The government should allow students from Hong Kong to attend Taiwanese kindergartens, and elementary and junior-high schools to prevent them from being “brainwashed” by a patriotism-focused curriculum promoted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), groups said yesterday.
Groups of Hong Kong advocates based in Taiwan made the plea at an online news conference, held as the CCP celebrated its 100th anniversary in Beijing.
Yesterday also marked the 24th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China and one year since China implemented Hong Kong’s National Security Law.
A Hong Konger called “Tienba” said that he has been a regular participant of an annual July 1 march since 2003, adding that he and his wife migrated to Taiwan primarily for the education of their children.
The democracy rally, held since 1997, was canceled this year after the Hong Kong government banned public gatherings, citing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many Hong Kongers might be indifferent to politics, but they are sensitive to education issues. This was why parents in Hong Kong in 2012 protested against the school curriculum introduced by the Hong Kong Education Bureau, as they found it unacceptable that it was turning their children into CCP loyalists,” he said.
Their worst fear came true last year with the introduction of the National Security Law, he said, adding that they are using every means possible to educate their children elsewhere.
Taiwan’s school curriculum is widely praised for its emphasis on freedom, democracy and diversity, and only Hong Kong’s privileged few can access such quality schools, he said.
“We hope that Taiwan’s kindergartens, and elementary and junior-high schools can accept children from Hong Kong, and their parents can come along as their legal guardians,” Tienba said.
About 70,000 Hong Kongers have migrated since protests started in 2019, triggered by a since-scrapped anti-extradition law, Taiwan Hong Kong Association secretary-general Lee Chih (李淇) said, adding that about 20,000 of them moved to Taiwan.
“They came for the democracy and freedom here, and to rescue the next generation from being poisoned by the patriotism-focused education promoted by the CCP,” she said.
While Taiwan was among the first nations to offer humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers after the protests, many who face political persecution were not protesters, she said.
Not all of them are in immediate danger, which is required to qualify for assistance under Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), nor do they all qualify for special humanitarian assistance under a Mainland Affairs Council program, she said.
“Humanitarian assistance is one way to support the will of Hong Kongers. The government should comprehensively review its immigration policy for Hong Kongers, and allow them to come in as many ways as possible,” she said.
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