A pro-Beijing think tank has sent surveys to local primary and secondary school teachers asking for their views on political topics including Hong Kong independence and their support for the central government.

Hong Kong Policy Research Institute (HKPRI) said that they wanted to survey the status of the Education Bureau’s Students Mainland Exchange Programme, which is in its 10th year.

Hong Kong Policy Research Institute
A questionnaire sent to school teachers by the Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, obtained by StandNews. Photo: StandNews.

The nine-page questionnaire, sent out on November 15, was separated into three parts: the first explored the participation of local schools in exchange programmes, the second asked teachers to score the programme, and the third required them to provide their opinions on political issues.

HKPRI asked teachers whether they were sympathetic to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre or the local 2012 protests against plans for a patriotic education curriculum under then-chief executive Leung Chun-ying. They also asked about the extent to which they hoped their students were patriotic towards China.

The survey also asked them how many of their students have “actively participated in a civic movement,” “actively support central government policy,” “support patriotic Hong Kong political parties,” “identify as Chinese,” and “know that they are Chinese from birth.”

The survey was not compulsory and did not ask for the name of the respondent or their school.

education kid child school
Photo: GovHK.

A spokesperson for HKPRI told HKFP that the survey is routine and the data gathered will be used to review the exchange programme.

“The survey has been designed according to theories on typologies of nationalism,” the spokesperson said. “We hope that through understanding the various nationalism imaginations associated with ‘Chinese-ness,’ we would be able to draw links between the theoretical and practical to propose policies for the improvement of mainland exchange programmes in the future.”

HKPRI is convened by former Legislative Council president Jaspar Tsang. Tsang recently campaigned in the streets for pro-Beijing candidate Rebecca Chan in her successful Legislative Council Kowloon West by-election bid last week.

Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.