• Sat
  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 6:42pm

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.


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This article is now closed to comments

Interesting, Docomo. Is this a real quotation from a Guangdong citizen, circa 1897? If so, how far China has fallen, no blue skies, no waters teeming with fish.
another day, another scmp anti mainland ****.
did you take the short bus?
my great people of great place always have great living habbits
I don't think anyone is trying to excuse the behavior. Some are just saying that this is a non-issue that got blown way out of proportion by those with ulterior motives. And some like me also have problem with the kind of generalization like you just made there. Such over simplification and generalization are the preferred tactics of bigots.
Response to aplucky on 1 Aug 31st 2013
you should read my article carefully before you get your mental excitement and make a loud noise and a repulsive comment. So, please act like a human being and be responsible as well as in a professional manner. What my argument is One can not be judged based on his appearance. As long as the boy is a Canadian citizen, then, he is a Canadian. I am a Taiwanese originally, yes, I am still a Taiwanese. My husband is an American born Chinese. I do not think he is a Chinese person per se. Again, If I had sworn in as a U.S. citizen, then, I will not consider that I am a Taiwanese.
The problems here is that the Hongkongers themselves, If I am not mistaken that Canadan-Chinese who probably also from Hong Kong, feel arrogantly superior, just like the Indians, as if being the old British colonizers little poodles somehow elevates them above other more genuine Asians.
Since you have mentioned that of a superior race, may I remind you that there is a major difference those that have just landed and those that were raised abroad. Now start using deductive reasoning............
I've lived and worked on both sides of the border. I've studied with "mainlanders" at two universities in Hong Kong. Our Chinese classmates have not only given the strong impression of thinking as a group but have also told us in classes that they are more or less told what to think instead of being critical.
If Hong Kong is such a sorrowful place then why do they want to keep coming here? Who has been the hand that fed the economy in Guangdong and beyond? Get a life white water.
@ pseudotriton
The thought of achieving utopia is commendable but futile. A mere wishful thinking of an unrealistic optimist. People have been divided since the beginning of civilization. What you call racist I call social hierarchy. Sounding politically incorrect does set apart from the notion of hypocrisy. No pun intended.
Dai Muff
Hong Kong's taxi drivers do this every day. But they do not do it in front of everyone.



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