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7m people in Hong Kong. Not one Chinese person?

7m people in Hong Kong. Not one Chinese person?

According to Wikipedia, Hong Kong has 7 million citizens, 95% of whom are Chinese.

According to this BBC News report about Hong Kong’s Mid-Levels escalator system – the “longest outdoor covered escalator system in the world” – there’s not a single Chinese person who could talk about the system. The reporter’s Australian, who interviews another non-Chinese person about the escalators and how they’ve revitalised previously run-down parts of Hong Kong.

It’d be like going to San Francisco, doing a report on the trams there, and only being able to find one Chinese person to interview.

I know it’s not so much racism as the reporter, desperate to file a story, just using her personal contacts to find SOMEONE to interview … but when they said it was one country two systems, they should have said one country, two communities…

UPDATE: The evil former flatmate and Asian-ophile Mr. Fenn took it upon himself to lodge a complaint with BBC News on my behalf (while changing a few details. Like my gender) and the official word from the BBC is:

“There was no intention to give the impression that we were ignoring the views of the residents of Hong Kong. You are right that the reporter was
not herself Chinese – but she was used because she is the BBC’s reporter in Hong Kong and therefore best placed to do the piece. As you also saw we only felt there was space in the piece to hear from one other person – and as it happens, the best interview she obtained on the subject was with the chap who ran the restaurant chain.”

“However I take your point on board – and accept that we should perhaps have made more of an effort to hear something from Chinese residents about the escalator system.”

1 Comment

  • As someone who is in Hong Kong right now, I can certainly let you know that, while Hong Kong is, as a whole, 95% Chinese – that is certainly not true about the Mid Levels Escalator system. A few days ago, I was there; and would estimate that, at the time I was on it, the split between Chinese and “Westerners” was about 50/50. (The area is full of ex-pat restaurants, nightclubs, and other things; it’s certainly not a deeply Chinese area in the same way that Lok Fu is, for example.)

    What I have also noticed is that many Chinese here (in stores and restaurants) aren’t confident speakers of English. I’m a non-existent speaker of Chinese. However, for an English piece on an English television channel, it would clearly be a benefit for the interviewee to speak clear and lucid English.

    And finally, though I’ve nothing to back this up, it might be worth considering that, as an increasingly integrated part of the Chinese mainland, with increasing immigration from there, it might be the case that there is growing reluctance to speak to the Western media, similar to mainland China.

    Just my two penn’orth; but I’d hate subtle allegations of racism to go unchallenged.

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