Recently, a netizen posted photos of smugglers of Sheung Shui station and the issue sparks anger among netizens again. The event page “光復上水站” (Liberate Sheung Shui Station) was later set up to ask other netizens to “have a walk in Sheung Shui Station” on 9.15 and 9.16.
East Rail Line – Frontline of Conflict between Hongkongers and Mainlanders
Sheung Shui station belongs to the East Rail Line, where the widely reported Mainland girl eating incident happened, and it is the last station before immigration checkpoints in Lo Wu and Lok Ma Chau.
Sheung Shui Smugglers were The First to Won the “Locusts” Title in the Media
Almost 2 years ago, the notorious slang “locusts” appeared in the media for the first time when Apple Daily reported that daily necessities in Sheung Shui were started to be smuggled into Mainland China as prices inflate in China and Hong Kong dollar depreciates.
According to CNN report of this protest,
Food scandals in mainland China, including the 2008 tainted baby formula scare in which more than 53,000 infants were reported ill, have pushed many consumers to buy products made elsewhere. Hong Kong goods are considered to adhere to stricter quality guidelines.
Many products in Hong Kong have also become cheaper than the same ones found in mainland China. Since 2005, China’s currency, the yuan, has strengthened 25% against the U.S. dollar, to which the Hong Kong dollar is pegged.
And if goods are ferried over in a piecemeal fashion by mainland day traders — box-by-box versus traditional cargo containers — importers can avoid commercial tariffs that average 50%. Taxes on electronic goods can reach as high as 70%, adds So.
Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) Worsens Smuggling
According to an essay titled “Sheung Shui has too many IVS tourists that the place becomes unwalkable” from inmediahk.net,
The conflict between Sheung Shui residents and Mainlanders and smugglers starts from the moment of getting off a train. In the past, the northbound (to Lo Wu) platform had always been empty. Boarding a train was an easy job. The chance of encountering smugglers, who were mostly housewives earning extra income, was occasional. In recent years, getting off a train is like competing to be the first pilgrim of Wong Tai Sin Temple on the first day of the lunar calendar – there are many people getting off trains and even more people boarding, even during rush hours. By estimation, the former is Sheung Shui residents and the latter is either Mainlanders or smugglers. These days, majority of smugglers are Mainlanders, taking the advantage of multiple entry permit to earn extra income. (*This policy was implemented in April 2009 to make Shenzhen residents more convenient.) Therefore, everyone doesn’t give way. Getting off a train is like a battle. One can’t get off a train if one doesn’t give full effort. In the past, traveling was tranquil. Now, one has to squeeze into the crowded northbound train to Sheung Shui and then shove to get off. Squeezing through the crowd to return home, one finally feels tranquil.
The Aim of Multiple Entry Permit is to Integrate Hong Kong Into Shenzhen
According to 2012.8.13 People’s Daily Overseas Edition,
Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) relaxes restrictions again, implying that Hongkongers and Mainlanders will have “intimate contact”. This “intimate contact” may not assimilate both sides. However, it can reduce barriers and misunderstandings between both. When people see Mainland and Hong Kong kids playing together happily inside Ocean Park; When Mainland backpackers speak Mandarin with the old man of the fish ball stall in the alley, one may understand why Hongkongers regard IVS as the most influential policy favoring Hong Kong.
“If there were no IVS, Hong Kong would have been lingered in darkness much longer.” This is the feeling many Hongkongers share when they recall that difficult period (*SARS). “Multiple entry permit” is not only about tourism, it is also about the deepening of economic corporation between Guangdong and Hong Kong. The relaxation of IVS will promote “the integration of Shenzhen and Hong Kong into one city” doubtlessly. Hong Kong will also find new economic growth point in the closer trading ties with Mainland China.
The expansion of multiple entry permit to Shenzhen non-permanent (non-Hukou aka migrant workers) residents is temporarily halted.
Inside the Train
Sun: [Please Share] East Rail should not let smugglers shipping for free! Smugglers make big noise during goods distribution in the passenger compartment. I once complained to MTR staffs, but they replied that they can’t help!
Wan Chin (a columnist and scholar): The invasion of the empire – Mainlanders enjoy the privilege that exempts them from penalties. Hong Kong falls into anarchy.
On the Northbound Platform of Sheung Shui Station
From “Sheung Shui has too many IVS tourists that the place becomes unwalkable”,
The platform is even messier – this past Saturday, I saw people taking a rest, pulling many goods, dragging luggage after shopping, exchanging goods and unpacking. The platform is almost like a logistics centre! Infant formulas, medicinal oil, diapers, Yakult (which is a must), varieties of Nissin’s instant noodles, all kinds of tetra pak drinks, sauce, ketchup, small electronics, quilts etc can be seen. Mooncake is the new favourite. Groups of smugglers unpacked and distributed goods professionally. I even saw a man commanding 20 smugglers in front of him. Therefore, on the platform, there are lots of people, goods, luggage and even more abandoned cartons. Only a fine print notice “No Stopping. No trading” is in the corner.
Inside Sheung Shui Station
Hoiman (*uploader): Saturday afternoon, I couldn’t even enter the lobby…
Chu: The only elevator in Fanling Station has also been invaded. A helpless mother who was pushing a baby stroller asked for help and a staff replied coldly, “You should just line up.”
Kwan: I once took the passenger elevator of Landmark North to the ground floor. While my family and I was entering the elevator, there were 3 people behind us. At that time, there were 4 or 5 people inside. The door closed suddenly. It was the smuggler, who was an old man and the first of the queue, pressing the close button nonstop. As he was an old man, I didn’t do anything for fear that I would be called bullying the elderly.
Later, I took the same elevator. In front of me, there was a family, a couple with an elderly on the wheelchair. Those smugglers didn’t line up and stood on the side way so that they could jump the queue. When the elevator door opened, it was full, so nobody could enter.
Later, an empty elevator returned. The couple pushed the elderly inside. My family and I entered. A young Mainlander pushing a cart of large goods also entered. You can imagine how crowded the elevator was!
Those smugglers still wanted to squeeze several more carts in. The couple explained there was no space and it was overloaded. They still squeezed into it. We could only tell the young Mainlander to close the door. However, he kept pressing the open button and wanted to let more smugglers in. The man of the couple couldn’t stand it and started blocking smugglers while pressing the close button nonstop. The woman of the couple and I shouted at the young Mainlander. He then stopped pressing it and the door closed.
Even taking an elevator is a battle. They are brutal. I really hate them!
Outside of Sheung Shui Station
[Locusts] 3000 Locusts Invaded Sheung Shui Station 18-8-2012
[Locust Plague] Sheung Shui Residents Couldn’t Stand Shameless Mainlanders and Finally Fought Back 22-6-2012
A netizen filmed how smugglers blocking pavements and bridges around Sheung Shui Station.
Comic of Sheung Shui Smugglers
One afternoon, when I was walking to the pedestrian bridge, a smuggler couple sat on the steps. The smuggler uncle roared at the phone, “Hurry up! How long do you want us to wait?” (The cartoonist wrote the dialogue in simplified Chinese.) The smuggler auntie was using the free time to clip toe nails. While a young person was squeezing through the little space between them, he was hit by the “stray bullet”.
美: Damn! Last night, when my son was returning home from work, passing through the pavement outside Choi Yuen Estate, he was hit by a smuggler’s cart and his hand is fractured!!! Now he has to wear plaster cast!!!!!!!!! You tell me how to tolerate ><”
Mei: This is the hand that is fractured by Mainland smuggler bastards, fleeing after hitting someone! Now he has to stop working and gets no income. How can he keep his job!!!
Her son was interviewed by Oriental Daily.
Mr Au also appeared in the Saturday protest.
Sheung Shui Residents are being Marginalised in Their Qwn Home
Please read “My Impression of Sheung Shui” in the middle of the page.
C.R.E.A.M.: I have a friend who lives near Choi Yuen Estate. He/She (*Cantonese doesn’t have female pronoun.) complained to the district council member (*The district council member of Choi Yuen belongs to pro-Beijing DAB). Surprisingly, the representative supports smugglers.
Interestingly, the same district council member of Choi Yuen appeared in the CNN report and talked as if he cared.
會: Wow…It’s f**king bad. Treating the station as a warehouse…Hong Kong government has died…They are afraid of Beijing to death.
Highland1988: Why do Mainlanders seem to have privileges in Hong Kong? They can do whatever they want. What’s going on?
The Union Jack in the flag probably serves as an insult to China.
The bearer of British Hong Kong flag was attacked by a pro-China old man. While smugglers were very excited, other protesters shouted “go back to China” and “arrest him”.
A mob of angry smugglers yelled at the bearer with accented Cantonese, “Beat him to death!”
An Anti-Chinese Sign
Several protesters strove to keep the anti-Chinese sign up.
Japanese Products are still Popular in Mainland China Despite Anti-Japan Sentiment Heightens
Sign on top: Give me back Yakult
Sign under: To Mainlander, “Love your motherland, please use Chinese product.”
Meanwhile, a Guangzhou woman wrote on Weibo that she drank made-in-Hong-Kong Japanese brand Yakult after throwing eggs at and smashing windows of the Japanese Embassy. She is now nicknamed as “Yakult Sister 益力多姐” by mainland Chinese netizen.
Wendy Fen: We could not break into the (Japanese) embassy. We could only throw eggs and smash windows. I rested a little bit and drank Yakult. Come on, China!
Footage from TVB News,
British Hong Kong flag also appeared on 9.16 protest.
The sign on the left: Go Back to Your Strong Country. (*The character for “country”, 國, has an extra “insect” radical, 虫 to emphaise the “Locustness”)
The sign on the right: Chinese Smugglers, IVS, Piss Off!
As the problem has not been improved, some netizens decided to protest in there daily.
Protesters yelled “Mainland dogs” when smugglers walked past them.
They also yelled “locusts”. The speech at 0:29, “Why do the police let them go?”
Protesters also yelled “dead locusts” at trains towards Mainland China.
Mainland Smuggler, “I come here to boost the economy of Hong Kong.”
Tony: Several decades ago, CCP needed the salvation of the world. Hundred millions of people died of famine and even depended on Hong Kong and other overseas Chinese for help. Now, they can’t even get non-poisonous food. Yet, they have to come to “save” Hong Kong.
The Hard-Fought Tranquility Comes At Last
Former Deputy Director of Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Criticises the Use of British Hong Kong Flag
Chen Zhoer, who was famous for coining the term “車毀人亡” (car ruined, people died) to criticise the high welfare spending of the colonial government, critcises the use of the British Hong Kong flag in protests while promoting his “tell-all” book on the Sino-British talk and preparation work for the Handover. The news intentionally calls the colonial Hong Kong flag as the “rice-character flag” (米字旗), the Chinese name for the Union Jack.
Netizens wave the virtual colonial Hong Kong flag when commenting on his speech.
(*For your entertainment)
The Power of the British Hong Kong Flag
A comic artist mocks that the British Hong Kong Flag, a taboo to HKSAR and China, is the only incentive to get the government working. In the comic, Carrie Lam, the Chief Secretary for Administration, becomes Carrie Potter upon seeing the colonial flag and removes smugglers with her magic wand.
Liberate Hong Kong
Chiu: Today (9.20.12), when I was listening to DBC (*a radio station), a resident of Tai Wai called the station and is furious that smugglers have dispersed along the East Rail Line, even as far as Tai Wai. Our tragedy is now known to others. When we were liberating Sheung Shui station, nobody cared and some even said we were unruly Sheung Shui people. Now, they feel our pain. Now, I ask them if they want us to upgrade the action to become “Liberate Hong Kong”. Therefore, you should not think that