Today’s lesson: what does Article 136 say?

A week ago, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam assured the public that she had no plans to expand ‘National Education’, the euphemism for Communist Party-approved brainwashing of kids. Now China’s Education Minister – one Chen Baosheng – contradicts her by ordering local public schools to strengthen their teaching of Chinese history, culture and constitution. (He also mentions the Basic Law, so the little ones will presumably learn the correct reading of Article 136, which appears to state that the Hong Kong government has full autonomy over the city’s education policy, but obviously means something else).

In response, Carrie blathers about how she takes education so seriously she is boosting expenditure on it, and she gamely maintains that local kiddies should learn ‘national awareness’ as well as ‘emotional attachment with Hong Kong and an international vision’. Education Minister Chen seems not to have mentioned these last two – it could well be that the whole idea of ‘emotional attachment with Hong Kong and an international vision’ makes him want to vomit.

Thus she puts him in his place, since as CE she is on a par with a Vice Premier and outranks him. Or at least, that’s how it works in theory – but that’s what they said about Article 136.

Carrie’s mission here is to convince the leadership in Beijing that she is indeed imposing ‘National Education’ on Hong Kong’s impressionable little minds, while at the same time convincing Hong Kong parents that she isn’t.

Logically, this must mean misleading one side or the other. As a hand-wringing bureaucrat, she probably hopes to find some sort of loosely defined grey area/question of balance/compromise/let’s-change-the-subject/win-win outcome that makes everyone happy. As a politician, she might (indeed damn well should) plan to dump this on the new patriotic loyalist Education Undersecretary Christine Choi, whose over-eagerness to cram Communist brainwashing propaganda down schools’ throats could easily prompt a backlash and victory for the pan-dems.

Unless, of course, the pan-dems manage to mishandle the issue…

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6 Responses to Today’s lesson: what does Article 136 say?

  1. You know that line in HUIS CLOS you like so much, NO NEED FOR IRONS, HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE?

    Brainwashing in Western societies doesn’t need national education lessons. It comes through the BBC, Murdoch media and its imitators and people like you because you are one of the most brainwashed, aren’t you?

    Smugly Capitalist, true Blue, loving the American cousins and convinced of the superiority of the West.

    You’re cooked and nearly done.

    Pip, pip!

  2. pie-chucker says:

    Brainwashing of a different sort. Do any of you blighters know about this? Even been aboard? Is it still there?

  3. Stanley Lieber says:


    From the article, why the Kwoks built the replica ark:

    “In our lives we always face floods, we will face trials, we will face difficulties.”

    Especially trials.

  4. stan says:

    Still there. A pair of clydesdale horses wouldn’t drag be aboard.

  5. Maugrim says:

    Pie chucker, it’s still there. I’ll bet the Ten Commandments have been removed though. Hang on, this is HK,

  6. LRE says:

    Remember last year when Carrie Lam had “no plans” to run for Chief Exonerative? ‘Nuff said.

    @Stanley Lieber
    Ouch. Harsh but fair, and it made me chuckle.

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