This is the first step to allowing China mainlanders to drive into Hong Kong.
In March, HK drivers without Mainland China licences will get special permits for one day trips into China, called “自駕遊” (traveling by driving yourself, zi gaa yau). It is the first stage to allow drivers from both sides of the border to cross freely. Does anyone see a problem with this?! I see no mention of supplementary driving education or test to verify drivers understand the regulations on the other side. Speaking of the other side, Hong Kong and China drive on opposite sides of the road!
Now to put it into a social and current context, visitors without cars are already blamed for the tension between the mainland and the special administrative region (link to my previous post). And more blame on pregnant mothers being parasites to the Hong Kong welfare system. Tourists on foot loiter in random areas on Hong Kong’s narrow sidewalks. What will you get with drivers in petrol-fueled machines who usually drive on the opposite side of the road, who are not used to Hong Kong’s narrow roads and relatively stricter regulations? It also poses a higher challenge for border staff to filter out pregnant mothers and deny access, which was the solution proposed by the government and York Chow (Health department). Henry Tang, which mainland Chinese merchants are you pleasing by signing this? I didn’t need more convincing to not vote for you, now I’m registering just to vote against you. (Disclaimer: this is not a political endorsement.)
My solution is education. We must not yell at mainlanders and give them the side-eye for not complying with our norms.We can politely inform them Hong Kong has developed a higher need and conformity to order over the past decades. We Hong Kongers have to remember that just two generations ago most of Hong Kong was still inhabited by uneducated blue collars or field workers. Let’s hope that our polite information can get through those tinted car windows.
Source: http://news.sina.com.hk/news/3/1/1/2565514/1.html (The article is in Chinese, if anyone finds an English article, please do send them my way!)
Extra: This China news video is so biased towards a beneficial exchange it’s funny – http://www.cutv.com/news/gat/2012-1-13/1326461640889.shtml (Mandarin with Chinese subtitles)