Opinion\From Chinese press

Drive sense into HK students

China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-14 07:26

The use of "pro-independence" posters and banners in the latest propaganda campaign launched by some students on Hong Kong university campuses has highlighted the need for the SAR government to improve the standard of legal and patriotic education so as to protect youths from poisonous ideas related to separatism.

"Pro-independence" clamors have flared up again in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region after a period of relative lull following the disqualification of six radical legislators and the imprisonment of a number of violent protestors and student activists. In the latest farce, some students laid siege to the offices of university authorities, forcing them to promise to not tear down "pro-independence" posters. Many of the protesters used invectives to address the officials, thereby crossing the moral and even legal bottom line. The dramatic face-off last week between a mainland student who tore down separatist posters at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and local "pro-independence" students reflected how deep separatist forces have infiltrated university campuses, even secondary schools.

The latest "pro-independence" campaign is not an isolated case. But what's more worrying is the attitude of non-intervention of some university authorities, which means they are tolerating or conniving at such wrongdoings.

During this year's inspection of Hong Kong, President Xi Jinping emphasized that the SAR government should strengthen patriotic education among youths and take more measures to ensure their healthy growth. And at this year's meeting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the implementation of the Basic Law of Hong Kong, top legislator Zhang Dejiang said the SAR government should never allow confrontations with the central government involving any form of "high degree of autonomy" or the dissemination of the "Hong Kong independence" idea.

Given that the latest "pro-independence" campaign shows the city's youths have insufficient knowledge of "Chinese identity", the SAR government has enough reason to strengthen such kind of education, in order to prevent separatists from spreading their tentacles in Hong Kong. Such education takes time, but the SAR government should make its stance clear that under no circumstances will it allow the mention of separatism in any form of protest or demonstration, in order to prevent the "Hong Kong independence" idea from sabotaging the "one country, two systems" and the "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" political environment.

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