A pro-Beijing lawmaker has suggested raising the Chinese flag in major Hong Kong parks to “promote national feelings.”

Starry Lee, chair of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said in a Sing Tao Daily newspaper column that the Hong Kong government should emulate foreign countries in raising national flags in major parks.

starry lee
Starry Lee. File photo: LegCo.

She said it was unfortunate that “unrealistic thoughts” – such as Hong Kong independence or the idea of Hong Kong as an ethnic nation – have spread among young people. Lee said the cause was that some politicians have intentionally “demonised” China.

“The Hong Kong government has to reflect on why young people who grew up under the Special Administrative Region lack knowledge in the country and national feelings 21 years after the Handover,” she wrote. “This is largely related to inadequate national education, and education on Chinese history, on the Constitution and the Basic Law.”

“Because this education was not done well, the new generation of young people was easily incited and used by others, generating negative emotions towards the country and the SAR government.”

china flag education national basic law eddie ng
File photo: GovHK.

She wrote that the government should create space for young people to develop so that they can “see hope.” She also said the government should put more work into letting young people understand the country and develop national feelings.

“Other than school education, departments should implement supporting policies, including promoting history education in our daily lives – for instance, Western countries raise their national flags in major parks to subtly influence society,” she wrote.

“This is a good example for the SAR government to look at, and the authorities have to catch up quickly.”

Lau Siu-lai
Lau Siu-lai. File photo: inmediahk.net.

In the column, Lee also wrote that it was reasonable to bar pro-democracy activist Lau Siu-lai from running in the upcoming by-election.

“Because her past statements, oath-taking and her political agenda have been advocating self-determination, and she expressed that Hong Kong independence can be an option,” she wrote. “This has nothing to do with putting ‘politics over the law’ or ‘political suppression.’”

Lau has said that she never supported Hong Kong independence.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.