Hong Kong to teach children about subversion

This might seem like any other kids cartoon - but it's actually part of Hong Kong's controversial new guidelines for schools which teach children as young as six about national security, including subversion and collusion with foreign forces.

The educational video released by the Chinese government shows an owl wearing glasses and a graduation hat, explaining Hong Kong's institutional architecture, its duties to Beijing and the national security law imposed in June 2020 after the anti-government protests back in 2019.

Children in primary schools will also learn how to sing and respect China's national anthem, and gain an understanding of the four main offenses in the security law, including terrorism and secessionism.

Some residents, like university student Jenny Lai, have their concerns.

"I am a little worried about the independent thinking abilities of primary school students in the future. As I learned, the National Security Law content in the textbook is complicated, so I am worried, but there is nothing I can do.''

Others, like Ms. Feng, feel that patriotism is important as part of childhood study.

"It's a good start, no matter who you are and where you are from, you have to love your country.''

Beijing has put semi-autonomous Hong Kong on a firmer authoritarian path in recent months.

And the Education Bureau's guidelines show Beijing's plans for the region to go beyond quashing dissent.

Its aim is seemingly for a societal overhaul.

After the 2019 protests in which many of the demonstrators were teenagers, Chinese leaders have turned to re-education in a bid to tame the city's youth and make them loyal citizens.