A group of Hong Kongers published a newspaper ad Wednesday calling mainland Chinese “locusts” and demanding the government take action to stop their “infiltration” into the southern city.
The full-page advertisement in widely-read Apple Daily is the latest in a slew of incidents suggesting mounting anger in Hong Kongabout the political and economic influence of mainland China in local affairs.
It features an enormous locust overlooking Hong Kong’s 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 “Anti-Locusts” campaign follows remarks by a Chinese professor 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 Party 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”.