HK Magazine Archive

Three Years On: Our Mainland Cousins

How has CY Leung managed Hong Kong-mainland relations in the last three years?
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 July, 2015, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 4:45pm

He Said:

  • Send those mainland babies back to where they came from!

He Did:

  • Beginning in January 2013, CY implemented a long-promised policy turning back non-resident women who had been pregnant for 28 weeks or more and disallowing pregnant women from booking obstetric services at public hospitals in the SAR. Private hospitals are only admitting pregnant women whose spouses are Hong Kong men. Incidences of mothers “gate-crashing” emergency wards fell from 150 per month in late 2011 to around 30 per month in early 2013. They have averaged 20 per month the last three months.
  • Mainland mothers without right of abode complained that their “anchor baby” children with the right of abode had been placed in schools far from the border, making for a long commute. Meanwhile, local mothers are angry that schools have been accepting more mainland children, and that not enough has been done by the government to ensure that local students have priority.
  • The popularity of items such as baby formula and iPhones in the mainland has led to a booming parallel trade market, pushing up the prices and scarcity of some products and angering Hongkongers. Authorities have been working with Shenzhen authorities to curb parallel trading, with limited success. Anti-parallel trader protests began in the fall of 2012, where a gathering in Sheung Shui prompted confrontations between the protesters and traders. In February and March of this year, many more protests erupted in the New Territories.
  • But the most movement appears to have come from the Chinese side: In April, Shenzhen authorities stopped issuing multiple-entry permits to their residents, instead restricting them to one visit per week. The move is expected to cut the number of visitors from Shenzhen by 30 percent, or 4.5 million per year. It’s too soon to see how effective this measure will be, but for now at least our milk powder and iPhones might be a little safer.

The Grade: B-