A Beijing official in Hong Kong has accused local young people of being obsessed with western values like democracy and freedom – when they know nothing about their own country.
In a speech at an awards ceremony for teachers on Sunday, Xu Kai, a deputy education and technology director of Beijing's Liaison Office in the SAR, said many Hong Kong youngsters are ignorant of China, both in terms of its current situation and its history.
He told guests at the event, organised by the Federation of Education Workers, that many pupils are also lost about their personal future, and it's up to "patriotic teachers" to guide them properly.
“If we have patriots ruling Hong Kong and handling educational affairs, that would end the chaos of the education sector seen in recent years,” he said.
In an apparent reference to the now-disbanding Professional Teachers' Union, Xu said a certain group had harmed the sector's professionalism by disguising itself as a teacher's body while actually getting involved with politics.
The mainland official also alleged that some teachers had been indoctrinating their colleagues and students with the wrong concepts of civil disobedience and "achieving justice by breaking laws", resulting in some of them getting arrested or even being jailed.
"Order must be restored for the education system in Hong Kong," Xu said, adding that only patriots should be allowed in the classroom.