Without exception, any efforts to enhance Hong Kong students’ understanding and knowledge of their country and foster a sense of national identity and patriotism irk China-bashers, especially those Western politicians who either harbor ideological bigotry or have a geopolitical strategy against China.
Thus, it is no surprise that by providing a box set of picture books entitled My Home Is in China to all schools in the city, the special administrative region’s education bureau has ruffled a few feathers.
Nor that some have taken issue with the local authority’s move to introduce a revamped curriculum for the teaching of Chinese history in secondary schools with the aim of stopping the glorification of the colonial wars against China and the colonial rule of Hong Kong in the 19th century.
The notion of “Hong Kong exceptionalism” embraced and promoted without scruple by China-bashers both in Hong Kong and elsewhere can be understood only in the context that in their eyes Hong Kong is still some sort of foreign concession whose internal affairs are subjected to foreign debate or interference.
To perpetuate Hong Kong’s status as a useful beachhead to launch their anti-China operations, Western forces who share a Cold War mentality regarding China have left no stone unturned in their efforts to groom and protect their pawns in Hong Kong. Nothing can do more harm to their endeavors than the efforts to “decolonize” the city. Hence, any actions that may enhance the sense of national identity or patriotism among Hong Kong youth are invariably smeared as brainwashing by Beijing.
Thus the shift in the focus of learning to respect the Chinese nation and a correct understanding of the motherland’s resumption of sovereignty over Hong Kong has been met with the usual chorus of feigned outrage.
But after witnessing the endless vilification campaign against China, particularly over the past several years since the United States declared China was a major strategic rival, the world in general is no longer impressed by such a stale old tune of disapproval.
In particular, the relentless campaign of disruption in Hong Kong over the past two decades, especially the “Occupy Central” campaign that paralyzed the city’s traffic arteries and disrupted its financial and commercial hubs for 79 days in the fall of 2014 and the months-long violent rampage in 2019 that saw youngsters — as young as 12 years old — break the law at will and wreak havoc with abandon on their own home city, have made it all the more imperative that the “decolonization” of Hong Kong be accelerated to get rid of the pernicious colonial influence.