Hong Kong Protests Chinese "Brainwashing" in Textbooks

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Wednesday September 05, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan has its problems with Ma Ying-jeou's efforts to influence the textbooks used in its classrooms, but it is not the only place that faces that problem. A recent AFP article in the September 5, "Taipei Times" recounts how Hong Kong is similarly challenged by its government.

What is more surprising is the difference in the strength of protests in Hong Kong. As the article recounts, Hong Kong students and teachers protested for a sixth straight day against "plans to introduce Chinese patriotism classes."

It was 15 years ago, back in 1997 when the Hong Kong was handed over to China and allegedly it was to reach full democracy by 2017. That happens to be only 5 years away and given the protests and the attempted forced patriotism classes, it does not quite look like Hong Kong is going to make it.

40,000 turned out for a rally last Saturday despite heavy rain. Taiwan had its own rally for freedom of the press in Taiwan on the same day but only 10,000 showed up while Taiwan had great weather. Perhaps Taiwan feels more secure in its democracy.

In Hong Kong some 90,000 had shown up at a similar protest rally in July. In my mind, these are positive signs; a developing democracy in Hong Kong will also benefit Taiwan. For those interested in the article it is titled "HK demonstrations over brainwashing continue"

It can be found at http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2012/09/05/200354203.