Global Times: Limiting Individual Travel Scheme is Selfish and Discriminating

The House News

20th February, 2014

Global Times: Limiting Individual Travel Scheme is Selfish and Discriminating

環時社評:限自由行建議 自私、歧視

The influx of Chinese tourists has annoyed a lot of Hong Kongers, and some have proposed measures to limit the number of Chinese tourists. The editorial of today’s Global Times, entitled “Limiting Individual Travel Scheme is selfish”, says that limiting then number of Chinese tourists visiting Hong Kong will upset the people of China, and that any administrative measure is “discriminative”. The article also said with a degree of intimidation that if Hong Kong people think that quietness is more important than anything, they should be prepared for a decrease of Chinese tourists.

The editorial piece first detailed the background of the proposal of Michael Tien Puk-sun, Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress and Deputy Chairman of New People’s Party, on limiting the growth of Chinese tourists at 3-5% a year. The editorial says that limiting the number of Individual Travel Scheme (ITS) tourists “sounds reasonable”, but it is “an ideal idea that maximise Hong Kong’s benefits only”, but in fact exhausts China’s administration resources and upsets Chinese.

The editorial later on plays the old tune that ITS is a “massive present” China government gave to Hong Kong years ago, and that ITS tourists contributes to Hong Kong’s employment rate and prosperity. It also suggests that the number of ITS tourists should be adjusted according to the degree of acceptance of Chinese (in China) but not according to an “administrative measure that is discriminative”. The editorial says that Hong Kong as a free port should not “change” because it meets Chinese tourists, and imposing arrival tax is simply “outrageous”.

The editorial says that some Hong Kongers have emotional problems, and only does not think of the bigger picture (of Hong Kong). It says that it is impossible for anywhere in the world to accept “taking the advantages without paying the price”. The editorial also describes “some people” see themselves as the “privileged ones” in the Greater China community.

Global Times says that, Hong Kongers should not treat Chinese tourists as “money tress”:

Some Hong Kongers treat Chinese tourists as money tress with no dignity, and they think that the China government has to approve controls on tourists to Hong Kong as they please. Even when Chinese tourists arrive Hong Kong, they are expected to be ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do’ and suffer from the local Hong Kongers. This is not a welcoming touristy town!

The article also says that if Hong Kong really wishes Chinese tourists to continue boosting Hong Kong’s economy, Hong Kongers should be more opened: if Hong Kongers value quietness more, the number of Chinese tourists will drop – Hong Kong is not irreplaceable:

If Hong Kong wishes Chinese tourists to continue boosting Hong Kong’s economy, Hong Kongers should relax and be more opened. If Hong Kongers are so sure that quietness is more important than anything else, then they should be prepared for the drop of Chinese tourists year by year.

Hong Kong is not an irreplaceable destination to Chinese tourists. Many Chinese tourists only go to Hong Kong to shop.

The article also said that the only way to resolve the problem is to gain the unconditional respect and coordination from Chinese society (in China), for example to promote about Hong Kong’s crowded situation during festive seasons. Another mean is to establish filtering systems and having more shopping malls and tourists spots. The article warns that if Hong Kong ruins the Chinese tourism industry, a lifeline of Hong Kong, the rest of the Asian countries would be “over the moon”:

Chinese tourists bring their bad habits of shouting, noise level, shopping in crowd and in bulk to Paris, London and New York. Only Hong Kongers react to these problems more violently than the ‘foreign devils/ghosts’. Why is Hong Kongers’ tolerance level so low? Shouldn’t they have thought about their inability to tolerate and embrace (Chinese tourists)?

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