China rewrites the history of Hong Kong to make students more patriotic

China is not only demanding patriotism from Hong Kong’s elected leaders it’s demanding the same from primary school students. How exactly do you make kids more fond of the Chinese Communist Party? You roll out new guidelines designed to ensure they get a one-sided account of history:

Students, the guidelines said, should develop “a sense of belonging to the country, an affection for the Chinese people, a sense of national identity, as well as an awareness of and a sense of responsibility for safeguarding national security.”…

When mass antigovernment protests swept the city in 2019, pro-Beijing officials blamed the education system for promoting liberal values and radicalizing Hong Kong. Determined to avoid a repeat, they are now aggressively promoting a specific narrative, designed to reinforce the Chinese Communist Party’s tightening rule over the former British colony…

This is straight out of Orwell’s 1984. China is producing a new set of history textbooks which revise things where deemed appropriate:

In some cases, the government has moved to literally rewrite history. It is backing the creation of a 66-volume set of “Hong Kong Chronicles,” which is projected to cost $100 million and promises a “comprehensive, systematic and objective” record of the city’s last 7,000 years. In official yearbooks that summarize the government’s achievements, references to past cooperation with Western countries — which had been reprinted without change for decades — have disappeared…

As soon as the first, nearly 800-page volume of the “Hong Kong Chronicles” project was published in December, pro-democracy advocates attacked it for describing the 2014 Occupy Central movement as “illegal.” The chronicle made no mention of a march of at least 350,000 people on July 1, 2014, that had helped catalyze the movement. But it did mention a counterprotest that the police said drew about 100,000 people.

In an communist system everything is ostensibly done for the collective good. So you can’t have a text which suggests the people were collectively for something the government was against (like freedom and respect for human rights). Like the protests in Tiananmen Square, those references have to disappear.

Naturally, Lau Chi-pang, the person in charge of this effort to revise history, is a big fan of the CCP. He told the Times, “I have always been seen as a pro-government scholar, and I don’t deny that.” He’s also responsible for cutting down on so-called “liberal studies” for high school students. Time for those classes will be cut in half. “You don’t expect at this high-school level, or even college level, that social issues or political issues can easily be taught with reasonable depth,” he explained.

China has shown itself more than willing to forcefully educate or reeducate people until they are in complete agreement about the glories of the CCP. They’re doing it in Xinjiang with prisons and they’re doing it a bit more subtly in Hong Kong with schools. The important thing to keep in mind is that China would like to reeducate us all given the chance. They’re still trying to do just that with the origin of the Coronavirus.

David Strom 6:41 PM on September 26, 2022
David Strom 4:41 PM on September 26, 2022