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This week in politics: Steamrollering national security education......


This is translated from CitizenNews' weekly digest tracking Hong Kong's political news over the past week: Steamrollering national security education, forced importation of non-locally trained doctors; Forcing Hong Kong youth to leave and abandoning professional elites(一周政情:強推國安教育 硬輸海外醫生 逼走香港青年 放棄專業精英

This week, the two most prominent pieces of news are that the government announced the reform of Liberal Studies and the introduction of national education. At the same time, it announced the framework of national security education, making it mandatory for all schools in Hong Kong to continuously indoctrinate officially designated national security concepts starting from primary school. The framework also requires schools to ban non-official political publicity and slogans. The other is a legislative proposal by the government to bypass the authority of the Medical Council to authorize the Secretary for Food and Health to draw up a list of medical schools outside of Hong Kong, allowing Hong Kong residents who have graduated from the listed institutions to return to Hong Kong to practice without examination after obtaining a medical license or specialist qualification overseas. These two pieces of news signify that the SAR government's policy is no longer aimed at stabilising people's hearts and retaining talent, but at speeding up the demographic change to achieve full control.

Since the signing of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984, the Hong Kong government has considered ways to reduce the outflow of local talent and encourage overseas talent to return to Hong Kong when formulating policies. The main challenge facing Hong Kong during the transition period was the large number of elites emigrating overseas, causing a management gap and talent shortage in all sectors of Hong Kong. The social movement in 2019 and the national security law in 2020 have changed the main theme of this policy of retaining talent to only retaining those who are obedient and politically loyal.

Did the SAR government know that the high profile implementation of brainwashing patriotic education and the inculcation of Beijing-designated national security concepts from the primary school level would scare teachers, parents and students? Of course the decision makers know, but in order to show Beijing leaders that the SAR is reforming its mind and instilling patriotism in people, the opinions of teachers, parents and students become irrelevant. If teachers do not like it, they can resign and the government will immediately train a new group of teachers and replace them in all schools to promote patriotic education. If parents do not like it, they can arrange for their children to study in international schools or abroad; if they can't afford it, they just have to accept reality. If students do not like it, they can be passive learners, but they cannot openly oppose it, otherwise they will be punished by the school, and in serious cases, they will be reported to the police.

We can say that the government has taken into account the public's repercussions by using such a tough approach to implement national security education, and more middle-class families will be determined to emigrate or send their children overseas as soon as possible. Beijing can mobilize a large number of mainland talent, including the elite "returnees" who have received higher education overseas, to fill the vacancies here and ensure smooth operation of all sectors of society. Without such guarantee, HKSAR government will not take the risk and offend professionals in education, medical, legal and IT sectors.

In the past few months, many measures were introduced like a storm - steamrollering the national security law without consultation and bypassing local legislation irritated the local legal sector. Invoking the national security law to block websites and information on the Internet scared the information technology sector. Insisting brainwashing national education in the name of national security offended the education sector. In spite of the strong opposition from the medical sector, the medical sector's fundamental interests were touched by permitting non-locally trained doctors to practice in Hong Kong without examination during the peak period of the epidemic. Is there really an objective and pressing social need for these measures to be introduced so intensively? Or is it because the authorities already have a holistic population plan and are determined to carry out social transformation projects, so they are reckless?

These professional sectors have long been supporters of the pan-democrats. They are non-establishment camp vote banks in the Legislative Council functional constituency and the Chief Executive Election Committee. They have actively participated in the anti-ELAB movement. The whole idea has obviously changed, that is, to divide and conquer, then find people with political loyalty to fill the vacancies. From the perspective of this new political strategy, we can understand why the SAR government has adopted a series of new policies targeting various professional sectors, and why it has adopted a fierce attitude without any room for negotiation, which was unthinkable in the past.

From this perspective, the SAR Government has taken advantage of this extraordinary period when the pan-democratic Members have left LegCo, which has become a monopoly of the pro-Beijing camp to quickly legislate for the admission of non-locally trained doctors. This ignores the strong opposition from the local medical sector, which obviously means to turn against the local medical sector and bring in non-locally trained doctors. This, on the surface, aims to break the monopoly of the local medical profession and change the culture of doctor protecting each others' interest, but in reality it paves the way for the introduction of mainland doctors, abolishes the gate-keeping power of the Medical Council, and gradually transforms Hong Kong's medical profession into a part of the patriotic system by importing politically reliable doctors.

However, since Hongkongers have doubts about the professional standards of mainland graduates, and in order to avoid too much opposition from the public at the beginning of the scheme, which would stimulate doctors to strike, the government proposes to limit the applicants to Hong Kong residents only, and to limit the number of approved overseas medical schools to about 100, all of which are internationally ranked universities. These two conditions (children of Hongkongers and well-known universities) are to make the scheme more palatable. Yet the key is the power to authorise doctors' practice in Hong Kong was transferred from the Medical Council to the new framework, which will be led by politically appointed Secretary for Food and Health. Once this gap is opened, in the future, as long as the list of approved medical schools is expanded, or the qualifications of Hong Kong residents become flexible, i.e. those newly issued with One-way Permits to settle in Hong Kong from the Mainland are also counted as Hong Kong residents, the plan to divide and control the medical profession in Hong Kong can be achieved by "diluting" Hong Kong doctors with doctors from outside of Hong Kong.


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