Locusts and prejudice at close quarters
This is being quite well reported on a number of sites and it is worthy of a decent debate.
A number of academics, notably Rey Chow and John Erni spoke at the time of the handover about the inequity between levels of development in Hong Kong and the Mainland. China was in the absurd position of colonising a territory more well developed than its own. Fifteen years later and with only mild tensions in the past, it is now that things are getting ugly.
The most notable change is that many of the Mainlanders in Hong Kong are very wealthy and very brash with their money. Typically a Hong Kong style. It has been rather unsettling for many to see how Mainlanders behave in Hong Kong. Yet at the same time, despite the hospital bed and formula milk issues, Mainlanders have added to Hong Kong’s prosperity in recent years. Part of the problem is that tensions arise when people are at their closest. It is only then that their differences become the most apparent. Sadly the similarities are overlooked.
The very worst stage of any debate is when the different sides seek to dehumanise the other. Calling Mainlanders locust, and a Mainland academic calling Hong Kongers dogs highlights a turning point.
The real issue is inequality. We mustn’t forget how alike we are. Perhaps we will get a real sense of the divisions during this year’s June the 4th demonstrations.