On the eve of the June 4 anniversary, the Hong Kong government has forced the promotion of Mandarin education, the June 4 candlelight vigil has been cancelled, the June 4 memorial hall has been closed, and the new official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong has just characterized the “anti-China sending” movement as a “color revolution”. Nearly a year after the National Security Law came into effect, Hong Kong has only one country and no more two systems, and young people no longer have the right to speak out freely. Faced with this dilemma, where do they go from here?
Mainlandization of Education: Where do young people in Hong Kong go from here?
China’s Ministry of Education released the “Report on the State of Language Life in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (2021)” on June 2. The report recommends that the status of Mandarin and simplified characters be legally strengthened and that Mandarin education be integrated into the assessment system as a policy in Hong Kong to strengthen language and national identity and better serve the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and the “one country, two systems” This is not the first time the Chinese government has intervened in Hong Kong.
This is not the first time the Chinese government has intervened in Hong Kong’s education. Immediately after the National Security Law took effect, the authorities began to liquidate the education sector in Hong Kong. In March, authorities tightened education regulations on international schools, with the Chinese Ministry of Education issuing guidelines to schools, including bilingual private schools. The guidelines state that schools must offer a nationally unified mandatory curriculum whenever they enroll international students. On April 18, the People’s Daily, an official Chinese media outlet, issued an article pressuring Hong Kong universities, blasting the University of Hong Kong Students’ Union for “repeatedly speaking out and provoking, smearing one country, two systems and undermining the constitutional order,” threatening that “It threatened that “the time has come to regulate it.
“In an interview with this station, Yang Jinxia, founder of the Hong Kong Concern Group in New York, said that since the National Security Law came into effect, the Chinese Communist authorities have not only destroyed Hong Kong’s politics and economy, but also dealt a devastating blow to the current generation of Hong Kong people who are fighting for democracy and freedom.
“I have also come into contact with many young people in Hong Kong who are very confused. They don’t see a future, and leaving or staying is something of a dilemma for them,” said Yeung Kam-ha. “There are some young people who feel they can’t stay in Hong Kong anymore, so they may go to Canada or the United States, but not every young person’s family can support them to go abroad, and they will be discouraged to stay in Hong Kong, they can’t do anything they want to do, they can’t voice anything they want to voice. Even young people in exile do not have a good time, some of them can not go back to Hong Kong to see their families, and some of them do not adapt to this side at once, and have to find a job.”
From compulsory education to higher education, Hong Kong’s educational and academic freedom is being compressed step by step. In various movements, Hong Kong students have been at the forefront as democracy fighters, and now that the mainland has increased its control over education in Hong Kong, does it mean that this generation of Hong Kong young people has been abandoned?
According to Yang Jinxia, the increased control over red education is part of the Chinese government’s plan to control Hong Kong, and it is evident to all in the community.
Xie Tian, a professor at the University of South Carolina School of Business, holds a similar view: “The forced promotion of Mandarin education will reduce the role of Cantonese in the culture of Hong Kong society, and slowly the status of English will be affected. We all know that Hong Kong’s free economy and prosperous society and culture are based on English and Cantonese. In addition to political economy, language and culture are now being fully continentalized, dealing a full blow to Hong Kong’s unique culture and international status. Some people have been forced to accept it and identify with the Chinese Communist Party and the mainland, while others will have a strong sense of humiliation.”
In March this year, the Hong Kong Institute of Public Opinion released a poll which showed that about 65 percent of respondents had no confidence in Hong Kong’s future political environment, 21 percent said they had plans to emigrate overseas, and 2 percent said they had already left Hong Kong permanently. In the same month, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups also released a questionnaire survey in which about 25% of the young people surveyed said they would definitely leave Hong Kong within five years. Among the respondents who intend to leave Hong Kong, 5.1% chose the United Kingdom, followed by Australia and New Zealand.
Hong Kong’s “anti-China” campaign has been qualified as a “color revolution”.
According to the Central News Agency, Liu Guangyuan, the Commissioner of the Office of the Commissioner of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, who took up his post at the end of last month, said at his first media conference on June 2 that the 2019 “legislative amendment fiasco (anti-China sending)” had turned into a “color revolution” due to the intervention of outside forces. The “color revolution” has been turned into a “color revolution” by the intervention of external forces. He said, “Hong Kong independence” is rampant, “black violence” rampant, “wooing” rampant, resulting in Hong Kong into a prolonged turmoil. At this point, the Chinese government has officially qualified the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
According to Yang Jinxia, Hong Kong people took to the streets only to fight for their right to a high degree of autonomy under “one country, two systems”, and it is not a “color revolution”.
“The Chinese Communist Party is suppressing it step by step. The so-called color revolution is a way to label Hong Kong people. Many different people were arrested, so the international community made a lot of noise, and the CCP’s tactic is that the louder the foreign voices are, the more they label it as a revolution. What are we revolutionizing? We don’t have guns or cannons. They just want to make things easier for themselves. In fact, many young people in Hong Kong and the arrested legislators did not say they wanted independence. There are a small number of people who say they want independence, but that doesn’t mean all of them. We just want to get back what we were promised, which is one country, two systems.”
According to Xie Tian, characterizing Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement as a “color revolution” is a “thief crying out for a thief”: “In fact, the Chinese Communist Party is staging a reactionary color revolution that goes against the trend of history, that is, to turn the formerly free Hong Kong into a red Hong Kong. In fact, the Chinese Communist Party is staging a reactionary color revolution against the historical trend, which is to turn the formerly free Hong Kong into Red Hong Kong. The demand of Hong Kong people is just to maintain the status quo, to maintain the freedom of Hong Kong, without any revolutionary demands.”
As repression approaches, Hong Kong is shrouded in “white terror”.
Every year on June 4, Hong Kong people go to Victoria Park to participate in the June 4 memorial service, which has become a tradition in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government has prevented the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China from holding a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park for the second year in a row on the grounds of an epidemic, while the Hong Kong Food and Environmental Hygiene Department inspected the June 4 Memorial Hall on June 1 and forced it to close down on the grounds that the Alliance did not hold a public entertainment license and was suspected of violating the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance. According to a number of Hong Kong media reports, the Hong Kong police also publicly stated that they would strengthen patrol enforcement on the night of June 4, and that mourners wearing black clothes, holding candles and shouting June 4-related slogans could be arrested for violating the Public Order Ordinance.