Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Misaligned Opinion

Leung Chun-ying is wondering where all the mainland shoppers are...
Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying says there is an "alarming" drop in the number of visitors coming to the city in recent weeks and he blames it on the stronger Hong Kong dollars, the economic situation in other countries, but most importantly on protests against parallel traders.

This was confirmed by Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung who said the number of mainland tour groups dropped 20 percent since the anti-parallel trader protests.

Leung says there was an alarming drop in the number of visitors coming to Hong Kong during the Easter break. Maybe it's because there China does not celebrate the crucifixion and then rebirth of Jesus, nor does it believe in bunny rabbits and Easter eggs?

This past weekend people in China were busy marking Ching Ming! Perhaps they wanted to pay respects to their ancestors than go shopping in Hong Kong?

In any event, for Leung to say the drop is "alarming" is amusing, as the Hong Kong government hasn't done much to mediate the situation, which has led to protests escalating to minor skirmishes with the police.

But the bad publicity surrounding mainlanders crossing the border several times a day to buy up Hong Kong stocks of milk powder, shampoo, chocolates, cookies and skincare products to bring back to the mainland to sell has resulted in possible changes to travel permits.

Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office deputy director Zhou Bo said the individual visit scheme that allows residents of 49 cities to travel to Hong Kong without joining tour groups, and multiple-entry permits that grant 2 million permanent Shenzhen residents unlimited trips were to be "refined to better suit Hong Kong's situation"... whatever that means.

There have been countless debates in the media about parallel traders -- some readers welcome them because after all, Hong Kong is a port city that became what it was through trading.

Others are tired of not being able to buy necessities because shops are cleaned out by parallel traders and want more restrictions in place.

It's interesting that both the Hong Kong and Chinese governments did not forsee the impact of parallel traders in the city, and how this would negatively affect our community.

All this because China cannot get its act together on food safety -- since at least 2008.

What's really "alarming" is Leung not thinking parallel traders are hurting Hong Kong's image, but the protesters.

Didn't he pledge to serve Hong Kong people and their interests?

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