination and identity between mainlanders and Hongkongers . Both mainlanders and Hongkongers misunderstood each other. I think the underlying cause is Hong Kong has been the colony of Britain for 99 years and there will be some cultural differences between Hong Kong and the mainland. It also causes the proportion of people in Hong Kong view their identity as ‘Chinese’ is low. In order to solve these conflicts, I think the government should promote the culture of Hong Kong to the mainland more and set some forums to let the people in Hong Kong and the mainland to communicate. Through the communications, we will understand each other in-depth and reduce the conflicts. The government can also hold more talks to introduce the culture in the mainland in order to solve these problems.

    1. In my opinion, the real dogs are people who defecate, urinate in public areas (streets, shopping malls, parks, metro etc) Even my little dog knows he can only pee/poo in certain areas. I think they are worse than dogs.
      HK is a changed place since 97, and not for the better. It has become dirtier , ruder and more corrupt. The corruption is filtering all the way down from the very top. Talk about pollution from the mainland, I am not surprised.

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