Xinhua last night published a list of "dos and don'ts" for mainland tourists visiting Hong Kong in an attempt to teach visitors etiquette. The move comes amid growing hostility after mainland parents allowed their toddler to relieve himself in a busy Mong Kok street.
Xinhua listed six dos and six don'ts for those coming to Hong Kong, including warnings against overzealous bargaining and spitting. It also warned of fines if caught eating or drinking on the MTR, sneaking into first-class carriages or not wearing a seatbelt in taxis.
Notably, the article initially mentions the Mong Kok incident - a video of which was posted online last month - but it is clear Xinhua did not feel the need to tell mainlanders not to urinate in public.
"Hongkongers have a strong sense of self - they don't like to inconvenience, impede or affect others with their actions," the mainland state news agency advised.
"And while visiting someone's place, one must learn to adhere to that place's rules - it is a kind of respect for Hong Kong and also to protect mainland tourists themselves."
The agency went on to warn visitors that they might be inconveniencing others without even being aware of it.
The article, roughly 1,600-characters long, had a non-accusatory tone and read like a helpful guide for tourists. Each rule was accompanied by a paragraph of explanations. These included cultural differences and the fact Hong Kong is a crowded city.
Where Xinhua advised people to refrain from yelling at others from afar, it explained that Hongkongers usually walk up to a person to talk to them. The article explained that loud greetings and animated chatting were part of mainland culture and not a Hong Kong habit.
It added: "These are some social parameters. Best to adhere to them. If not, you may find people rolling their eyes at you."