June 29, 2022


International Student Club UK

New school books claim territory was not a British colony

China has very long mentioned that Britain’s rule in Hong Kong did not usurp its sovereignty around the territory

New textbooks for Hong Kong schools will state the territory was by no means a British colony, local media report.

As a substitute, the guides declare the British “only exercised colonial rule” in Hong Kong – a difference drawn to spotlight China’s promises of unbroken sovereignty.

China has usually asserted it never gave up sovereignty and its surrender of Hong Kong to the British was due to unfair Opium War treaties in the 1800s.

The Uk returned Hong Kong to China in 1997 after ruling for around 150 yrs.

For the duration of its rule, it referred to Hong Kong – a port with a deep harbour that grew into a booming town state, and one of the world’s leading money centres – as a colony, as perfectly as a dependent territory.

The United Kingdom governed the spot from 1841 to 1941, and from 1945 to 1997, after which it was handed again to China.

A screenshot of the 1997 handover ceremony where Britain handed Hong Kong back to China

Britain handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997, a day specified by treaty requirements

Encouraging a ‘Chinese identity’

Jeff Li, BBC Chinese

China maintains Hong Kong has usually been its territory – that the British only occupied it just after 1842.

And even though the Qing governing administration at the time signed successive treaties ceding and leasing sections of the territory to Britain, China argues all those ended up signed “less than coercion” and by no means accepted them.

Hong Kong’s govt has been next Beijing’s rhetoric due to the fact the 1997 handover. It hardly ever claims sovereignty was “transferred” to China, but somewhat Hong Kong has “returned to the motherland”.

Governing administration museums utilised to describe Hong Kong as a “British colony”, but individuals phrases ended up taken off in 2020 – a move locals mentioned was indicative of China’s strengthening command in the semi-autonomous city.

The newest go is in line with Beijing’s attempt in new yrs to instil a “Chinese identity” among Hong Kong college students – to sow the plan that Hong Kong has always been element of China, but was taken away for a period under British rule.

The new textbooks take pains to clarify the differences in between a colony and colonial rule – with the texts declaring that for a region to simply call an exterior territory a colony it wants to have sovereignty as very well as governance above the area.

In the scenario of Hong Kong, the British “only exercised colonial rule… so Hong Kong is not a British colony”, the textbooks say, according to local media stories.

The textbooks have been drawn up for a precise course to be taught in Hong Kong faculties focusing on citizenship ideals, lawfulness and patriotism.

The topic replaces a liberal reports program that sought to train college students better crucial contemplating skills and ideas on civic engagement.

Chinese authorities immediately criticised this training course for the duration of the city’s mass pro-democracy protests in 2019, declaring these types of education and learning had “radicalised” youthful persons and given them the completely wrong tips.

The new textbooks – which have still to printed, and are pending closing acceptance by Chinese authorities, regional media say – also reflect Beijing’s characterisation of the mass professional-democracy protests in 2019 as a security menace.

An activist in a large crowd waves a British Union Jack flag during a anti-Chinese government influence protest in central Hong Kong in 2019

Some Hong Kongers carried the Union Jack through the professional-democracy protests in 2019

The South China Morning Article documented a single excerpt on the protests examining: “Secession and subversion towards the government have been advocated in some of these activities submitting a threat to nationwide sovereignty, security and interests.”

When incidents of violence did occur for the duration of the 2019 protests, the vast majority of protests had been largely tranquil. Human rights teams have also lifted accusations of law enforcement brutality and mistreatment of peaceful protesters during the interval.

Timothy Lee, a previous Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmaker who is now exiled from the territory, was between critics expressing concerns about a “rewriting” of history.

What’s transpired considering the fact that handover?

Immediately after the handover in 1997, China’s Communist rulers categorized the metropolis as a special administrative location with its individual governing and economic process, allowing persons far more freedoms than on the mainland.

Subsequent the significant 2019 protests, China cracked down on civil freedoms previously authorized in Hong Kong.

In 2020, it handed a national protection regulation that has in influence outlawed just about all forms of political criticism.

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