• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 9:10am

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

You should've seen the vitriol the Canucks rolled for the HK immigrants in the 1980s at their habits. Should'nt call the kettle black.
You're being absolutely ignorant on this issue and you underestimated the influence of culture. This problem has nothing to do with one's race or citizenship, it's about the CULTURE that you're rooted in. You also have no proof of that boy being Canadian-Chinese or just Chinese and it simply doesn't matter on this issue. We've seen lot more Mainlanders doing such bizarre behaviour in HK and it shows the pattern. It's no wonder we associated Mainlanders with this because it gives us idea that this is what they would do.
Sadly you're on a high horse and insulted us and the Indians even though it's not related to the issue. And by judging I could only tell how superficial you are. So please grow up mentally because this problem is more than that little racist mind you have in your head.
LOL this never gets old. With all the hustle and bustle in this cutthroat city of miserable workaholics and defeated opportunists, there must exist an iconic scapegoat for us to vent and point fingers at. What's better than to do another article on "Mainlander bashing" spree ? SCMP is epic knowing what their readers need. I guess it makes us sleep better at night knowing we are a superior race, ironically speaking that there is still a remnant trace of colonial blood running in our veins that cleverly dictates our motor functions where we urinate or defecate.
Yes, agree. There are areas in the cities of very many western countries which smells of urine. Maybe those drunks and the homeless are less photogenic, and maybe the mainland Chinese children of presumably wealthy parents are a novel and soft target.
But it is a disgusting habit. Maybe the toilet signs in that upmarket shopping centre might be made more obvious and multi-cultural? Maybe severe on-the-spot fines for the parents might bring the message across that behavior is not acceptable.
What do these have to do with the current story anyway? The article is about things in a Canadian town. Why change the topic?
Brandon Beavis. Huh-huh-huh-huh. Huh-huh.
So what you're saying is that Hong Kong people are really not that different from mainland Chinese after all.
I am sorry to hear as a resident of N District you have to put up with those dreadful mainland visitors on a daily basis. Must be tough. However, if mainland visitors do not contribute to our economy, why then , as one blogger commented, do countries such as Canada, Britain, France ( among others ) fall over themselves to attract Chinese tourists ? Ah, I get it. The governments of all those countries don't have a clue either.
There is a big diference between people spending a week in Canada, hotel, transportation, meals etc. and people visiting N. District for an hour to buy cart loads of infant milk formula and clog up our sidewalks and PASSENGER trains with freight.
I am sorry to hear that as a resident of N District you have to put up with those dreadful mainland visitors on a daily basis. Must be tough. However, if the mainland visitors do not contribute to HK's economy, why then , as one blogger commented, do countries such as Canada, Britain, France ( among others ) fall over themselves to attract Chinese tourists ? Ah, I get it. All those governments don't have a clue either.



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