Mainland Chinese hate Hong Kongers

"Just send a couple of tanks" : This is what national-conscious Chinese say about Hong Kong's demonstrators

The day after, the Hong Kong protesters were remorseful. "To all travelers, press reporters, paramedics - please accept our sincere apologies," said a leaflet that was distributed on the airport express train. "We're just too scared - our police shot at us, our government cheated on us, our social institutions let us down, please help us."

The demonstrators may also be so contrite because the events of Tuesday evening at Hong Kong airport did their cause a disservice. During the blockade of the departure terminal, there were fights with passengers, later they hit two men from mainland China in the aggressively charged mood. They suspected one was an undercover security officer from Shenzhen, while the other turned out to be a reporter for the party-affiliated Chinese newspaper Global Times.

The attacks on the two, who were also tied to baggage carts and harassed, immediately circulated on Chinese social networks. And were used by the Chinese propaganda to stir up the mood against the democracy activists in the Special Administrative Region.

“What a shame for Hong Kong,” headlined the “China Daily”, which is the main mouthpiece of the Communist Party in Beijing. The threatened and beaten journalist Fu Guohao made it with his quote "I support the Hong Kong police" among the most popular posts on Weibo, China's twitter-like platform with more than 500 million users.

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the "Global Times", used his Weibo posts not only to inform that his colleague Fu Guohao is doing better and that he was not seriously injured. He also did not skimp on accusations and accusations: “It is the greatest disgrace for the demonstrators to treat a journalist in this way.” Or: “This shows that they have lost their sanity. Hate confused their thoughts. "

Incorrect information is also used

But it didn't even take the events of Tuesday to cast the protesters in Hong Kong in China in a bad light. When the demonstrations in Hong Kong began a good ten weeks ago, initially as a protest against the extradition law, which was later put on hold, China's media were barely allowed to report anything. That changed when the Chinese national coat of arms was smeared during the occupation of the parliament building in Hong Kong.

Suddenly, China's media used the event to appeal to the nationalist sentiments of their compatriots. They later also used false information to heat up the mood: "China Daily" referred to a demonstrator's airsoft toy weapon as the US Army's M320 grenade launcher. The news fit into the rhetoric of the Chinese government, which now speaks of “burgeoning terrorism” and “paid campaigns by foreign forces”.

Mainland Chinese simply cannot understand the dynamics in Hong Kong. "Why do young Hong Kongers hate us so much?" Asked a Chinese in Beijing right at the beginning of the protests. It is hard to understand why, despite the freedoms that citizens enjoy in the Special Administrative Region, people are so opposed to the mainland. "Inside, mainland Chinese and Hong Kong people have very different life experiences and feelings," said Fang Kecheng, assistant professor at Hong Kong China University of the New York Times.

"Without common feelings, mainland Chinese find it very difficult - even if they have free access to information - to empathize with Hong Kongers." This is an important explanation for why China is so successful in telling its own story.

This narrative of Tuesday's events evidently incites national-conscious Chinese further. "You have to be beaten to death," the New York Times quoted a user of Weibo as saying. "Just send a couple of tanks over to clean up."

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