32,000 take to Hong Kong streets to protest Chinese patriotism classes.
Tens of thousands including teachers and parents pushing strollers took to Hong Kong streets Sunday to protest the upcoming introduction of Chinese patriotism classes they fear will lead to brainwashing, the latest sign of growing discomfort over Beijing’s influence in the semiautonomous territory.
Students and pro-democracy activists were among those who marched to the Hong Kong government’s headquarters to protest the new curriculum, which authorities are encouraging schools to begin using when classes resume in September.
They fear the classes will be used to brainwash children into supporting China’s Communist Party. The government has denied that and says they are aimed at building Chinese national pride.
The controversy flared up after reports emerged that pro-Beijing groups published a booklet for use in classes that extolled the virtues of one-party rule.
“China wants Hong Kong’s next generation to know how great it is and not know the bad stuff,” said Chan Yip-Long, a 9-year-old primary school student. “The booklet is very biased, so I am opposing it.”
China wants Hong Kong’s next generation to know how great it is and not know the bad stuff.
The protest is the latest sign of growing discontent in Hong Kong over mainland China’s increasing influence 15 years after the freewheeling financial centre was returned to China by Britain following more than a century of colonial rule. Tensions have also been stoked by growing economic inequality and as well as an influx of free-spending wealthy Chinese, who are seen as driving up property prices and shop rents.
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