A Peking University professor has come under fire for an expletive-laden rebuke of Hong Kong natives whom he described as “dogs”.
In a talk show on Internet news site V1.cn last week, Chinese-language professor Kong Qingdong, who was a guest commentator, was asked to discuss a recent heated exchange involving some Hong Kong locals and a mainland Chinese family.
According to news reports, a man had chastised a mainland family for allowing their child to snack in a Hong Kong subway train carriage when the act is prohibited under the territory’s laws. It escalated into a heated argument and a video of the incident was uploaded on the Internet.
Commenting on this, the professor took issue with how the incident was handled, saying during the show that the man ought to have advised the child in a polite manner although the girl had broken the rules by eating in the subway train.
He also noted how Hong Kong citizens sought to differentiate themselves from their mainland counterparts.
"You [Hongkongers] are Chinese, right? But as I know, many Hongkongers don't think they are Chinese. They claim that we are Hongkongers, you are Chinese. They are bastards," Kong was quoted by the South China Morning Post (SCMP) as saying. "Those kinds of people used to be running dogs for the British colonialists. And until now, you [Hongkongers] are still dogs. You aren't human."
The professor also took a pot-shot at both Hong Kong and Singapore, saying that both countries depend heavily on the rule of law as part of its governance, and that Singapore people have to abide by regulations in order to act appropriately in public.
A report in The Straits Times quoted Kong as saying, “If a society had to maintain its order through strict laws such as hefty fines for littering, as happened in Singapore, its 'law-abiding' look does not reflect the true nature of its people,” he said. “Instead, it shows they are a servile bunch who can be whipped into line.”
Kong’s remarks on the show sparked the ire of both natives in Hong Kong and China, with many viewers criticising the professor’s remarks for being insensitive. Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily reported that angry Hong Kongers protested against those comments and demanded an apology from the professor.
Political figures also entered the fray, with Hong Kong’s former chief secretary Henry Tang quoted by the Ming Pao Daily News as defending the state’s rule of law as one of its core values, and something which locals should be proud of.
Tang also reportedly highlighted the need for Hong Kong natives and mainland Chinese to understand the culture of living of both sides.
However, according to a SCMP report on Sunday, the professor had denied calling Hong Kong citizens “running dogs for the British government”, adding that both mainland and Hong Kong media outlets had “maliciously twisted his speech”.
"Did I say Hongkongers are dogs? I didn't," he was quoted by SCMP as saying. "I request all media outlets which have twisted my speech to apologise."
You can watch the video here.