There’s a culture among many Hong Kong teenagers of hating everything about the mainland.
There are three main reasons some Hongkongers don’t like the mainland. The first has to do with the ending of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle in 2047, and the meddling by the central government in Hong Kong’s affairs; for example, when six legislators were ousted from the Legislative Council.
Second is the Hong Kong government’s failure to tackle important issues such as the shortage of public housing. As a result, people have lost confidence in the government and, by extension, Beijing.
Lastly, the mainland visitors’ behaviour has annoyed many Hongkongers, and given local teens more reason to dislike them.
However, we should acknowledge the good things that the central government has done, too. For example, after the Sars outbreak in 2003, tourism in Hong Kong took a big hit, and Beijing came up with the Individual Visit Scheme to boost Hong Kong’s economy.
No matter what bad things mainlanders may have done in the past, hating them will not do us any good. Hong Kong should try to work with Beijing to make the country better, rather than fight to divide it.
Sin Tsun-ting, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School
From the Editor
Thank you for your email, Tsun-ting. In any healthy society that has freedom of speech and press, there are always going to be the “fringe” elements, those who have wild ideas that most people don’t support. The beauty of Hong Kong is that they get to say those things and don’t need to fear that they will be put in prison.
You certainly have tapped into three very good reasons why Hongkongers might not like the mainland. But there are many reasons to like it, too. How it has lifted so many people out of poverty and become an economic powerhouse that other nations envy, for example.
Yes, it has pollution problems, but any developing nation will have them. Beijing had to make a tough choice: boost living standards or keep the environment clean. They chose the former, and now they are trying to improve the environment.
There are plenty of things to be optimistic about when it comes to China. There are also things that concern us, too, and they should be talked about openly and freely with the aim of finding a solution.