Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor speaks at a patriotic education forum co-hosted by the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers, the Hong Kong Ta Kung Wen Wei Media Group and Bauhinia Magazine, Hong Kong, July 10, 2021. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Saturday said the city needs to implement patriotic education more systematically, as loving one's own country is natural and justified.
"Betraying your own country is not only a serious offense, but an intolerable act," the city's top official said at a forum on patriotic education.
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The event attended by around 220 educational experts of the city is the first high-level, large-scale, patriotic-education-related forum held in Hong Kong after the city's return to the motherland.
However, some external forces in recent years have made use of the city's complicated social and political environment to mislead and radicalize the city's young people, to blur their national identity.
Carrie Lam, HKSAR chief executive
Speaking at the event, Lam said Hong Kong people have always believed in patriotism. "However, some external forces in recent years have made use of the city's complicated social and political environment to mislead and radicalize the city's young people, to blur their national identity," she said.
Given that, the city should join hands to carry out patriotic education as a right, Lam said.
She called for the educational sector's joint efforts to nurture young generations into well-educated residents with a sense of social responsibility, national identity, an affection for Hong Kong and an international perspective.
Vice-Minister of Education Tian Xuejun, who delivered a speech via video link at the forum, said that the country will fully support the implementation of patriotic education in Hong Kong and back the establishment of a sound educational system which is in line with requirements of "one country, two systems" in the city.
Tian also pledged that the country will further deepen and strengthen cooperation in education between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong and provide Hong Kong young people more platforms and career ladders to better their self-development.
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Tian added that he hopes the city in future can put more emphasis on patriotic education among young generations and implement such education in more various forms.
Tan Tieniu, deputy chief of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, in his speech highlighted the necessity of strengthening exchange and education related to the Chinese Constitution, the Basic Law and the National Security Law for Hong Kong.
Tan urged educational stakeholders, including schools, teachers and education-related associations, to cooperate to promote patriotic education and help young people to foster national spirit and deepen the awareness of national identity.