HK-mainland carping takes off on web
The war of words between Hongkongers and mainlanders is playing out on a new front, as the full-page 'anti-locust' advert in one of the city's newspapers spawned two such notices in cyberspace.
Wednesday's Apple Daily ad, entitled 'Hongkongers have had enough', depicted a gigantic locust occupying the tip of Lion Rock against the backdrop of Victoria Harbour - a sarcastic metaphor for mainlanders' use of the city's resources.
A day later, mainlanders appeared to be hitting back. A mock advert showing a child sitting on the shoulders of his father began circulating widely in Hong Kong and mainland internet forums.
The mock ad, supposedly created by mainland web users, said the mainland had been granting various benefits to Hongkongers because 'mainlanders have accepted' Hong Kong being their 'son'.
'Because you are a son, Father gives you 210 billion yuan (HK$260 billion) a year,' it said, apparently referring to mainland tourists' spending in the city.
It said the mainland had been offering other benefits, including 'tolerating' Hongkongers' use of their water and electricity.
It called for a blocking of water and power supplies to the city.
The ad also ridiculed Hongkongers for being unable to read Chinese simplified characters - traditional full-form characters being more commonly used in Hong Kong.
Barely a few hours later, a mock ad entitled 'Reply from your neighbour' surfaced on the internet, counter-attacking the mainland one point by point.
It pointed out, in simplified characters, that Hong Kong was actually paying the mainland for its use of water from the Dongjiang, or East River. It added that the city was the mainland's electricity back-up supplier because some Hong Kong electricity was sold to the mainland, in a reference to Hong Kong's CLP Power.
It said if mainland tourists had spent 210 billion yuan in Hong Kong, Hong Kong tourists had spent 680 billion yuan on the mainland.
'If the father is giving 210 billion yuan to the son as pocket money, then the son is paying the father an allowance of 680 billion yuan,' it claimed.
Amid the row, an article sympathetic towards Hong Kong appeared on China.com.cn yesterday.
The article, entitled 'Why Hongkongers are furious', said eating was not allowed on MTR trains and that mainland visitors captured on video by another passenger were wrong to have done it.
It criticised as illogical Peking University Professor Kong Qingdong's response to the clip that Hongkongers were 'running dogs of the British government' and 'bastards'.
'[Pregnant mainland women] take advantage of Hong Kong's humane principles by rushing in to emergency rooms to give birth, jumping the queue over local mothers when there are not enough beds available,' the article said. 'It's hard for Hongkongers not to be furious.'