Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Protests over patriotism lessons

Thousands of people march on a downtown street in Hong Kong (AP)
Thousands of people march on a downtown street in Hong Kong (AP)

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Hong Kong to protest against the upcoming introduction in schools of Chinese patriotism classes that they fear will lead to brainwashing.

Teachers, parents, students and pro-democracy activists marched today to the government headquarters of the semi-autonomous territory to protest against the new curriculum, which authorities are encouraging schools to begin using when classes resume in September.

They fear the classes will be used to brainwash children into supporting China's Communist Party. The government has denied that and says they are aimed at building Chinese national pride.

It's the latest sign of growing fears in Hong Kong over China's increasing influence 15 years after Britain returned the freewheeling financial centre to China.

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