July 17, 2021

Paul Thomas: Republicans Adopt China’s Approach to Indoctrinating Students

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Paul Thomas connects the dots between new anti-CRT legislation and attempts by China to get Hong Kong to submit to its Chinese rulers.

The Republican attack on critical race theory (CRT) and the 1619 Project is shockingly similar to China’s mandates controlling how children are taught; from Vivian Wang and Alexandra Stevenson in the New York Times:

The Hong Kong government has issued hundreds of pages of new curriculum guidelines designed to instill “affection for the Chinese people.” Geography classes must affirm China’s control over disputed areas of the South China Sea. Students as young as 6 will learn the offenses under the security law.

Lo Kit Ling, who teaches a high school civics course, is now careful to say only positive things about China in class. While she had always tried to offer multiple perspectives on any topic, she said, she worries that a critical view could be quoted out of context by a student or parent.

Ms. Lo’s subject is especially fraught; the city’s leaders have accused it of poisoning Hong Kong’s youth. The course had encouraged students to analyze China critically, teaching the country’s economic successes alongside topics such as the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Officials have ordered the subject replaced with a truncated version that emphasizes the positive.

“It’s not teaching,” Ms. Lo said. “It’s just like a kind of brainwashing.” She will teach an elective on hospitality studies instead.


While many conservatives and Republicans have tried to frame China as some sort of threat to the American way of life—notably related to the spread of Covid—the truth is that the Republican Party is practicing China’s indoctrination strategies across the country.

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