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Education or Brainwashing? Patriotism Classes and Hong Kong's Political Future

"National education" courses lead to protests in Hong Kong.

When Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997, Beijing agreed that the former colony could maintain its autonomy and capitalist lifestyle. But with the passage of time, China and its supporters in Hong Kong have pushed to inculcate a greater sense of Chinese identity among the territory's 7.1 million people. A cornerstone of that effort has been a plan to introduce required "national education" courses in Hong Kong's schools. Many people saw the courses as little more than propaganda for the Chinese Communist Party. In September, opposition to the move produced a remarkable grassroots protest movement, rocking the government of newly-selected Chief Executive C. Y. Leung, and further polarizing Hong Kong's already tense political climate. Mike Chinoy was in Hong Kong at the time and produced this report.


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12-01-2015 4:00 pm

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for the premiere public screening of the latest episode in our Assignment:China series on American media coverage of China. This episode focuses on the behind-the-scenes story of the journalists who during 2012 conducted ground-breaking investigations about China's nouveau riche, and the dramatic, controversial, and often frightening consequences.

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The USC U.S.-China Institute presents a book talk by Louisa Lim, an award-winning journalist who has reported from China for a decade. The People's Republic of Amnesia discusses how the events of June 4th changed China, and how China changed the events of June 4th by rewriting its own history.