• Sun
  • Sep 21, 2014
  • Updated: 10:32pm
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

HK is experiencing the pains of globalizxation just as every other city in the world is. Much of it is bad, pollution, crowds, etc. But its not just HK, its NY, LA, Vancouver, London, etc. the good old days are gone for everyone. So I understand the frustration, but its not just HK, its not just Mainlanders going to HK, its not just your problem. Its everywhere. Rich are getting richer and poor are just fighting each other. Please try to be kind to everyone even as you are frustrated in these events. As a foreigner, I cant say I fully understand your situation, but I can say that I have experienced similar frustration and globalization issues in my own hometowns and where I used to vacation. Its not just the same, but maybe we can try to find a new path forward even while the past is just a fond memory.
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.
I am limiting my reply only to your reference of HK emigrants speaking Chinglish. While that may be true, that is heaps better than the western expats who spend decades in HK without learning our language and dialect. Even if they married Chinese women, they still speak English.
Those protesters on Sunday obviously had never experienced discrimination overseas, otherwise they won't act so.
They are a lucky bunch to live in such thriving times in an adopted land. Of course they are only first or second generation here from the mainland.
Dai Muff
They don't need to. They can experience discrimination here. When they are not their own government's first priority.
@honger, andypl
with all due respect, do either of you actually live in Hong Kong?
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.
Yeah, look what happened after the financial crisis in 1997 and 2009, not to mention SARs. Tourism has always been a pillar of HK.
Of course you are in denial when you say tourism did not help Hong Kong. You obvioulsy were nto even born when SARs happened or have a short memory.
Yeah, tourism contributed nearly 4.5% to the overall economy of Hong Kong, an increase of about 1% from before 2003 when the individual travel scheme was introduced. The 1% increase hasn't even come close to the increase in the number of visitors.
I am sure that the shops they buy from make a profit of much more than 4.5%. When the rest of the world had a recession, HK did not. We should be grateful.




SCMP.com Account