18th July, 2014
Hongkonger died in Malaysia Airlines’ Crash Triggers Nationality Debates
One Hongkonger died in the Malaysia Airlines’ MH17 crash in Ukraine, who was a Michelin star chief. Many Hongkongers are expressing their condolences for all the victims and their families, and netizens in China focus on the words “Hong Kong National” and picked on Hongkongers.
MH17 was scheduled to fly from Holland to Kula Lumpur, but in the evening of 17/July it crashed down in east of Ukraine. The Immigration Department confirmed that one of the victims in this tragedy was a Hong Kong national who flew with his Malaysian wife to visit Malaysia.
As Hongkongers were shocked by this tragedy, netizens in China got agitated by the words “Hong Kong National”. On Weibo, China’s version of Twitter as Twitter is banned in China, netizens in China began to twit that “why didn’t they fill the plane with pro-Hong Kong independence people”. Some said that “I wish all those who died are Hong Kong pigs”, “Hongkongers should have all died!”, “Things some of the people in Hong Kong have done deeply hurt the feelings of Mainland Chinese, and I wish Hongkongers could all move to the UK and leave Hong Kong to Chinese”. Netizens in China criticised why media did not report simply that the victim was “Chinese”, but a “Hongkonger”. There are a small number of netizens said that these comments are cold blooded and ignorant.
According to the Basic Law, Hongkongers are categorised as citizens of the People’s Republic of China, but Hongkongers do not have the right to apply for China’s passport. Hongkongers, despite their Chinese nationality as given by the Basic Law, have to apply for a special travel permit to enter China’s soil outside of Hong Kong and Macau. China does not guarantee that all Hongkongers can enter China’s soil either, including many pan-democratic lawmakers.