Lawmaker Horace Cheung Kwok-kwan of the pro-Beijing DAB party has put forward a motion to broaden the Chinese history curriculum to cover “the interactive relationship between Hong Kong and the mainland.”

Horace Cheung. File Photo: Apple Daily.

Cheung also urged the Government to require the teaching of Chinese history as an independent subject at junior secondary level and make the subject compulsory.

Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang of Youngspiration, however, submitted an amendment bill to remove the word “interactive” from the original motion. He also made amendments to include the “historical incidents that either have far-reaching impacts on Hong Kong or fully reflect the Hong Kong-China relationship,” which included the cultural revolution, 1967 leftist riots, and the June 4 incident.

Sixtus “Baggio” Leung. File Photo: Stanley Leung/HKFP.

The Tiananmen massacre which occurred in 1989, otherwise known as the June 4 incident, brought months of student-led demonstrations in China to an end. It is estimated that hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people died when the People’s Liberation Army was deployed to crackdown on protesters in Beijing.

The 1967 riots refers to large-scale unrest between leftists and the British establishment in Hong Kong. What began as a minor labour dispute escalated into several months of protests, violence, bombings and murders.

Hong Kong is not a nation

Between the October 5 to 15, the DAB party surveyed 530 citizens about their views of the Chinese history curriculum. Some 70 per cent of interviewees said that junior secondary school students lacked understanding of Chinese history. Over 70 percent said they agreed that related subjects should be strengthened in the curriculum.

File photo: Apple Daily.

Cheung and Lau Kwok-fan, a member of the DAB party, announced the findings on Monday. When asked whether the motion was submitted in response to the rising trend of Hong Kong independence among students, Cheung said that – even without the notion of Hong Kong independence – Hongkongers should understand their own country. He added that to describe Hong Kong as a nation or a country is incorrect.

Asked whether the June 4 incident should be taught at school, Lau said it would be difficult to draw conclusions regarding the June 4 incident because the facts still remain very much subjective. But he said that “we need to tell people that such an incident happened.”

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Stanley Leung

Stanley is a Media and Communications graduate from Goldsmiths College in London. He takes particular interest in visual journalism, having produced photographic and video work on a number of social and political issues. He has also interned at the current affairs service of RTHK’s TV division.