Every Hong Kong citizen has a duty to defend the national sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said on Sunday, adding that a stable and secure China will be in Hong Kong’s own interests.
Addressing a military camp for tertiary students, Leung stressed that the fate of a country and its people are tied together, and that people can prosper only when the nation grows stronger.
In a speech delivered in Putonghua, Leung also reminded the youth that they should abide by the law, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
He made the remarks at the closing ceremony for a 13-day military camp organized for some local university students.
The camp, the sixth such initiative, was organized jointly by the Hong Kong government, People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison and the Liaison Office of the central government.
About 80 students took part in the latest camp, which was aimed at helping the youth get a taste of Chinese army life and also undergo some fitness training.
The Hong Kong Academy of School Managers (HKASM), meanwhile, said in a statement that it is opposed to education professionals spreading the thoughts of Hong Kong independence at schools.
Describing such actions as extreme violation of laws, the academy called on all school managers and administrative staff to closely monitor and take necessary actions against offenders.
Bernard Chan, a member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council, is the honorary chairman of HKASM.
Eastern District Councilor and Democratic Party member Andrew Chiu Ka-yin, who is director of a subsidized primary school, said the statement from HKASM did not represent the views of all of the school managers in Hong Kong.
The statement represents a pressure tactic and runs contrary to the principle of freedom of speech, Chu said.
The Education Bureau (EDB) said on Sunday that the Incorporated Management Committee (IMC) of a school should keep an eye on teachers advocating Hong Kong independence, Apple Daily reported.
The teachers in question could lose their teaching qualifications if they are found to have engaged in improper and unprofessional behavior, the bureau warned.
James Hon Lin-shan, former chairman of the Council on Professional Conduct in Education, said he is worried that teachers might conduct self-censorship under the enormous pressure from EDB.
Hon is critical of EDB’s measures, saying that they are no different from the previous attempts by the government to roll out national education courses at schools.
Attempts to tighten freedom of speech and discussion on campuses must be resisted, he said.
Citing Chapter 279 of the Education Ordinance, the EDB said the IMC is required to spell out its expectations on work ethics and performance to the teaching staff, and that it must clearly formulate mechanisms and procedures to act on staff that fail to meet those expectations.
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