A member of Beijing’s top advisory body has suggested removing and reducing symbols left behind from Hong Kong’s colonial government, starting with place and street names.

The 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) began on Saturday in Beijing and will close on March 15. China’s legislature – the National People’s Congress – commenced its annual session on Monday.

queen's road west
Photo: Wikicommons.

Local delegate Shie Tak-chung suggested at the CPPCC meeting that the central government should urge the Hong Kong government to undergo decolonisation of these names at an appropriate time.

Shie also said that – following the 1997 Handover – Hongkongers were all Chinese nationals, and that loving the country was a duty whether it’s “One Country, Two Systems”, or “One Country, One System.”

Shie added that he believed Hong Kong should be concerned about patriotic education among children, and a sense of patriotism should be developed from a young age.

Another member, Wang Guiguo, said that young people and groups in Hong Kong do not understand the mainland well and that each sector should target young people when engaged in relevant work. For example, the promotion of Chinese traditional culture should be tied in with contemporary culture which young people are interested in.

An old post box with ERII royal cypher in Yau Ma Tei.
An old post box with ERII royal cypher in Yau Ma Tei. Photo: Facebook/Hong Kong History Study Circle.

Many of Hong Kong’s street names, such as Princess Margaret Road or Wellington Street, are named after British royalty or colonial political figures.

In 2015, the government’s plans to cover royal cyphers on 59 historic post-boxes sparked protests.

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Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.