Seek mutual understanding

Seek mutual understanding

Kong Qingdong said many people in Hong Kong are dogs who think they are superior to mainlanders owing to the legacy of British colonialism. Days later, the Peking University professor tried to take back what he had said, but this did little to calm public rage.

Kong's careless choice of words is disappointing. This incident brings to light the tensions existing under "one country, two systems". It fuels the strain created by the influx of pregnant mainland women into Hong Kong, rising property prices and the Dolce & Gabbana incident.

A survey by the University of Hong Kong in December showed that 55.5 per cent of local people view themselves as detached from the mainland. Instead of seeking detachment, however, mutual understanding is more important.

The daily influx of mainland visitors to Hong Kong helps fuel the city's economy, and many of its resources, such as water, come from the mainland, so detachment may be unwise. Consideration is crucial to narrowing the gap between Hongkongers and mainlanders. The last thing either side needs is thoughtless, rash and damaging comments.

The ability of many to see that Kong's opinions are not typical shows promise. The joint letter sent by Peking University and Hong Kong students to demand an apology proves the younger generation seeks mutual understanding.

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