politics

Hong Kong history exam on Japan questions sparks China rebuke

18 Comments
By Anthony WALLACE

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I understand the principle of keeping patriotism, but at the same time I think that students have the right to have freedom regarding school things.

Now, looks like Beijing is afraid that Hong Kong become a country like Taiwan is. In other words, a country that sympathize more with Japan than China herself.

Even Chinese from other areas are getting tired of tyranny from Chinese Communist Party and the tendency is more people follow the path that Taiwan and Hong do.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I will get my popcorn for this one...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

China, a country that gets upset at merely asking a question.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There’s only one way and that is the CCP way...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I can't think of any other East Asian country which asks critical-thinking questions in school student exams like they do in HK. Maybe it goes back to the days when the UK had a big influence in the educational and judicial systems. These questions, which have come up in history exams and caused a similar ruckus, are to get older children and young adults to learn to think for themselves. The last thing I'd like to see is for them to sink down to the levels of mainland China and Japan, where you are not supposed to give your own opinions, especially on political and historical matters.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Beijing is hyper-sensitive on this.... just asking a question is not allowed.

Japan's colonial occupation of parts of China between 1900-1945 was brutal and led to millions of deaths.

This view is misleading and controversial if the 1900-45 rule refers to Taiwan and Manzhou (Northeastern regions near the Korean Peninsula). The latter was not even a direct rule from Tokyo. Both are not historically parts of Han China ... well, of course, debates and opposition are very welcome. Beijing must immediately shut down such an attempt....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

hurting the feelings and dignity of the Chinese people

Which Chinese ‘people’ is that?

More than one if the Beijing lot would actually listen to themselves, Norishige lot that they are.

Exam question wording not withstanding, letting candidates write may turn up a few surprises for critics and supporters both.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's not critical thinking if you're not allowed to question ideas.

Wouldn't really qualify as "higher learning", would it?

Hong Kong should stay on course and not let China dumbitize them.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan's colonial occupation of parts of China between 1900-1945 was brutal and led to millions of deaths.

And perhaps worse, the irony is that the CCP owes its success in taking over China to the Japanese occupation - as Mao Zedong himself said.

I am still of the hope that these oppressive empires will collapse in the coming decades.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I really am unable to see the displeasure here. Really, the question was structured so students pretty much have to answer in the Negative, that is "I don't agree Japan did more good than harm to China between 1900-45", which is exactly how the CCP would like it answered.

The so called "positive sources" was about some education and financial support. That's nice, but would anyone want to write an essay to say these are worth more than 8 years of war? If anything, the positive sources were given so that they would have something to write in for the other side, nothing more.

There are any number of questions that have a much greater chance of going south for the CCP:

The same question, but 1900-1936 (thus avoiding both wars).

Given the situation in 1936, is the CCP decision to encourage immediate war against the Japanese a correct one?

Were Japan's intentions good (that is separate from the above question, which emphasizes the result).

You can answer in an "anti-CCP" direction for these 3 questions, and still have to conclude "I don't agree Japan did more good than harm to China between 1900-45".

Really, this question is a gift to the CCP. They are just groaning for the sake of groaning.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There’s only one way and that is the CCP way...

There is no spoon...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

As any serious student of history knows, such questions always formulate the basis of academic discussion through dissection, analysis, fact application and then refutation or agreement.

Similarly I recall exam essay questions in my History study days such as -

" Slavery in the US allowed the country to rise to it's position of world leader"

"Suharto's coup over Sukarno in Indonesia in the 1960s saved Australia from being run over by communists"

That is what real dialectical history study is about and obviously the CCP doesn't know or like it.

Actually, similarly such questions could not be posed in Japan's entrance exams as for one - the right wing reverbs would be quake-worthy and secondly - essay discussion and opinion writing are not a feature of the public exam system here at all - unfortunately.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I would imagine the question began with the word, “Discuss..”. That would be the point at which the foreign ministry got upset.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Actually, similarly such questions could not be posed in Japan's entrance exams as for one - the right wing reverbs would be quake-worthy

The Japanese education system does not equip high school students with the mental faculties to answer the hypothesis-led questions.

This question looks like it needs a thousand plus words response - a high schooler is going to struggle with that, even before politics got involved.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The last thing on earth the CCP or any repressive or one party regime wants is to encourage critical thinking and the habit of analysis and open discussion. That way lies dreadful evils like intellectual freedom, freedom of thought, and the ultimate social disease, democracy!

The CCP will stamp on anything, no matter how ludicrous it may make them seem that even vaguely varies from the received doctrine handed down from on high.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It obviously did more bad than good because it allowed the CCP to take over China and become a royal pain fin the tush for the entire world.

Seriously, Hong Kong must resist CCP brainwashing. Answers to questions shouldcome from free critical thinking anmd debate, not a forced nationalist propaganda line.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The CCP claiming to speak for all Chinese is funny.

Thinking is for everyone. Asking questions is how humans think. We play "what if" all the time. Asking questions in small groups is how better ideas and solutions are uncovered. It is called teamwork. Politics is supposed to use teamwork. Successful companies use teamwork.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

browny1 Actually, similarly such questions could not be posed in Japan's entrance exams as for one - the right wing reverbs would be quake-worthy and secondly - essay discussion and opinion writing are not a feature of the public exam system here at all - unfortunately.

When I saw the headline, I thought this was a Japanese University history exam question, and I rejoiced that a university would ask such a question. Too bad it wasn't so. This is an excellent question for Hong Kong, Chinese or Japanese students, especially exchange students studying in one of the other political units.

A similar exam problem could be: Discuss the US occupation of Okinawa until 1972. Include both pros and cons. In you opinion, did US occupation of Okinawa end with the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972? Why or why not.

Questions like this years after an event ends stimulate creative thinking and test both students' knowledge of events and their ability to reason and draw conclusions.

I could see Chinese leaders piqued at a Japanese university history exam asking such a question even more than a Hong Kong university history exam having such a question. Perhaps a similar question would be, did the GOJ protest the inclusion of the question in the HK university exam? Why or why not?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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