• Wed
  • Aug 27, 2014
  • Updated: 7:24pm
NewsHong Kong

Most people both sides of the border oppose anti-mainlander protests, finds survey

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 February, 2014, 12:51pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 4:51pm

A quarter of Hongkongers support protests targeting mainland visitors, a poll found.

The survey by the state-run Global Times was conducted about a week after scores of protesters booed and hurled abuse at mainland shoppers and passers-by in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The chief of the anti-discrimination watchdog weighed in on the furore.

"Just as we don't want to feel unwelcome when travelling elsewhere, staging protests targeting tourists to make them feel threatened or uncomfortable is inappropriate and unwise," the chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission, Dr York Chow Yat-ngok, said yesterday.

Also yesterday, a concern group on the city's population policy paid for advertisements in two Chinese-language newspapers calling for an end to multiple-entry permits for Shenzhen residents. It said many were not genuine tourists but shoppers who crossed over regularly to buy daily necessities.

In the Global Times survey, about 1,000 Hong Kong residents and 1,209 mainlanders were interviewed between Friday and yesterday.

More than half of the mainlanders polled attributed escalating cross-border tensions to "incitement by radicals and foreign influence".

Almost 40 per cent accused Hongkongers of envying "the faster economic progress on the mainland".

But the "uncivilised behaviour of mainlanders in Hong Kong" and the impact of cross-border students and mainlanders who snapped up infant formula and properties were also key reasons for the tension, according to more than half of the respondents from both Hong Kong and the mainland.

The principle of "one country, two systems" drew differing stances. While 38 per cent of the mainlanders said both aspects should be emphasised, 36 per cent said "one country" should come first. About a half of Hongkongers put the stress on "two systems".

The initial protest sparked condemnation from Beijing and senior officials in Hong Kong, including Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Following the stern warnings, few turned up for a second protest, held on Sunday in Mong Kok.

Dr Chang Chak-yan, a leader of an anti-Occupy Central group and a Chinese University scholar, was quoted in the Global Times as saying the difference in perceptions was due to a lack of national identity in Hongkongers. He said more education was necessary.

Chow said last week that the city could extend its anti-discrimination laws to protect mainlanders against abuse.

He said yesterday his commission was reviewing wording of the legislation in ways that would protect Hongkongers and mainlanders alike.

"I believe many mainlanders come not only to shop; they also want to get a taste of our freedom and discipline, and how civilised we are," he said.



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This article is now closed to comments

Chinese always want to fight among themselves for others to take advantage of. I don't see this type of thing would happen among Jews who always help each other among themselves no matter where they from, communist Russia or democratic society, rude or uneducated, they are more understanding and tolerant among themselves and to their own people. That is why the biggest population cannot compete with the tiny minority in the world.
It is a minority in post-colonial HK against China, forgetting itself. China competes very well in the world, and will dominate world economy inevitably.
The export driven Socialism with Chinese characteristics economic model has been a disaster for the Chinese people; enriching the connected few, princelings and government officials, while making daily necessities more and more expensive for regular folks and putting housing out of reach. The country has changed into an industrial wasteland of pollution, not fit for human beings and is built on a premise that an unsustainable economic formula can go on indefinitely. China will falter soon and it will impact the world economy in a big way. The jury is still out on China's economic future.
""I believe many mainlanders come not only to shop; they also want to get a taste of our freedom and discipline, and how civilised we are," he said."
Well, they must be very dissappointed now.
It would be hard for anyone to support the kind of aggressive and antagonistic behavior that was exhibited at the TST demonstration. Getting in the grill of the visitors really was not appropriate in any context. That said, there is a clear discomfort within the HK community as to what being absorbed into China means and how one nation, two systems has been eroded over time, partly by pressure from Beijing and implemented by our putative governors. It is not surprising that the demonstrations were odd to the Mainlanders where demonstrations more often than not lead to detention and disappearance. In HK we have them all the time and people see them as a part of the debate, albeit sometimes not the part that some like. China does not have debate. It has the Party and the Party has a propaganda machine that tells folks what to think. We don't have that here, at least yet.
Dai Muff
The protests are not the problem. The reason for, and feeling behind, the protests is the problem. How about if the SCMP and the government start examining and solving the problem?
What!? I just realized all mothers are women!
The votes of Mainland Chinese is no surprise and is expected. More importantly, what do the silent majority in Hong Kong wish would happen? Hongkongers, who love the city, have to live with this mess every day all year around and based on projections of the dramatic increase in Chinese visitors entering the territory in the near future, in effect taking over the city, life in HK will no longer be enjoyable and hassle free. Sadly, absolutely nothing is being done about this!
Considering that it's a poll from a government propaganda mouthpiece, I'd take this poll with a grain of salt.
Wonder whether these two can be 'educated indirectly', Mr Chow?
Guangzhou Daily 23 Feb - "Men strap 50 iPhones to their waists, try to smuggle them [from Hong Kong] into China"
Benefit to Hong Kong? MTR (ticket to central x 2), Apple Inc (Iphones), IFC (inflated rent charged to Apple), Wellcome (instant noodles X 2).




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