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Hong Kong students boycott class to protest China "propaganda"

Published on Sep 11, 2012 6:45 PM
Students shout during a class boycott over national education in the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong on Sept 11, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - More than 1,000 Hong Kong university students boycotted class on Tuesday, demanding the withdrawal of a patriotic Chinese curriculum they say amounts to Communist Party brainwashing.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is a freewheeling capitalist hub which enjoys a high degree of autonomy and freedom, but Beijing's Communist leaders have resisted public pressure for full democracy.

The protest came just three days after Beijing-backed leader Leung Chun-ying backed down on a plan to make the curriculum compulsory after tens of thousands of people took to the streets claiming it amounted to mainland propaganda that glosses over the darker aspects of Chinese rule.

The curriculum will be voluntary, not compulsory, but that was not enough for the striking students.

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