Hong Kong citizens ignorant about China? Let’s instill more patriotism!

According to this article, China’s elders are distressed that Hong Kong schoolchildren are so woefully ignorant of China and its history.

A RECENT poll by the Chinese University found that nearly half, or 45 per cent, of some 400 students in four different universities could not name the Chinese Communist Party’s General Secretary, a position held by Mr Hu Jintao since 2002.

Twenty-three per cent did not know that the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949.


All these examples suggest that Hong Kong people lack understanding or identification with the motherland.

In fact, mainland officials complain that Hong Kong residents act selectively by insisting that the territory and the mainland are one country in economic matters but two systems in politics.

Therefore, the article says, China’s leaders are a bit bent out of shape and intent on instilling a new sense of patriotism in Hong Kong and make it clear that HK and the PRC are one country, in every way, period.

I’ve been out of HK for more than two years now, but I’m going to venture a guess that this patriotism drive will fall on its face. What with last year’s 500,000-man march and the recent outrage over free elections, is Hong Kong bursting to demonstrate patriotism to the mainland? Hard to believe.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

this is an old item; more survey details at (http://www.zonaeuropa.com/01383.htm)

the ignorance is no different in the US, where many people think canada is a state of the union, or the united kingdom is in the middle east, etc.

this is the central problem of a democracy.if the electorate refuses to be informed,what are they voting for?answer:they vote for the person with the slickest ad campaign,and that is usually the person with the most ‘black gold’ from special interests.see usa and taiwan.and you are stuck with that person for the next four years.ugh.

this is the reason why i have reservations about direct elections in hong kong at this time.people are not informed on the issues,what are they voting for?

May 7, 2004 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

I’d say that for the march last July, Hong Kongers were quite well informed. Perhaps not on the issues that the CCP or Ming Pao would prefer, but the disconnect between the leaders and the average Lee has always been an issue in Hong Kong.

And I’d recommend once again Tsai Jung-fang’s Hong Kong In Chinese History (My humble review) for a great discussion on that topic (especially on elitist Chinese nationalism in the 1885-1911 period and how little traction it gained with the labouring Chinese because of this grand disconnect. Perhaps it’s time for the CCP to actually practice in the Mass Line and learning from the masses as opposed to telling the masses what they are supposed to think and are allowed to discuss.

May 8, 2004 @ 12:58 am | Comment

in my first comment,i asserted that people in hong kong didn’t know much about the details.

i believe that if you ask them why they are out there,they will say that they want to protect their freedom of speech.but what exactly are the detailed issues involved?i’ll bet not many can say.

go back to this previous post:
(http://www.zonaeuropa.com/00153.htm) which contains a table that compares the existing and proposed provisions.my opinion is that there is more freedom than before.even if you don’t agree, it can still be debated although i’ve never heard that from the public.

this is why i assert that they were out there not marching for freedom of speech,but against mrs. broomhead (the nickname for the inept regina ip).

May 8, 2004 @ 4:43 am | Comment

If you check news articles that mention Hu Jintao in the Chinese or Hong Kong press, what title will be used? President or General Secretary? Could this have something to do with the results of the quiz? Frame the questions properly and you can push almost any result from a survey.

But one of the dinosaurs that the CCP trotted out during the “patriotism debates” earlier this year made it clear that Beijing was disappointed that the Article 23 legislation did not pass because it meant that Hong Kongers could still state that they favour self-determination for Taiwanese… that the CCP wants to make discussion of such items to be illegal. If that is what you equate with more freedom of speech in Hong Kong, so be it.

And the arrogance of the NPC and Liaison Office currently is what has so many Hong Kongers upset… much like being upset at the arrogance of Regina Ip and the refusal to publish a white paper and publishing the collection of responses that mischaracterised and misquoted the vast majority of opinions provided. A government that is unresponsive to the will of the people was exactly the main bone of contention that got Jefferson and Adams and Franklin so upset. So I’d say that’s a pretty reasonable reason for Hong Kongers to go out and protest as well.

And if the SAR government continues to refuse to listen to the Hong Kong people and the CCP continues to refuse to beat and harass petitioners who come to Beijing, both governments will only maintain their positions by force and manipulation. And the people of the SAR and PRC deserve much better.

May 8, 2004 @ 5:30 am | Comment

Well, good luck to them. I spent 4 years trying to educate HK highschool kids about Chinese history, and found them to be totally disinterested in it, with just a few exceptions …

Mind you, ignorance about China is pretty prevalent on the mainland too. They’ll know who Hu is and what 1949 was, but once you get beyond that, the average level of knowledge of Chinese history is pretty terrible.

May 8, 2004 @ 9:22 am | Comment

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