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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “WATCH LIVE: Hong Kong Schools Devote a Day to China’s National Security | Top New” – below is their description.
(Apr. 15) Hong Kong marked its first National Security Education Day since last year’s imposition of sweeping national security legislation by Beijing, as the government ramps up efforts to overhaul the school system and instill patriotism in the city’s populace following the protests of 2019.
Schools across the city were mandated to hold events including singing the Chinese national anthem and raising flags. In addition, giant billboards promoting the event have been plastered across the city, while the police held an open day where they displayed professional drills, anti-terrorism exercises and displayed armored vehicles.
While mainland China has celebrated such a day since 2016, this is the first time the semi-autonomous financial hub is marking the occasion. The city’s government is required, under the national security law that was drafted in Beijing and forced on the city with no meaningful local debate, to “promote national security education in schools and universities.”
The shift to a forceful inculcation of national security issues, even among young children, comes as Beijing increases its control over almost all sectors and institutions in Hong Kong. In its most recent move to stifle political dissent, China’s top legislative body approved an overhaul of the city’s already limited elections to give authorities an effective veto over any potential opposition candidate.
Carol Chan, an events manager who has children aged three and five, said of the new cu
rriculum, “Would you teach a kindergarten kid how much money to put into the bank? They are only counting coins. It’s insane.”
Beijing believes that Hong Kong’s insufficiently patriotic youth were responsible for the sometimes violent protests throughout 2019 and the national security education day is one way of trying to shape nationalistic students, said Ivan Choy, a senior lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
“They think that one of the major sources of instability is from the students, the young people, so they will put more efforts on this aspect,” said Choy, who studies Hong Kong politics. “They have put more patriotic education in, and they have tried to punish or discipline teachers in secondary schools.”
—Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel
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Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (HKSAR), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta of the South China Sea. With over 7.5 million residents of various nationalities in a 1,104-square-kilometre (426 sq mi) territory, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world.
Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 after the Second Opium War and was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease of the New Territories in 1898. The whole territory was transferred to China in 1997. As a special administrative region, Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under the principle of “one country, two systems”.