• Sat
  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 8:12am

Picture of boy urinating in Vancouver bin sparks anti-China vitriol

'Mainland Chinese' blamed after photos of young child's act in a Vancouver mall go viral on web

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 August, 2013, 1:31pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 August, 2013, 10:58am

Photos of a small boy urinating into a rubbish bin in an upmarket Canadian shopping mall have sparked a debate about standards of behaviour in the Vancouver satellite city of Richmond, North America's most Chinese municipality.

Photos of the Asian boy with his pants around his knees at the Richmond Centre mall, steadied by a woman as he stands on the rim of the bin, provoked a fierce reaction after they were posted by Twitter user Brandon Beavis. The vehement response mirrors that which followed an incident in Hong Kong last month, when a Putonghua-speaking girl urinated on an MTR train.

This kind of undignified behaviour is common amongst Mainlanders
internet user

The images of the boy, aged about two or three, went viral this week and were the subject of a report on the main CBC news bulletin on Thursday night.

Internet reaction focused on the ethnicity of the child and woman - and varied according to the proclaimed ethnicity of some respondents. Some said such behaviour was typical of "Asians" or "Chinese", but the fiercest reaction came from people who identified themselves as Hongkongers or Canadian Chinese, and said they were certain the pair in the photo were mainland Chinese. There was nothing in the photos to prove this.

The responses reflect changes in the demography of Vancouver and its satellite city of Richmond, which have seen waves of Chinese migration, first from Hong Kong in the 1980s and 1990s, followed by even greater numbers of mainlanders in recent years. Richmond is now about 50 per cent Chinese by ethnicity.

"That is not how normal civilised people behave, and it is inexcusable," wrote SkinnyPupp, whose profile on the Revscene website - a car modification site popular with young Vancouver Asians - listed his hometown as Hong Kong. "This is not a 3rd world country", wrote another Revscene user.

A posting on the Vancitybuzz news website prompted "Embarrassed Chinese-Canadian" to suggest that the ethnicity of the Richmond Centre pair was obvious. "Why not go one step further and say Mainland Chinese," the user wrote.

"This kind of undignified behaviour is common amongst Mainlanders in Hong Kong. I can't have a conversation with my cousin in Hong Kong without him telling me at least once how much the Mainlanders are mucking up the city," wrote Canucks Star, a member of a fan forum for the Vancouver Canucks ice hockey team.

Some users unfamiliar with discontent over the supposed behaviour of mainlanders in Hong Kong were confused by the ferocity of the reaction.

The CBC report noted that going "diaper free" had long been practised in China and a veteran foreign correspondent said "manners … and the standard of toilets" in rural China were "very different" to those in Canada.


More on this story

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Firstly, Richmond is a Canadian municipality, not Chinese. Lets not make any mistake about that.
Secondly, the Hongkongers who immigrated to Canada in the 1980s weren't Chinese but Hong Kong people. The vast majority of Hongkongers gained Chinese nationality on 1 July 1997 whether they wanted it or not.
And finally most would agree that the Chinese certainly have carved out a bad reputation for themselves that most Hongkongers don't want to be associated with.
It's funny how people are trying to make excuses for this behavior using these long winded arguments about colonialism and superiority complexes. It's simple, Mainlanders are defecating in the streets of Hong Kong, leaving their **** everywhere. And now it's affecting Canada. They won't stop if you ask them nicely, trust me. It's time to be tough about it, without resorting to violence. I'd definitely be in favor of fines.
There is no question about it..........only mainlanders do these type of things..........if the Canadians don't like this type of stuff, shouldn't let so much mainlanders immigrate into their country.
Simple as that............
Dai Muff
The same thing happened in Shanghai on the metro recently and the Shanghainese were as disgusted by it as Hong Kongers or Canadians. Stop being lame and self-serving and saying it's about race. It's about being socialised.
When I walk into a building or an alley and I see **** lying there with TP thrown on top, it's not a "non-issue".
And by the way, if you are Chinese, don't you see how embarrassing this is for us? The reason it may seem that HKers have a superiority complex, is because HKers, & Taiwanese for that matter, have already evolved long ago. While in Mainland China, due to the cultural destruction wrought by the Communist Party, uncivilized behavior like this is still commonly practiced.
Along with no smoking signs, there should be 'no urinating in public places' signs (in multi-languages?) with stiff penalties. That should fix the problem. There is little result with just expressing outrage on the Internet.
Dai Muff
The problem is rarely the toddlers. It's their parents. Diapers were invented for a reason.
I agree that a person born as a Canadian/American or who swears in as one is just that, a Canadian or American. As has been said countless times in both Canada and the U.S. there is not need to use an adjective to describe what kind of Canadian or American you are, example Chinese-American. In fact China does not recognize more than one nationality so a Chinese citizen who aquires another nationality automatically loses her/his Chinese nationality.
I don't agree with the comments about Hongkongers thinking we are superior to the Chinese; on the contrary many of the Chinese visitors who come here think they are king sh*t. Hongkongers are only looking out for Hong Kong.
Dai Muff
This is not about race. It is about culture. Or the lack of it.
It is disgusting to see that again in the news, but it seems not to confine to the Chinese. Elevators in the New York subway and Chicago subway stink of urine at times, which is not good for the disabled who must use the elevators; I once saw an American guy picking an empty plastic bottle from a bin and having a pee in the subway. Surprisingly, there has not been news about that.




SCMP.com Account