Facing a ‘national identity crisis’: one in three Hong Kong students don’t consider themselves Chinese citizens, study finds

Facing a ‘national identity crisis’: one in three Hong Kong students don’t consider themselves Chinese citizens, study finds

One in three Form Five students face a “national identity crisis” as they do not consider themselves Chinese citizens, according to a survey.

The study, conducted by think tank Hong Kong Policy Research Institute, asked some 2,000 Secondary Five students from 20 schools across Hong Kong two sets of seven questions, They were asked to agree or disagree with statements such as “I am willing to contribute to Hong Kong” and “I have the responsibility to create a better future for the People’s Republic of China”.

Those who agreed with five or more statements were considered as identifying themselves as either a Hongkonger or a Chinese citizen. Some 86 per cent of those polled identified themselves as Hongkongers, while 57 per cent considered themselves Chinese.


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Of those who identified themselves as Hongkongers, 64 per cent also identified themselves as Chinese citizens. Some 30 per cent however did not identify themselves as Chinese citizens – a trend researchers called a “national identity crisis”. “It’s a crisis because it endangers the very foundation of the ‘one country two systems’ principle,” the think tank’s director Andrew Fung Ho-keung said.

Researchers said the only way to target this lack of a national identity was by incorporating national education into the city’s formal school curriculum.

But H. Y. Fung, a liberal studies tutor at Modern Education, told Young Post: “Senior students would only study national education hard if it were included in the DSE exam. However, some content, such as the meaning of the national anthem, history and Chinese nationalism, could be taught in junior forms to boost their sense of belonging – although it’s still their decision to identify themselves as Chinese citizens.”

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