“Descendant of Confucius provokes anger by insulting Hong Kongers”

In the latest edition of “Mainlanders and Hong Kongers call each other dogs,” Kong Qingdong gives his two cents:

A Chinese professor who traces his lineage to Confucius — China’s ancient champion of harmony and courtesy — has stirred an angry bout of disharmony with a tirade against Hong Kong as a land of “dogs” and “thieves” in thrall to British colonialism.

Ignoring his illustrious ancestor’s injunction that a “gentleman should speak carefully,” Kong Qingdong of Peking University hurled abuse at the former British colony during an appearance on an Internet television talk show.

“Many Hong Kong people don’t think they are Chinese. They shout: ‘We are Hong Kong; you are China,’ ” Kong said, mocking the Hong Kong Cantonese accent. “These kinds of people got accustomed to being running dogs for British imperialists. Until now they are still dogs.” Such people, he added, “are not human. . . . They are dogs of imperialism.”

“Hong Kong people are not dogs,” said Henry Tang, who is in the running to become Hong Kong’s next chief executive, in a contest to be decided this year by a 1,200-member committee. His main rival, Leung Chun-ying, said the professor’s insults did not represent the views of most people on the mainland.

“Down with the Barking Dog Professor,” said a banner headline in Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily News.

Kong’s outburst provoked dismay as well as applause from fellow mainlanders. “Hong Kongers are dogs, and what Mr. Kong said is right,” said a posting on Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter. Official media either ignored or played down the controversy.

Meanwhile, the professor retreated slightly. He denied describing all Hong Kongers as “dogs” and said his words had been “twisted by media.”

Jackson Szeto, a Hong Kong resident who joined Sunday’s protest, scoffed at the denial. “We all know what he said. . . . He is the dog, not us.”

More on various accusations and denials of doghood as they come in.

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