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Hong Kong paper runs ad insulting mainland 'locusts'

Hong Kong paper runs ad insulting mainland 'locusts'

A group of Hong Kongers published a newspaper ad Wednesday insulting mainland Chinese as "locusts", amid seething resentment over rising mainland influence in the southern city.

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 04:44PM

The full-page advertisement in the widely-read Apple Daily also demanded the government take action to stop the "infiltration" of mainlanders into the former British colony.

It features an enormous locust overlooking Hong Kong's iconic skyline with the words "Hong Kongers have had enough!" and "This city is dying, you know?"

Online group Golden Forum funded the page-11 ad with donations from users of its Internet chat service.

The group "strongly demands... a stop to the unlimited infiltration of mainland Chinese couples into Hong Kong," it said in the ad, referring to the thousands of mainland women who come to Hong Kong to give birth every year.

Many Hong Kongers also dislike the shadowy role that Beijing plays in local politics, along with the flashy displays of wealth by mainland Chinese tourists who are coming to the city in increasing numbers to splurge on luxury goods.

Last month Italian clothing chain Dolce & Gabbana apologised to the people of Hong Kong for allegedly discriminating against them in favour of wealthy mainland shoppers.

The upmarket clothing chain had faced weeks of angry protests at its showcase Hong Kong store after a security guard allegedly told local people that only mainlanders were allowed to take photographs there.

In a similar vein, an audio file uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday claims to expose health and beauty products retailer Mannings for discriminating against locals in a sale of baby formula.

A shop assistant is heard telling a local woman that the sale is only available to people with mainland Chinese passports. A Facebook page calling for a boycott of Mannings already has 133 "likes".

"How can stores in our own Hong Kong discriminate against us... this is spread of hate mentality," reads a comment on the YouTube clip.

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Over 100,000 people have "liked" a Facebook page dedicated to forcing the government to stop mainland Chinese women from giving birth in the city.

Local women have taken to the streets in protest at shortages of beds and soaring maternity costs.

"Officials are to blame for this mess that impacts each and every Hong Konger. Shame on them!" reads one comment on the Facebook page.

The "Anti-Locusts" campaign follows remarks by a Chinese professor in January calling locals of the former British colony "bastards", "dogs" and "cheats".

Kong Qingdong said Hong Kong people were "used to being the dogs of British colonialists -- they are dogs, not humans".

Hong Kong was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under the One Country Two Systems arrangement giving it limited autonomy and enjoys civil freedoms not seen on the mainland.

The professor was furious at a video that went viral online showing Hong Kongers scolding a mainland girl for flouting rules against eating on the city's subway trains.

A recent survey found that more than 79 percent of Hong Kong people identified themselves as Hong Kongers instead of Chinese. More identified themselves as "Asians" than as citizens of the People's Republic of China.

A senior central government official criticised the University of Hong Kong's poll as "illogical", saying respondents should have been asked if they saw themselves as "British citizens" or "Chinese citizens".


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