Pro-Beijing politicians want to promote sense of national identity among Hong Kong people. Photo: RTHK

Hong Kong’s deputies to the national legislature and consultative body will propose measures at the annual gathering beginning on Friday to increase the sense of national identity among locals, People’s Daily (overseas edition) reported.

Proposals include allowing residents in the Asian financial hub to enlist in the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Liberation Army, breaking down the institutional boundary between Hong Kong and China in areas like telecommunications, welfare and television entertainment.

The central government has ruled Hong Kong under a special arrangement known as “one country, two systems” since 1997, with the constitutional document the Basic Law guaranteeing the former British colony that it would keep its capitalist economy and enjoy a “high-degree of autonomy” for 50 years.

Representatives from the pro-Beijing group – the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Improvement of Hong Kong – hoped to discuss proposals during the “two sessions,” the gathering of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

The largest local pro-China political organization said that further integration between Hong Kong and China can destroy the sense of local identity among people, the Communist Party’s mouthpiece reported on Thursday.

Some youngsters still remain biased and had a limited understanding about China, and students should receive national education, said Thomas Pang Cheung-wai, a deputy chairman of the DAB and a deputy to the CPPCC.

The Hong Kong government tabled a proposal to introduce the subject of national education, but the curriculum was shelved after pressure from parent groups, who criticized the pilot teaching materials as presenting China in a favorable light.

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