Police were called in to settle a quarrel between an American and a mainland Chinese tourist after the latter allegedly spat on the floor in a hotel restaurant in Pokfulam on Hong Kong Island on Sunday.

At 9am, the 39-year-old mainland Chinese man surnamed Liu was allegedly seen spitting inside the hotel restaurant when other hotel guests were having breakfast, Apple Daily reported.

A 54-year-old American tourist who witnessed the incident told Liu in English that he should not spit on the floor.

According to a video sent to media, the Chinese man became upset and approached the table where the American man sat to argue with him.

Witnesses said Liu kept asking in Mandarin, “What are you talking about?”

The argument almost turned into a physical fight when Liu tried to grab utensils from the table and approach the American, only to be stopped by restaurant staff and his girlfriend.

Police officers were called in to ease the tense situation. No arrests were made.