Peking University professor Kong Qingdong has made headlines in China and Hong Kong for fiercely criticising Hong Kongers and even Singaporeans in a recent internet talk show.
Peking University professor Kong Qingdong 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.
Hong Kong, January 22, 2011 - Ignoring his illustrious ancestor’s injunction that a “gentleman should speak carefully,” Kong Qingdong of Peking University, who claims him as the 73rd direct generation of Confucius, hurled abuse at the former British colony during an appearance on an Internet television talk show.
Monday marks the beginning of the new lunar year in China, so Chinese there and around the globe are celebrating this weekend. It is considered the most important holiday in China, where families try their best to meet and share the wealth of the past and coming year.
Furious at the remarks, scores of protesters gathered Sunday outside the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government, Beijing’s main representative office in Hong Kong. Several paraded pet dogs. Others unfurled banners denouncing the Beijing academic. “We are not dogs,” the protesters shouted.
The furor dominated the front pages of Hong Kong’s major newspapers over the weekend and darkened a festive mood on the eve of Chinese New Year. Monday is the first day of the Year of the Dragon. The professor’s comments also added fuel to a growing debate over identity in Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule 15 years ago but whose residents feel separate from — and frequently superior to — Chinese from the mainland.
Kong Qing Dong from the renown Peking University in China, launched his tirade on a talk show while discussing a recent videotaped MTR incident that took place in a Hong Kong MTR train. The video of a quarrel between mainland tourists caught snacking on a Hong Kong subway train with local passengers has burnt up the internets in both Hong Kong and the mainland.
At the start of the video, a Hong Kong man demands an apology from the girl and her mother but the tourists refuse, saying it is not a big deal. Others then join in on both sides.
One of the Hongkongers presses the emergency button and notifies platform staff. An MTR employee tells the tourists they can't eat inside the train and a mainland woman says sorry in English. A Hong Kong man then says sarcastically: "Oh, she knows English".
A mainland woman tries to explain the situation to the MTR staff member but is interrupted by the Hongkongers as the quarrel resumes. At the end of the video, a Hong Kong man says: "No need to speak to them. That's what mainlanders are like."
Huang Xiangyang, senior writer at the China Daily, describes the video as a "symbol of the 'culture clash' between Hong Kong and the mainland". But words from Peking University professor Kong Qingdong was much more piercing.
Kong Qingdong called Hong Kongers as dogs
Kong Qingdong had gone on to compare Singapore to Hong Kong, as a country that relied on laws to maintain order.
He said, "In Singapore, you can get fined $5,000 for smoking. Places that rely on these laws show that the people lack civic consciousness. They cannot get anything done unless you impose punishments. This shows that the people have no quality and are asking to be whipped."
Throughout the show, Kong repeatedly criticised Hong Kongers and called them dogs and thieves.
He said, "The Hong Kongers were treated like dogs by the British in the past and they are used to it, so they are still dogs now."
He went on to criticise Hong Kongers for looking down on Mainlanders, and for speaking Cantonese instead of Chinese.
Kong Qingdong was widely criticized among Hong Kongers and mainlanders
Leading Hong Kong politicians swiftly denounced the Beijing academic, who is well-known in China for his sharp tongue and hard-edged nationalist views.
“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. The paper warned that “contradictions between China and Hong Kong are getting deeper by the day.” The professor at the center of the storm, it added, “didn’t just disgrace his position as a scholar but also disgraced his ancestor,” Confucius.
Controversial ultra-nationalist Peking University professor Kong Qingdong’s outburst provoked dismay as well from fellow mainlanders. Kong and his comments have been roundly slammed by Chinese. Kong Qingdong is said to be a staunch supporter of Kim Jong-Il. According this descendant of Confucius, Kim Jong Il never starves his own people ! He also never abuse state fund for anything. Apparently, this particular descendant of Confucius isn't exactly popular in China and there are plenty of articles calling for his resignation from Peking University. He recently handed out the Confucius Peace Prize to Vladimir Putin via two Russian babes.