• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 10:34am
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office joins backlash against 'locust' protest

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, 11:48am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2014, 2:48am

The State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office has joined a growing chorus of condemnation against those who organised and took part in Sunday's "anti-locust" protest in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The China News Service quoted the office as saying it "sternly opposes" any behaviour that would affect Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, obstruct Hong Kong-mainland co-operation and harm the feelings of people in both places.

The office also said, according to the service, that Hong Kong's prosperity was inseparable from the nation's development and that the individual travel scheme had boosted the city's competitiveness, its economy and social development.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying also weighed into the debate yesterday, echoing sentiments expressed by four other top government officials on the protest, which called for a curb on tourists from the mainland.

Leung said: "Activities targeting tourists ... mainland or foreign … should be condemned. The government will follow up on this matter … if any illegality is found."

On Sunday about 100 protesters marched from the Star Ferry pier to Canton Road, a street lined with luxury stores popular with mainland tourists.

They called the tourists "locusts" for overwhelming the city and hogging its resources and referred to them as Shina, a derogatory term used by the Japanese against the Chinese after the first Sino-Japanese war ended in 1895.

Police intervened when scuffles broke out between the demonstrators and passers-by opposed to the march.

Protest organiser Ronald Leung Kam-shing, 37, yesterday apologised to the businesses and tourists - mainlanders and foreigners - affected by the "unexpected chaos".

"I apologise to the tourists. Some protesters went a bit radical. As the organiser … I should say sorry," he said. But he stressed he was not apologising for organising the protest, because everyone has freedom of assembly.

Meanwhile, police are investigating two alleged assault cases in which two men claimed they were slapped on Sunday. The two men, aged 23 and 32, are understood to have been among the protesters.

Additional reporting by Tanna Chong



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

To say that the individual travel scheme had boosted the city's competitiveness, its economy and social development........is just plain foolish. The City was doing fine before and doesn't need day traders from Shenzhen or tourists to make it competitive or boost its economy!
Though this rude behavior has to be condemned, it brings public attention to an immediate problem Hong Kong is now facing. Unlimited influx of China tourists has been affecting local people in different walks to different extents. At this stage, the social cost incurred has been outweighing the economic benefits. If the government fails to think deeply on this case and do something, I am sure similar move will continue but surely with more and more demonstrators. Hong Kong is simply not having capacity to cope with the unlimited influx of China tourists particularly those from Shenzhen which are just buying daily necessities or earning a living through smuggling.
Toursists from the mainland is not the only problem. Our tertiary education, graduate schools are now so favoring mainland students that many undergraduate students cannot get to study master degree or PhD at all. Our universities' halls are all crowded with mainlanders and many local students spent time commuting from home to lessons. We want the number to go down, not turning them all away. The so called tourism industry is only offering very cheap wages jobs and not a good thing for an economy.
This kind of behaviour should be totally condemned and those responsible should be publicly humiliated in a national debate.
It is true, Hong Kongers and Mainland Chinese do not see eye to eye with everything, however this is no reason to behave in this manner.
China has protected HK all along, from the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis to the recent GFC fiasco. Billions of dollars into the economy to sustain the growth seen in HK today. This total lack of gratitude and myopic outburst is... An Embarrassment.
I am sure Michael Howard, the British Home Secretary during the dying days of the Colonial times feels quite vindicated for refusing to allow these so-called Hong Kongers the Right of Abode to Britain! What a mob of tyrants and uncivilized beasts.
"Protestors" - take a good look at yourselves. Open your heart and mind, turn your rage into opportunity and don't pretend to defend Hong Kong and it's people without seeking a mandate first. You don't represent me and your actions are an absolute stain! Shame on you!
The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office adding its opion where it is unwelcomed will only further provoke Hongkongers against mainlanders. Wouldn't it be more productive for them to heed the message of these protesters and Hong Kong people in general?
The tourism from mainlanders did not boost our city's competitveness or economy. Our economy is mainly financial services. The tourism spawns only postions requiring very low skills and this is NOT bringing or triggering talents to our city. They are not those high value high skill types. Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea's success is moving to high end products and services.
I am grateful to the protestors for keeping this issue in the media and bringing to the attention of people who are apparently asleep at the wheel.
We welcome China tourists but simply Hong Kong is not having the capacity and infrastrucutre to cope with them. While such barbaric behavior has to be condemned, we can't deny there is increasing discontent against mainland tourists in all walks. Economic benefits (Money) are not everything; the social cost incurred can no longer be ignored. I condemn their behavior but I do support their urge to the government.
Protecting HK by destroying it. At the end they will be the first ones who flee the city if there is no jobs, no prospects and no money to earn anymore.
HKers who emigrate to other countries are often even more arrogant. When they come to the USA or Canada, they act even worse than the mainlanders. They buy their way into citizenship in North America or the UK, then act entitled even though their English is often horrible and they insist on "Chinglish" to communicate. However, we try to trreat them with equal respect and dignity in everyday dealings and when we meet them. In the end, each person is and individual and there are good apples and bad apples in each bunch. I would just remind HKers that they have also many many bad apples who have emigrated to where I live, and I have never ever wished they "go back" because I know they are trying to live a better life. Its time for HK to show they can walk the walk and act civilized, not just talk a good game as if they are the only civilized people in Asia.



SCMP.com Account