Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hong Kongers Protest National Education, Global Times Alludes to "Tragedies" in History of Student Protests, Weibos Censor "National Education"

On September 5, 2012, the state-sponsored Global Times published an article entitled "HK National Education Controversy Highly Politicized." Some excerpts:
Opposition has been vocal since a national education course was officially introduced in Hong Kong schools Monday, the first day of the new school year. Some students also joined protests and launched a hunger strike to exert pressure on the government.
. . . .
Pan-democrats, by slamming this "brainwashing," are all out to rattle the leadership of Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong's new chief executive who took office in July. It's selfish to encourage parents and teachers to give up adapting to their national identity for the sake of these pan-democrats' own political benefit. 
What's worse, students are also being pulled into this political wrangle. These young boys and girls, without a glimmer of understanding of the politics of the adult world, are expected to become a political force that could confront the government. 
This is both immoral and risky. In any peaceful region, students' priority is studying. History has already shown the tragedies that strike societies if their students focus on striking, protesting or even rushing to the front line of political confrontation.
Sina Weibo has been censoring the term "brainwash" (洗脑) since protests began in July.

This screenshot shows that, at some time between 3 pm and 11 pm on September 7, Tencent Weibo began censoring searches for "National Education." (国民教育)

Here are some additional examples of related censorship by Sina Weibo:
September 7: "Government Headquarters" (政总)
September 6: "National Education"
August 4: "Leung Chunying" (梁振英)