Hong Kong, Feb.1: A series of incidents in Hong Kong have highlighted the escalating resentment among Hong Kongers toward the ever-growing presence of mainland Chinese.
This shift in behavior has Beijing both incensed and worried, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The deterioration in attitude has expressed itself in protests small and large, with “locusts” the latest insult hurled by Hong Kongers at the millions of mainlanders who come to the city to shop, see the sights and in some cases give birth.
The incidents have led to harsh denunciations from Beijing.
In recent weeks, the tension has risen following a poll showing that the number of Hong Kong residents identifying themselves as Chinese citizens-as opposed to Hong Kong citizens or a mix of both-fell to 16.6 percent, a 12-year low.
Three years ago, 38.6 percent of Hong Kong residents considered themselves Chinese citizens.
When Hong Kong passed from British colonial rule to Chinese control 15 years ago, there was a surge in patriotic feeling.
The growing kinship deepened after the 2003 SARS epidemic when China rescued Hong Kong’s sagging economy by opening its borders and flooding Hong Kong with big-spending mainland tourists.
Hong Kong continues to benefit from the rise of the Chinese economy, but the venom of the insults now being hurled between Hong Kong and Beijing underlines Hong Kong’s wobbly sense of identity as its own profile as an Asian powerhouse fades. (ANI)