History as a school subject in Hong Kong is often assumed to have been a vehicle for 'colonialist' indoctrination under the British, and for 'nationalist' indoctrination under the post-retrocession Chinese regime. This chapter challenges such assumptions by examining the ways in which history syllabuses have (or have not) dealt with topics relating to Hong Kong's own history. What emerges is a far more complex picture of the politics of history education in Hong Kong, where curriculum developers have since the late 1980s sought for the first time to promote the teaching of Hong Kong's history from a truly local perspective. However, in doing so they have come under pressure to ensure that syllabuses conform to the 'orthodox' interpretation of Hong Kong's identity and status sanctioned by Beijing. It is argued here that their lack of autonomy in developing a local history component for the school curriculum is an all-but-inevitable consequence of the overall weakness of Hong Kong's political autonomy.
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