General Xu Yuan, who teaches at the Defence University of the People's Liberation Army, says that the Chinese government fears what might happen in the former British colony. The freedoms granted in 1997 "must be revoked before it is too late". The key to indoctrination of the population is “education".
Beijing (AsiaNews) – Hong Kong "is the worst threat to the stability of mainland China and the Chinese Communist Party. The chaos created by young people is due to too much freedom granted to the people. The time has come for China to act," said General Xu Yuan, of the People's Liberation Army.
The high ranking officer, who teaches at the Defence University, spoke at the 2018 Annual Meeting of National Famous Teachers' Workshop Union, in Chengdu on 5 November 2018. About 2,000 people attended the conference, including educators as well as primary and high school students.
The text of his speech became public just as people in Hong Kong took to the streets to prevent the adoption of an extradition bill. Excerpts from his speech follow (translation from the Chinese by AsiaNews).
Xinjiang and Tibet are the weaknesses of China. Furthermore, there was an "Umbrella Revolution" which sought independence for Hong Kong. The international anti-China forces want to turn Hong Kong into a bridgehead to oppose the Communist Party.
The young people are creating chaos, and the key reason is their parents are bad. Education is another problem.
When we took back Hong Kong in 1997, I had participated, together with leaders of the People's Liberation Army Hong Kong garrison, in the study of Hong Kong's social conditions.
Hong Kong's social foundation, to tell you the truth based on the facts, is the worst in China, even worse than Taiwan.
In his book The Analysis of Various Classes in Chinese Society, Chairman Mao said, when you analyze the situation of a place, you should first analyze its class composition and social status.
In Taiwan, there are not that many people who really oppose the Communist Party. 80 percent of the original Taiwanese are indifferent to the Communist Party. The other 20 percent who went there had been captured by the Kuomintang [the nationalist party defeated by the Chinese Communist Party] and later became soldiers.
Hong Kong is different. When we took over Hong Kong in 1997 and analyzed the composition of its residents, [we found] that there were three thirds. One-third [of the residents] were the native born and their descendants, educated within the British Hong Kong system. These people are somewhat arrogant. However, they don't hate mainland China that much.
One-third of them are the worst. They ran to Hong Kong [from China] during 1949 and 1950 after being purged, stricken, driven out, and deprived of everything by the Communist Party. Many of these people hate the Communist Party with every fiber of their beings.
Another one-third suffered starvation during the Three Years of Difficulties (the Great Chinese Famine from 1959 to 1961). Those people smuggled themselves to Hong Kong as asylum seekers during the Cultural Revolution. How can you expect this kind of people to have good thoughts about the Communist Party?
To sum up, after we took back Hong Kong, we made a big mistake. [That was, we promised that] nothing would be changed. How would that do if you don't decolonize everything?
After more than 20 years since we took back Hong Kong, they are still using textbooks of the British Dependent Territories. Furthermore, when we wanted to change the textbooks, the parents didn't allow it. So why are the students, the young people, bad? Because their parents are bad. They didn’t allow us to change the textbooks. For more than 20 years, hey are still using textbooks of the British Dependent Territories.
So why are these young students creating chaos? Because their education is really bad. The education system has problems.
I think it is now the time for us to act. A big lesson for us in the past, is that we emphasized too much “two systems” [the policy governing Hong Kong is “one country/two systems”]. We didn’t emphasize “one country.”
Last year, after our new Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, took office, I think she did two things very well.
First, those who participated in “Occupy Central” [a civil disobedience campaign aimed at reforming the electoral system in Hong Kong] and created chaos were sentenced.
Second, starting from this year, they have been changing the textbooks. You should use textbooks for Chinese citizens. How can you use textbooks for citizens of the British Dependent Territories?
We need to educate these people. You are all educators here. You all understand this. If you want to educate these people, you cannot achieve your goal in one or two years. Education is a long-term issue.