On the stroke of nighttime on July 1, 1997, the British flag over Hong Kong used to be diminished and the Chinese language flag used to be raised at a rite marking the top of greater than a century and a part of British colonial rule. Chinese language President Jiang Zemin used to be readily available, as used to be Britain’s Prince Charles.
However consistent with the South China Morning Publish, new textbooks to be used in Hong Kong contend the territory used to be by no means a British colony. The explanation: China by no means identified the treaties that ceded it to Britain.
The Publish says 4 units of textbooks are recently being vetted via Hong Kong’s schooling bureau. They’re a part of a “citizenship and social building” path geared toward highschool scholars.
As Beijing’s grip on Hong Kong has tightened within the wake of large anti-government protests in 2019, re-vamping schooling has been a focal point. The SCMP says the brand new elegance is an overhauled model of a liberal research path that pro-Beijing politicians blamed for “radicalizing adolescence”.
“The entire new textbooks stated Hong Kong used to be by no means a British colony because the Chinese language authorities had by no means identified the unequal treaties or given up sovereignty over the town,” the newspaper says.
“The textbooks stated the United Countries got rid of Hong Kong from a listing of colonies in 1972 after China made the call for.”
In spite of re-writing textbooks, Hong Kong’s colonial historical past that stretched for greater than a century and a part is also arduous to erase within the territory.
Britain seized Hong Kong all the way through the First Opium Conflict, and China’s Qing Dynasty officially ceded it to the U.Okay. in a treaty in 1842. Till July 1997, Hong Kong used to be run via a British colonial management. Many in Hong Kong nonetheless have hyperlinks to Britain, and even U.Okay. passports, and a few recall British rule with nostalgia, chafing below Beijing’s heavy hand.
Even Chinese language President Jiang appeared to recognize in a speech on the handover that Hong Kong were a colony – or no less than that China had now not been exercising sovereignty over it.
Lately, as Beijing has taken a extra proactive function in Hong Kong, the U.Okay. has accused China of violating the Sino-British Joint Declaration that underpinned the handover and assured rights and freedoms within the territory.
Chinese language officers have rebuffed the accusations, pronouncing that Declaration used to be now not legitimate since Hong Kong used to be already again in China’s fingers.
The SCMP says the textbooks have additionally “followed the federal government’s account of the 2019 social unrest in Hong Kong, pronouncing it used to be a risk to nationwide safety and exterior forces had been at the back of the protests.”
The protests induced Beijing to impose a sweeping Nationwide Safety Regulation on Hong Kong in 2020 within the title of restoring order. Critics say it is been used to silence dissent.