Hong Kong: o tienes un Estado o un Estado te tiene a ti

China rewrites Hong Kong’s history

Schoolchildren around the world have long been taught that Hong Kong was a British colony. But students in Hong Kong will soon be told a different lesson: It wasn’t.

A new narrative pushed by Beijing — which rejects how the British saw their relationship to the city — will be explicitly taught to Hong Kong high school students through at least four new textbooks that will be rolled out in the fall.

The textbook material, though still under review by principals, teachers, scholars and employees of Hong Kong’s Education Bureau, seems destined for classrooms. Local news websites published draft excerpts this week, and The Times viewed teachers’ proof copies.

Excerpts from the textbooks reinforce China’s Communist Party’s position on Hong Kong. “The British aggression violated the principles of international law so its occupation of Hong Kong region should not have been recognized as lawful,” read the teachers’ edition proof copy of one textbook.

Quotable: The narrative, one pro-democracy activist said, “is a shorthand for saying, ‘Hong Kong was always a part of China, thus Hong Kongers never could claim a right of self-determination.’”

Broader effort: The material is part of a wider campaign by China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, to overhaul Hong Kong’s schools, to “protect young minds” and to raise loyal, patriotic citizens.

17-VI-22, nytimes

Students in Hong Kong last year.Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times