The arrest of 337 suspected parallel traders hasn’t put off Chinese smugglers who “were out in force […] despite police and immigration officials carrying out their 13th raid in five weeks against the cross-border trade”. Nor have the raids placated residents in Hong Kong’s border towns, who held another “Reclaim Sheng Shui” rally on Tuesday.
Most of the 377 arrested in the raids thus far have appeared resigned when appearing in front of media cameras. But yesterday one defiant man shouted out as he was escorted to a police van: “I’ll beat up any Hongkonger I see in Shenzhen in future.”
He was booed by onlookers.
Andrew Higgins writes in the Guardian on how Hong Kong increasingly views the mainland as a source of trouble to be kept at arm’s length:
“Of course, I’m Chinese. One hundred per cent Chinese,” said Kenny Choi, a 23-year-old who works in a printing factory and took part in a recent protest that featured the waving of British colonial-era flags. “But I don’t trust Chinese Communists … Hong Kong is different and has to preserve its own values.” Choi joined the rally, held at Sheung Shui railway station near a border crossing to mainland China, to express his anger over throngs of mainland traders who pour in each day to buy baby formula, cosmetics and other goods for resale back on the other side of the border.
The protest had an ugly, almost xenophobic tinge with crudely insulting placards demanding that mainlanders “go home” and “get lost”. But it reflected a growing resentment in Hong Kong toward fellow Chinese from across the border.
Anti-mainland sentiment particularly common among young Hong Kongers:
The backlash against fellow Chinese from the mainland has been particularly strong among Hong Kong’s young, who spearheaded the campaign against patriotic education and who, according to opinion polls, are most wary of local leaders and also meddling by Beijing.
Using Facebook and other social networking sites, a group of mostly young activists is working to rally support for the Hong Kong City-State Autonomy Movement. The group supports Chin’s call for a city-state and uses as its logo a colonial crest of arms featuring a lion and dragon. But it insists it doesn’t reject China, and only wants to resist the erosion of Hong Kong’s own Chinese identity by “mainlandisation”.
All photos courtesy of Iuvenes Media.
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