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."