Mainland Tensions Seeping Into Hong Kong Schools
After thousands of parents, teachers, and children braved rain on Saturday to denounce new school curriculum that they claim will “brainwash” students, Reuters reports that protests continued on Monday:
Chanting “No to brainwashing education. Withdraw national education”, some 8000 people denounced a Hong Kong government-funded booklet entitled “The China Model” they say glorifies China’s single Communist party rule while glossing over more brutal aspects of its rule and political controversies.
One hunger striker was taken away on a stretcher on the third straight day of protests after fasting for more than 40 hours.
The protests represent a challenge for Hong Kong’s new pro-Beijing leader Leung Chun-ying, who took office in July, and who has come under pressure for policies that have highlighted underlying tensions as the financial hub becomes increasingly intertwined, economically and socially, with China.
Polls suggest Hong Kong public distrust towards China is at a record high some 15 years after the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, with many fearing Beijing’s hand encroaching increasingly into the city’s cherished freedoms and political affairs.
One of the protest organizers told The Wall Street Journal that the group may consider boycotting school if the government moves forward with the new curriculum.