• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:52pm
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong bordering on xenophobia, says Central Policy Unit

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 3:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 May, 2014, 3:00am

Hong Kong is bordering on xenophobia and its "local consciousness is moving towards narrow nativism", a local government think tank said in a paper for advisers to the chief executive.

The think tank, known as the Central Policy Unit, said in the paper that in the early days after the 1997 handover, principles such as "one country, two systems" were well-received.

"However, there is a tendency that the local consciousness is moving towards narrow nativism bordering on xenophobia in recent years," the paper said.

"Further economic cooperation and frequent exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland have caused some impacts on resource allocation, such as problems brought about by expectant mainland mothers whose husbands are not Hong Kong residents."

The paper, prepared for a Commission on Strategic Development meeting on Monday, was compiled by the secretariat to the commission. But the commission's website says that its secretariat is established within the Central Policy Unit.

The unit is a key body that advises the chief executive on policy. The commission is a body chaired by the chief executive that maps out Hong Kong's long-term development strategies.

The paper gave a host of reasons for the conflicts between Hongkongers and mainlanders, such as traders who have snapped up baby formula, causing a shortage for local mothers.

"Some [mainlanders] may talk loudly, behave in a disorderly and impolite manner, refuse to queue up, relieve themselves at will, and have an upstart mentality," it said. "With economic integration between Hong Kong and the mainland, it is impossible for Hong Kong to detach itself from the development of the country and choose to strive for its own development."

Ronald Leung Kam-shing, the organiser of an anti-mainlander protest in February that has drawn fire from the chief executive and the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, disagreed that the city was bordering on xenophobia.

"It's not that we hate mainlanders, it's just that we don't want too many of them here," Leung said yesterday.

"And I think that Hong Kong's economy will do just as fine without the support of the mainland. It should be that the mainland's economy will collapse without Hong Kong's support."



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This article is now closed to comments

Dai Muff
What nonsense. Being irritated by the ant-social behaviour of one group is hardly xenophobia. Particularly if other "foreign" groups do not awaken the same kind of irritation. One might legitimately speak of "discrimination", but that is a word with both positive and negative connotations. The CPU might have more respect if, as a think tank, it actually thought. Rather than promoting a government line strangely hostile to its own people. Is it any wonder our people distrust our government when our government sets itself up as so hostile to them and THEIR interests?
'Narrow nativism bordering on xenophobia' - Such an asinine statement! Its actually very simple - there are too many Mainland tourists in HK and locals feel swamped. If the Government uses this ridiculous report to maintain the view that HK can cope with 100 million visitors then there can only be trouble ahead. It's your policies not any xenophobia which is the root cause of the discontent.
I am glad most countries did not behave in the same way to the great mass of Hong Kong tourists and immigrants visiting their countries in the 80's and 90's. So many Hong Kong families sent their children to Canada to study, to live, and to work. We do not see Canadians insulting these visitors like what the Card bearing protestors are doing to the Mainland Chinese visitors. Actually, the Canadian police would have arrested these card bearing thugs under their racial discrimination Act which is highly enforced. Shame on these narrow minded HK Protestors. Particular those students who have no idea what the real world is. I am just disappointed that the HK government viewed this type of harassment and insult as free speech and not as clearly "racial discrimination".
Xenophobia is a counterfactual and utterly a pathetic word to use because that would label us Hongkongers racist. Yes, we have issues with mainlanders and many of us see them as eyesores and surely we are brave enough to admit they are targets of discrimination and prejudice because of their actions and behaviors but that does NOT make us racist.
Merriam Webster def of race: a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits
Merriam Webster def of racism: : poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race.
Since we share the same genetic markers as those of the mainland, thus the word racist can't be used and I hope people would stop using it because that would make them look like fools.
Here is my take for this so called Central Policy Unit aka: Think Tank. Try inventing the word "Mainlandphobic" and use their Einstein brain of theirs that we welcome any immigrants that follow basic civil codes, able to cultivate their aesthetic sensibilities and willing to embrace & respect local culture. Before they opened the flood gate back in the late 90's, I learned a lot from the Japanese expatriates and tourists in pleasantries even with my many years of living abroad in the west and those were the GOOD old days.
Perhaps the problem is less that HK people are xenophobic and more that the Masters in the Mainland want HK people to abandon their separate culture in favor of embracing the engineered lifestyle provided to the mainland by the Chinese Communist Party. I tend to agree we are overly critical of the Big 6 when they come down but the constant browbeating from Beijing that we need to become more like them instead of us being allowed to be more like us eventually just gets a bit old. HK has a different culture than the Mainland and much of that culture is pretty interesting. We do not want to be homogenized into the 6th largest city in China as our financial strengths are drawn to Shanghai, our ports up and down the coast and our language subsumed by Putongua. But then again, for the Masters our maintaining our separateness is heresy.
The Central Policy Unit is full of malarky. As written in another comment, it's SIMPLE. There are too many people coming from the mainland, and the government is encouraging it as well. 100 million people coming to a city of 7 million is going to overwhelm everything, no matter how 'civilised' the tourists are. The government, starting back in Bowtie's day, opened the doors, and think we need all these people to boost the economy....as I said, malarky..
Haha, China needs HK more than Hk needs China. Delusional!!
What do you mean moving towards? HK is light years beyond crossing the nativism line.
It helps when hacking sources from the mainland are responsible for attacking HK based June 4 commemoration websites and other freedom/human rights organizations...
"Great mass of Hong Kong tourists and immigrants"? Seriously? HK doesn't have the population to realistically "mass" migrate a single city let alone many other countries. And if you think those who did migrate didn't suffer racial discrimination, then you are surely naive. Many other countries have behaved similarly or worse, even today, as evidenced by the rise in popularity of far right political parties across Europe.



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