New textbooks despatched to Hong Kong secondary educational facilities educate that the town was not a British colony, but an occupied territory — a recasting of historical past that is element of Beijing’s ideological clampdown in the metropolis.
The textbooks look for to head off calls for self-willpower in the city following a wave of anti-government protests in 2019, in which some participants referred to as for independence.
“Even [though] Britain occupied Hong Kong . . . the Chinese Governing administration did not recognise these unequal treaties and insisted [on] her sovereignty over Hong Kong,” reads a person “exemplar answer” in a textbook produced by Modern Instructional Investigate Modern society, a Hong Kong publisher.
“Therefore, Hong Kong did not satisfy the condition of ‘a place shedding sovereignty’ and was not a colony,” the textbook reads.
At minimum five textbooks despatched to Hong Kong secondary universities for pre-publication evaluate worry that the current Chinese authorities under no circumstances recognised the historic treaties that ceded the territory to the United kingdom.
Several insert that the UN’s removal of Hong Kong from its checklist of non-self-governing territories in 1972 meant that the world-wide body’s guidance for resolution on self-rule in colonised locations was not relevant to the city.
“This demonstrates that global regulation confirms that the Hong Kong concern is inside the scope of China’s sovereign legal rights,” reads 1 Chinese-language textbook from Hong Kong-based mostly Aristo Academic Push.
The guides were being despatched to educational institutions as element of the city’s new “citizenship and social development” system, which past calendar year replaced a liberal research programme that Beijing loyalists blamed for radicalising college students to consider part in anti-government protests in 2019.
Hong Kong authorities have been intensifying tension on universities to take a Chinese nationalist line, a generate that last year prompted the city’s greatest teachers’ union to disband.
Britain occupied Hong Kong in 1841 throughout the 1st opium war and China’s ruling Qing dynasty ceded the island the subsequent 12 months. Other than a period of time of Japanese profession throughout the second environment war, Britain administered the metropolis as a colony and dependent territory right until 1997, when it was handed above to the People’s Republic of China.
The Aristo book stated Hong Kong was tied to China by advantage of “racial ties”, “cultural heritage”, “language system” and “garrisons”, as effectively as by financial and political jurisdiction.
The five books are element of a listing of 7 texts that faculties will select from to use in instructing the new program. They have been vetted by the city’s Education and learning Bureau, and are anticipated to be in use for senior secondary faculty learners from September.
The textbooks also repeat Beijing’s characterisation of the pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019 as violent riots stoked by “external forces”.
Chan Chi-wa, a secondary university teacher for additional than 3 many years, reported that ahead of 2019, textbooks rarely touched on the notion that the town was not a colony, but this viewpoint experienced been relayed to teachers considering the fact that final year at seminars held by the education and learning authorities.
“The most tricky component for instructors is to clarify to students why when [Hong Kong] was seen by several as a colony, it no for a longer period is the circumstance now,” claimed Chan.
Aristo Educational Push, Modern-day Academic Analysis Society and Marshall Cavendish Education and learning, which introduced just one of the guides, did not quickly respond to requests for comment.
Hong Kong Instructional Publishing Enterprise, which introduced two books, and the Hong Kong Education and learning Bureau declined to remark on the textbooks’ contents.