Hong Kong, June 25 (ANI): New school textbooks in Hong Kong have become a subject of controversy after the learning materials stated the city was an "occupied territory rather than a British colony", the media report stated.
Generally, most of the schoolchildren around the world have long been taught that Hong Kong was once a colony of the British Empire. But now students in Hong Kong will soon learn a different lesson.
British had handed over Hong Kong in 1997.
Now, as the city prepares to commemorate 25 years since its handover to China on July 1, 1997, that narrative -- which rejects how the British saw their relationship with 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 New York Times reported.
However, the textbook material is still under review by principals, teachers, scholars and employees of Hong Kong's Education Bureau, but it seems destined for classrooms.
According to The New York Times, the material is part of a wider campaign by China's top leader, Xi Jinping, to overhaul Hong Kong's schools, "protect young minds" and raise loyal, patriotic citizens.
Jeffrey Ngo, a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and a doctoral candidate in history at Georgetown University, said that the government's position "is a shorthand for saying, 'Hong Kong was always a part of China, thus Hong Kongers never could claim a right of self-determination.'"
"It's about trying to make sure the next generation of young kids are going to be supportive or at least sympathetic to what the government is saying," Ngo added, as per the outlet.
"This is part of the remake of Hong Kong in the national security era," he said.
In 1946, the United Nations included Hong Kong on a list of "non-self-governing territories," and in a 1960 resolution said the people there should be granted "the right to self-determination."
In 1972, after Beijing took over China's seat in the world body, it successfully pushed the UN to remove Hong Kong from the list, arguing that it was within China's sovereign right to decide Hong Kong's future. (ANI)