Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Hong Kong government scraps Chinese patriotism classes

It is a salutary reminder that democracy, even in the limited version permitted in Hong Kong (both before it was handed back to China in 1997, but even more since then), is only possible and indeed sustainable with the active support of local people. The latest 'spat' involves plans to introduce from 2016 at the latest a mandatory [Beijing-sponsored] curriculum to be taught in all primary and secondary schools, designed it would seem to inculcate (aka 'brainwash') what is being described, probably completely accurately, as naked Communist Party propaganda. [Beijing-appointed] Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had earlier rejected pleas to meet with protestors opposing the policy, but in an abrupt volte face has scrapped the mandatory aspect of the policy:

"The amendment of this policy means that we are giving the authority to the schools.

"The schools are given the authority to decide when and how they would like to introduce the moral and national education."
I note the qualification "if" relating to the introduction of this policy is absent. Whilst it is pleasing that the pressure of public opinion has forced the Hong Kong government to reverse (or at least delay or weaken) its earlier stance, dictated by a largely pro-Beijing elite in the Hong Kong SAR which had supported the election of Mr Leung to his post in March this year, it is clear that it will require continuing vigilance on the part of brave citizens there to ensure that the existing semi-autonomy of Hong Kong is assured in the future.

(As a former resident of Hong Kong I retain a keen interest in developments there.)

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