"Brainwashing" Course Outrage Grips Hong Kong
Created: 2012-09-07 12:34 EST
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has barely been in office for two months, and he’s already faced repeated calls to step down. This time, it’s over backlash against an education course that critics are calling a veiled attempt by the Chinese regime to “brainwash” Hong Kong students.
Leung cancelled his trip to attend the APEC meeting in Russia this week, after days of protests in front of his office building by angry locals. They’re demanding the national education course be scrapped, which started this week in primary schools.
After initially refusing to cancel the course, Leung may now be backing down. Chinese state-run media China Daily reported on Thursday that Leung said the course is open to discussion, including the possibility of scrapping it.
This may not be enough for protestors. They’re planning further actions until the course is actually cancelled.
[Wong Hak-lim, Vice President, Professional Teachers' Union]:
“The Alliance against the course will continue to push…for a major rally on Saturday, until the government gives us a clear answer.”
The protests have attracted student groups, parents and grassroots activist. During the week they demanded Leung Chun-ying step down, accusing him of being a puppet for Communist leaders in Beijing.
[Willy Lam, Professor and China Analyst]:
"Well the opposition to National Education has evolved from an educational issue to a political campaign. What's happening is that wide spectrums of the Hong Kong population are against the CY Leung administration trying to impose Chinese values on Hong Kong."
Hong Kong media reports that more than 35,000 people had turn up for a rally against the course on Friday evening. Organizers estimated around 100,000 people participated.