HONG KONG—After months of protests, an embarrassing rebuke at the ballot box, a pair of new laws in the United States targeting Hong Kong, and a worsening economic outlook, the territory’s leader, Carrie Lam, promised to do some soul-searching. It seemed an appropriate response: Her city looked to have changed, gripped by a suddenly politically engaged populace determined to face down the authorities.
And in recent days, it appears Lam has indeed emerged with a solution for how to quell unrest here: Faced with demands for greater freedoms, an end to police brutality, and full universal suffrage, she has determined that what Hong Kong’s people really need is more Chinese-style patriotic education instead.
In remarks that illustrated the vast disconnect that remains between Hong Kong’s people and its leaders, Lam said that efforts needed to be made to “enhance education” among students of Hong Kong’s governance and to “enhance a sense of identity,” particularly among young generations and civil servants.
Protests, meanwhile, continue, with hundreds of thousands turning out today to make their way through downtown Hong Kong. Marchers, at times packed so densely that the walk slowed to a shuffle, took the same route they had almost exactly six months earlier, when, on June 9, some 1 million people showed up to demand the withdrawal of proposed legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. (Lam finally withdrew the bill in September, but by then anger at her and the government had spiraled.)