University urges 'rational' debate after 'dogs' jibe
Peking University called on its teachers and students to take a 'rational' view of cultural differences between Hong Kong and the mainland yesterday, following an incident where one of its professors called Hongkongers 'dogs'.
The comment made last month by Kong Qingdong on an internet television show sparked tension between Hongkongers and mainlanders, which has subsequently intensified.
In a press release posted on its website the university said: 'Every teacher and student in Peking University should focus on the development of the nation and ethnicity, care about and support the development of Hong Kong, and handle the cultural differences between Hong Kong and mainland in a rational, peaceful and civilised way.'
The release, published after a meeting among the university's leadership 'recently', also said no one should do or say 'anything that is harmful to the co-operation and friendship between the two places'.
It said there was a long history of co-operation between Hong Kong and the university, and it would welcome Hongkongers from all sectors to visit the university and strengthen ties.
'All teachers and students in Peking University are connected to Hong Kong, and we respect Hongkongers' efforts in safeguarding 'one country, two systems' and strengthening economic development.'
In January, Kong (pictured), from the university's Chinese department told a talk show on internet television V1 that Hongkongers who refused to identify themselves as Chinese were 'running dogs of the British government', and called them 'bastards' when commenting on a row between Hong Kong and mainland passengers on an MTR train.
He also criticised Hongkongers for discriminating against mainlanders, but later denied having said so, saying media outlets had 'maliciously twisted his words'.
Central government liaison office director Dr Peng Qinghua said the office regretted 'inappropriate comments from a certain academic' earlier this month.
Conflicts between Hongkongers and mainlanders heightened recently, with Italian fashion house Dolce and Gabbana banning locals from taking pictures outside its Tsim Sha Tsui store, and local internet users publishing a newspaper advert calling mainlanders 'locusts'.
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen told Hongkongers to be accommodating, and the Equal Opportunities Commission called on them to stay calm.