Welcome to Hong Kong and the “One Country, One System” model. Or should that be “One Country, Two Systems?” Confused? You should be.
In the age of paranoia politics, all pretense of limited “autonomy” for the once vibrant city has been swept away by President Xi Jinping.
It began with an all-encompassing National Security Law imposed on Hong Kong by the cadres in Beijing two years ago after a crackdown on mainly peaceful protests for political freedom.
What followed was the persecution and imprisonment of pro-democracy activists and the demise of organizations refusing to kowtow to the ruling Communist Party of China.
As the last vestiges of the promised “One Country, Two Systems” policy were consigned to the trash heap of history, an exodus ushered in a “new,” dark “era.” More than 220,000 people have fled the city since the end of 2019.
Incarceration and transportation were quickly followed by indoctrination. After all, Party “seeds” have to be “planted in the young” by the Hong Kong education system.
“As educators, it is our duty to understand Xi’s speech and to think how we can contribute to making the country better,” Wong Kam-leung, the chairman of the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, said.
He denied the move to “distribute” thousands of “copies” of Xi’s address “for study by teachers amounted to indoctrinating schools with Party ideology,” the CNN network reported earlier this week.
Another brick in the Communist wall:
- Xi gave the keynote speech during a visit to Hong Kong last month to mark the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover from the United Kingdom to China.
- In a circular, the city’s education bureau said in “view of its great significance” copies would be sent to kindergartens, primary and secondary schools.
- Since the massive demonstrations of 2019, Beijing has blamed the city’s education system for radicalizing students.
- It has singled out liberal studies, which encourage critical thinking, for fueling anti-Communist Party sentiment among the young.
Between the lines: “This evil wind of ‘color revolution’ has never ceased. Like the Covid virus, it constantly mutates,” Wang Linggui, a Party official in China’s office for Hong Kong affairs, wrote in a Chinese journal on national security.
Delve deeper: Indoctrination in the education system in China is a prerequisite. Indeed, the “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” is compulsory if not riveting reading in classrooms across the country.
Primary education: There is even a simplified cartoon version for primary school children, depicting a cuddly Grandpa Xi. Teachers must “plant the seeds of loving the Party, the country and socialism in young hearts,” a government notice on the new curriculum stated when the scheme was announced last year.
Big brother: “Brainwashing starts from childhood,” one parent on the Twitter-like social media platform Weibo said at the time.
Big Picture: Comrade Xi’s rambling opus is now the official doctrine of the Party. It has seeped into every aspect of Chinese life from the classroom to the boardroom to the Party cells inside big business.
Personality cult: “This should be an alarm bell for modern China … The Xi cult is also intrinsically humiliating for China’s educated middle-class and senior officials – who have to study Xi Thought daily on a special app … The Xi cult means that insincerity and fear are now baked into the Chinese system,” Gideon Rachman, the Financial Times’ chief foreign affairs commentator, wrote in the FT last September.
China Factor comment: Now, it is “baked into the” Hong Kong “system.”