Students protest in Hong Kong over compulsory Mandarin
Hong Kong: Hundreds of Hong Kong students protested on Friday as tensions escalate on campuses over compulsory testing of Mandarin -- the dominant language of mainland China.
The first language of Hong Kong is Cantonese and proposals from education chiefs to put more emphasis on learning Mandarin have tapped into fears about the
"mainlandisation" of the semi-autonomous city's culture and identity.
Anger has mounted since two students from Baptist University were suspended this week for confronting and swearing at staff over the requirement to pass an exam in Mandarin before being able to graduate.
Their suspension comes as concern grows that academic freedoms are being squeezed by Beijing, and that freedom of speech as a whole is under threat.
Protesters from a range of universities gathered Friday afternoon in a public square at Baptist to support suspended pair Andrew Chan and Lau Tsz-kei, chanting: "Shame on student suppression!"
"Never mind if we have been suspended, but what if it happens to you all?" an emotional Chan told the crowd, wiping away tears.