Chinese authorities continue crack down on Hongkongers, identify schools lacking enthusiasm when singing national anthem

Hong Kong, now increasingly in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, has redoubled the emphasis on 'patriotic' education since it began cracking down on the administrative region in 2020.

Chinese authorities continue crack down on Hongkongers, identify schools lacking enthusiasm when singing national anthem
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Hong Kong officials have identified two schools which they say have students who are not singing the Chinese national anthem with enough enthusiasm.

The two schools have been accused of singing the anthem "too softly," while a third school has been identified and has been asked to help students "cultivate habit and confidence in singing it."

Hong Kong, now increasingly in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, has redoubled the emphasis on "patriotic" education since it began cracking down on the administrative region in 2020.

Students' voices at the Hong Kong and Macau Lutheran Church Primary School were "soft and weak" and should be "strengthened," while teachers at the Yan Chai Hospital Lim Por Yen Secondary School were instructed to "help students develop the habit of singing the national anthem loudly in unison."

The BBC reports the comments appeared in a series of reports released by the city's education bureau following an inspection into primary and secondary schools.

Out of the 20 schools whose inspection reports were published on the education bureau's website, at least six were recommended to enhance their patriotic education curriculum. The reports also commended some schools for organizing trips to mainland China and noted their students "showed confidence in raising the national flag."

It's the latest indicator the CCP is tightening its grip on Hong Kong. In January, the totalitarian regime passed a law requiring all schools to include "patriotic education" in their curriculum. The definition is vague but is intended to promote CCP talking points and ideology.

Beijing says the law is aimed at "unifying thoughts" and "gathering strength for building a strong country." Critics argue it's yet another step by the CCP to demoralize Hong Kong and strip away its autonomy.

Since 2020, numerous former opposition lawmakers and democracy campaigners have been imprisoned under a contentious national security law that criminalizes all forms of dissent. Despite international condemnation, Beijing insists the law is essential for maintaining stability.

China has focused especially on patriotism in the past few years, having overhauled the administrative district's electoral system with a "patriots' law" that banned "unpatriotic" candidates from political office. It also banned the unofficial anthem of the Hongkongers, called Glory to Hong Kong.

In November last year, the bureau introduced a new subject requiring students as young as eight to begin learning about the Beijing-enacted security law. The curriculum also includes "Chinese culture" and history aligning with the Chinese Communist Party's vision.

"Students [should be] able to understand that Hong Kong has the advantage of enjoying strong support of the Motherland and being closely connected to the world, which helps them build up cultural confidence," a circular published by the bureau in November said.

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  • By David Menzies

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