Tensions between Hong Kong and mainland China are on the rise—and it all started with a bowl of noodles. Users of an Internet forum bought an ad in a major Hong Kong paper calling out cross-border visitors "locusts" who abuse the the former British colony's health care system by coming to Hong Kong to give birth, CNN reports. Wealthy mainlanders are also blamed for overheating the territory's property market, and changing its retail sector to the detriment of locals.
"Just a few years ago, those from China were country bumpkins and now, the mainlanders are the economic overlords and that is deeply grating to those in Hong Kong," a Hong Kong professor tells the Wall Street Journal, noting that economic resentment is mixed with worries about Beijing's human rights record. The spat began last month when a YouTube video of a Hong Konger berating a mainlander for eating noodles on the subway circulated, prompting a Beijing professor to label Hong Kong people "bastards" and "running dogs of British imperialists."