News / Asia

    China Rejects Complaints Mainland Visitors Flooding Hong Kong

    A policeman (top, R) asks mainland Chinese visitors to unblock a pavement outside Hong Kong's Sheung Shui train station, Aug. 23, 2012.
    A policeman (top, R) asks mainland Chinese visitors to unblock a pavement outside Hong Kong's Sheung Shui train station, Aug. 23, 2012.
    Reuters
    A senior Chinese government official on Saturday rebuffed growing complaints from Hong Kong that a flood of visitors from mainland China was overwhelming the tiny territory, saying it was natural for people to want to visit a part of their country.
        
    Last year, more than 30 million mainland Chinese visited Hong Kong, almost four times the city's population, stoking concern about the ability of the city's infrastructure to cope.
        
    Hong Kong residents blame Chinese visitors for pushing up prices and congestion, and the issue has fed unhappiness with the city's leader, Beijing-backed Leung Chun-ying. Tens of thousands protested against him on New Year's Day.
        
    But Lu Xinhua, spokesman for the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, a body that advises the government but does not have any legislative powers, said it was natural mainland Chinese would want to visit.

    "After the 2008 financial crisis, Hong Kong experienced some difficulties, and hoped that mainland compatriots would continue to go to Hong Kong to increase tourist revenue,'' Lu said, ahead of Sunday's start of the advisory body's annual session.

    "Due to inadequate facilities or infrastructure, Hong Kong could not cope with that many mainland tourists, which created a series of problems, and many mainland tourists complained too,'' he told a news conference.
     
    "What I want to stress here is that Hong Kong is China's territory. It was a British colony for more than 160 years, but now has returned to the motherland,'' he added.

    Lu is a former deputy foreign minister and was the mainland's senior Foreign Ministry official in Hong Kong from 2006 until last year.

    Despite the public pressure on Leung, Beijing has so far publicly endorsed his administration. He has also tried to address the anger by, for example, seeking to limit mainland Chinese from buying property in Hong Kong.

    "I know Leung Chun-ying very well. I know that he is a responsible and able leader. I do believe that under his leadership Hong Kong will be better and better,'' Lu said.
        
    Hong Kong was guaranteed a degree of autonomy when it returned to
    While Hong Kong is generally considered an open and liberal business haven, its leaders since 1997 have sometimes struggled politically in the face of mass popular demands for democracy and more accountable governance.
        
    A half million strong anti-government rally in 2003 later forced former leader Tung Chee-hwa from office mid-term.

    In a stormy half year since taking office, Leung has also had to contend with a raft of policy challenges, including an unpopular pro-Beijing education curriculum that was later shelved and high housing prices.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora