Grey goods trading must be handled properly in order to soften Mainland-Hong Kong antagonism
In recent years, due to the price gap of goods between the Mainland and Hong Kong, more and more grey import traders buy goods in Hong Kong and trickle them to the Mainland for sale so as to make a profit. In particular, after the launch of the Individual Visit Scheme, some Mainlanders joined in the trade and have snatched the business away from local parallel traders, intensifying social problems and conflicts between the two places. Take Sheung Shui, a seriously affected district, as an example: it has already been reduced to a distribution centre for grey goods. Numerous grey import traders gathering around the railway station encroach on pavements and roads, block traffic, add pressure to immigration control points, dump rubbish everywhere and force up commodity prices, arousing the resentment of local residents.
The Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying visited the North District in person a few days ago and admitted that the trading of parallel goods had impacted on New Territories residents' normal life and social order. He has already reflected the situation to the Central Government and has asked the relevant Mainland authorities to help tackle the problem. After an inter-departmental meeting on the issue, the Hong Kong Government announced six measures to clamp down on the practice; these include: the police will take enforcement action against the parallel traders that cause obstructions, the Immigration Department will more stringently check the identity of people entering the territory and the Customs and Excise Department will enhance manpower to collect more intelligence in order to dampen the trade. However, if the Hong Kong-Shenzhen boundary is to achieve lasting stability, mere reliance on such measures may not be enough.
The gravest concern now is Hong Kong people's escalating animosity amidst the grey goods turmoil. Some people even have an irrational opposition to everything Mainland. In the “recovering Sheung Shui station” movement several days ago, certain protesters even chanted radical slogans such as “Return my home to me; you Chinese scram back to China!”. It is indeed worrisome that the Mainland-Hong Kong antagonism may further worsen.
grey goods, parallel goods 水貨
encroach on roads 霸佔街道