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

"National education" courses lead to protests in Hong Kong.
September 13, 2012

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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