July 29 marks the first anniversary of Hong Kong's protests against the implementation of national education classes in schools. The program is a curriculum planned by the Hong Kong education bureau to instill a sense of national history and values into Hong Kong citizens.
Some media in Hong Kong accused kindergartens of "brainwashing" kids by teaching them songs themed on loving the national flag. These opposition voices aim to intensify conflicts over the national education program and they don't deserve attention from either the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or the central government.
Instead, the two governments should insist on implementing this education program, and ensure its implementation is in line with Hong Kong's situation.
Many countries have national education programs. Hong Kong, after its return to China, must accept the national education program.
Opponents who are against the program's implementation are represented by a small group in Hong Kong. They are unlikely to gain the upper hand in influencing public opinion. They are very active in shaping public opinion, but whether they should receive a response depends on the effects their actions might have.
Given Hong Kong's political system, it's natural to have opposition voices. There's no need for the central government to take them all seriously. But most importantly, Beijing should maintain a clear and decisive attitude toward supporting Hong Kong's national education program.
The central government needs to avoid interference in Hong Kong's internal political fights. But some opposition groups are trying to broaden their target to the Basic Law and the central government. In these cases, Beijing should respond clearly and display its authority if they take provocative actions.
As a special administrative region, Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy and the independent operation of political system is protected by law. But Hong Kong residents should understand that the autonomy and independent operation can only be carried out within the framework of "one country."
Some opponents hope to turn Hong Kong politics into "national politics," thus they misinterpret the Basic Law and try to mislead Hong Kong people.
If Hong Kong cannot accept songs like "I love the national flag" or the implementation of the national education program is criticized as "brainwashing," then the Basic Law will risk being altered. This should never be allowed to happen.
The mainland has quickly adapted to Hong Kong's political diversity. Those opponents are incapable of "threatening" the central government.
The mainland views their protests as a normal part of the Hong Kong society and has adequate means available to prevent them from developing into destructive forces.