Wandering China

An East/West pulse of China's fourth rise from down under.

Hong Kong backs down over Chinese patriotism classes [BBC]

Semi autonomous Hong Kong and democratic deference: the fight against what has been perceived as Beijing’s long-term indoctrination back into the one-party mould has somewhat succeeded.

A day after more than 100,000 protestors rallied against the government (police figures stand at 36,000) compulsory moral and national education classes are now made ‘optional’. It was found 69% of students were against the classes.

Unlike the rest of China, Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of freedom, including a free press, the right to assemble and transparent, accountable institutions.

That said, what does optional mean? Will funding carrots in the future influence decision-making to opt in? It may be too early to say. But what is certain is Beijing is making advanced moves to manage the impact Hong Kong’s highly active public sphere on the rest of the population when they are ‘supposed’ to be fully re-integrated at the end of Deng’s promise of fifty years, no change.

Elsewhere –
South China Morning Post: HK backs down on national education

Youtube – 反對國民教育 Protesting National Education with the song ‘Young and Naive’ (with English subs)

Youtube – 反對國民教育 Protesting National Education (9th Day of contintuous protests) 7/9/2012  (with English subs)

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Hong Kong backs down over Chinese patriotism classes
Juliana Liu, Hong Kong correspondent, BBC News
Source – BBC, published September 9, 2012

Protests against the classes brought tens of thousands of people out onto the streets. Photo – Reuters

The Hong Kong government has backed down over plans to make schoolchildren take Chinese patriotism classes, after weeks of protests.

City leader Leung Chun-ying said the classes would be optional for schools.

“The schools are given the authority to decide when and how they would like to introduce the moral and national education,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: BBC, Beijing Consensus, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Collectivism, Crime, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Economics, Education, Government & Policy, History, Hong Kong, Human Rights, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, Politics, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, , , , , , , ,

Chinese ’Nationalistic’ Education Draws Protesters In Hong Kong [Bloomberg]

90,000 Hong Kongers say no to the imposition of Chinese ‘thought control’ on young ones starting from six years old. Anticipating a few steps ahead of the fifty years no change promise by the mainland?

For more check out

Thousands Protest China’s Plans for Hong Kong Schools (New York Times July 29, 2012)

From AFP TV,

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Chinese ’Nationalistic’ Education Draws Protesters In Hong Kong
By Rachel Evans
Source – Bloomberg, published July 30, 2012

Tens of thousands of parents, students and social activists marched through Hong Kong yesterday to oppose plans for national education lessons that detractors say will stifle independent thinking.

With many clad in black and white to symbolize the contrast between right and wrong and carrying placards stating “We don’t need no thought control,” demonstrators protested government plans to introduce the subject in state-run primary schools from September. The authorities will extend the classes, which aim to foster Chinese identity, to secondary school pupils from 2013 and phase in the lessons over three years.

The rally took place less than a month after pro-Beijing candidate Leung Chun-ying was inaugurated as the city’s chief executive. Government talks with opponents to delay the new curriculum collapsed over the weekend, the South China Morning Post reported in its Sunday edition. Textbooks will give a pro- Communist Party account of China’s history and political system, according to Willy Wo-Lap Lam, an adjunct professor of history at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Bloomberg, Charm Offensive, Chinese Model, Communications, Culture, Democracy, Domestic Growth, Education, Government & Policy, Greater China, Hong Kong, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Media, Nationalism, New Leadership, Politics, Population, Public Diplomacy, Social, Soft Power, Strategy, The Chinese Identity, , ,

Anger at HK handover anniversary [Sydney Morning Herald/AFP]

This is Hong Kong’s summer of discontent. Protesters and police clashed yesterday, ahead of Hong Kong’s 15th anniversary of handover to Chinese rule. What seems clear is that many from Hong Kong had a clear and present reminder on the fifty years no change compact for president Hu Jintao as he dropped in for a three-day visit.

Riot control measures had to be employed with giant barricades used for the first time since the reportedly violent protests in 2005 during the WTO meet.

This time round, pepper sprays were also vigorously applied. In my study of greater China, if Taiwan reflects the democratic sensibilities, and Singapore a model of authoritarian capitalism, then Hong Kong really reflects the full extents of Chinese activism. And they are unhappy over quite a few things. New leadership that was not truly and democratically elected by the people, the growing income disparity and the suspicious death of labour activist and thus political dissident Li Wangyang form a triumvirate of instigators under th overarching shadow of the Tiananmen narrative.

To get a truly inside scoop and avoid the standard boilerplate reports like this one below by the Sydney Morning Herald, one should check out Apple Daily’s coverage of the riots here. The report is in Cantonese, but the visuals themselves make the most compelling tale. Not one to be afraid of performing the role of the fourth estate, Apple Daily probably is as investigative a voice as any Greater Chinese media gets. Do note the parent company Next Media is owned by Giordano founder Jimmy Lai, an unflinching advocate for democracy and one of the most vocal critics of the PRC. Interestingly enough it was one of his reporters that sparked the commotion by reminding President Hu about Tiananmen.

Related reading –

From Malaysia, Hong Kong marks handover but chafes under China rule (My SinChew.com! June 27, 2012)

Where are we from? Hong Kong! What do we like? Protests! (Facing China! June 29 2012)

From US based, Falungong-leaning New Tang Dynasty TV, Hu Jintao in Hong Kong for July 1st, protests expected (June 26, 2012)

– – –

Anger at HK handover anniversary
Source – Sydney Morning Herald, published July 1, 2012



POLICE have fired pepper spray on protesters denouncing China President Hu Jintao ahead of today’s 15-year handover anniversary.

Mr Hu is in Hong Kong to mark the 15th anniversary of its return to Chinese rule.

The incident underscored tensions surrounding the anniversary of the financial hub’s handover from British control today, which will also see the inauguration of a new and unpopular leader of the local government.

On the second day of Mr Hu’s three-day visit, hundreds of protesters demanding an investigation into the recent death of a well-known mainland dissident rallied near the Chinese leader’s five-star hotel.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Beijing Consensus, Chinese Model, Culture, Democracy, Government & Policy, Hong Kong, Human Rights, Influence, Mapping Feelings, Nationalism, Peaceful Development, People, Politics, Reform, Social, The Chinese Identity, The construction of Chinese and Non-Chinese identities, Uncategorized, , , , ,

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