The protesters who took park in the unrest in Mong Kok last Monday were “brainless,” according to open letters “from Hong Kong youth” published by a political commentary account named Chang An Jian on the popular messaging platform WeChat on Sunday.

The letters were in response to open letters apparently written by four mainland youths to their counterparts in Hong Kong between last Thursday and Saturday, according to mainland media.

Photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

Two Hong Kong youths, named Waycle and Hoho, both strongly criticised the protesters for their behaviour.

“I am against violence – if throwing bricks at the police is sensible, how about killing and setting fires?” wrote Waycle in his letter. “How much did these people receive in benefits… Are they really just a group of mask-wearing law-breaking morons and rogues? Would it solve the problem if we put these people into jail? Or is this getting rid of the people who ask questions?”

Photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

Hoho said that “Hong Kong is really messy right now, and I don’t understand myself – there are so many university students causing trouble. There’s Scholarism and Civic Passion… Those protesting that are still in secondary school, their brains haven’t developed yet… I am repulsed by those who called them to come out.”

He added: “What’s the problem if China has authority over Hong Kong… is China not doing a good enough job now? Other countries now have to care about China’s opinions as well, those Hong Kong separatists are really brainless, even if you separate, what will other countries treat you as? Even if the Chief Executive is voted through one vote, per person – is it really that great in Taiwan?”

File photo: HKFP.

The same WeChat account, Chang An Jian, also published letters written by mainland youths to Hong Kong youths. In the letters, the four mainland youths said: “You Hong Kongers care about problems that are too little! Hong Kong’s future and China’s future depends upon us, on Hong Kong’s social and economic development problems, what solutions do you have?”

“Some people say, Hong Kong is currently having an identity crisis – who am I? But, is this really a problem? No matter if Hong Kongers are educated in English or Chinese, working in the UK or Australia, they are always connected to China,” they said.

‘Sense of superiority’ 

Mainland netizens were split on the letters written by the Hong Kong youths.

“Hongkonger’s views are too narrow, their sense of superiority is too strong,” said one netizen on Weibo.

Another questioned the veracity of the letters, saying “This isn’t very good! It should be the mainland publishing an open letter, then Hong Kong’s Apple Daily responding with another open letter. And then all Chinese people can objectively judge the conflicts between the two parties – what’s the point if you’re saying all this yourself?”

The Mong Kok clashes were criticised by pro-establishment and pro-Beijing figures throughout last week, including Junius Ho, who called for the enactment of security law Article 23 and said that rioters should be shot.

Meanwhile, Zhang Xiaoming, the Director of China’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, called the protesters “separatists” in a statement on Sunday.

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Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.