She said youngsters had been misled – and their values must be rectified.
Speaking at a forum, the CE said the SAR had lacked patriotic education, both before and after the handover.
She said in the past national education had been stigmatised by certain groups of people with ulterior motives and in the media, adding that this had undermined students’ sense of national identity and led to serious consequences.
She said loving one’s country was entirely justified while betraying it was a serious crime.
She urged those in the education sector to attach importance to promoting patriotic education.
Speaking at the same forum, the Deputy Director of Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Tan Tie-niu, said it was strange that some young people in Hong Kong opposed their own country and slandered their own race.
He said some confused youngsters had lost themselves on the streets during the anti-government protests in 2019, but the central government had taken measures to help Hong Kong stop the violent riots.
He said the SAR government should take the lead and establish a system to promote patriotic education, while schools should make sure patriotism penetrates the whole education process.
He said students educated in Hong Kong must not become people who only have a Chinese face but don’t have a Chinese heart.