Hong Kong Riots: Protests lead to sharp decline in Chinese mainland visitors
The Hong Kong protests are entering their third month and are becoming increasingly violent. What does this mean for people who frequently travel between Hong Kong and the mainland? CGTN 's Ge Yunfei went to one of the busiest border checkpoints on the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border to find out.
The bustling ports sitting on the Shenzhen-Hong Kong border pay witness to one of Asia's leading financial hubs and its close connection with the Chinese mainland.
In 2018, according to Shenzhen General Station of Exit & Entry Frontier Inspection, 676-thousand people crossed the border on a daily basis.
But Mr. Zheng, a local vendor at one of the border checkpoints told me the number of visitors to Hong Kong has plummeted in recent weeks due to the prolonged protests.
MR. ZHENG LOCAL VENDOR AT HUANGGANG PORTS "At its peak, fifty to eighty thousand people were traveling from here to Hong Kong every day. But today, I guess there are less than two thousand people. You see only a few people coming out of the port."
GE YUNFEI SHENZHEN "I'm now at the Huanggang Border Checkpoint. It's one of the five most important ports that connect Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Right behind me is the bus station, which used to be full of people. But now it's rather empty. With the Hong Kong protests entering their third month, what kind of impact have they had on the lives of daily commuters from the two cities? I took this question to travelers here."
Those who just returned from Hong Kong voiced their concerns about safety.
MAINLAND VISITOR TO HONG KONG "I'm concerned about the situation there in Hong Kong as well, it might somehow influence my stay and my safety when going to Hong Kong. My friends and family also suggest not visiting Hong Kong under current circumstances."
MAINLAND VISITOR TO HONG KONG "We were planning to stay in Hong Kong for one or two days before flying to our destination. However, as the situation in Hong Kong has become complicated, we won't be visiting the downtown and we'll just stay here in the airport for departure."
MAINLAND VISITOR TO HONG KONG "As for the events occurring in Hong Kong, we hope for peaceful and stable relations between Hong Kong and the mainland. As we can all see, Hong Kong's economy is falling, and as the tensions continue, things will only get worse."
On August 3rd, the protests became even more violent. Rioters besieged several police stations and threw petrol bombs. And, some rioters even hurled the Chinese flag into the sea.
These actions are worrying people from both sides.
HONG KONG VISITOR TO MAINLAND "I think what's happening in Hong Kong is nonsense. My friends and my colleagues all share the same feeling. As to throwing the national flag into the water, we were angry with that. The flag is attached to the dignity and honor of the entire country. It's the wrong move."
INTERNATIONAL VISITOR TO HONG KONG "I think peaceful protests are right, but rioting isn't. There shouldn't be any physical aspect of the riots. I think some things shouldn't be there at the moment. The physical aspect should not be allowed to take place in the protests there."
HONG KONG VISITOR TO MAINLAND "I think people have the right to voice their opinions, but not in a violent way."
HONG KONG VISITOR TO MAINLAND "I think some protesters have ulterior motives. They want to create havoc and disrupt social order with mass violence."
The couple say they're deeply concerned that the protests will drag Hong Kong's economy to the bottom. And, they hope a solution can be found as soon as possible. Ge Yunfei, CGTN, on the border of Shenzhen and Hong Kong.