Hong Kong’s first museum for Chinese Communist Party under construction

Image copyright AFP Image caption Guests walk through to inspect the space and watch a video from the museum’s front

In New Territories Hong Kong, where three years of civil unrest gripped the world’s most affluent city, the city’s first museum devoted to the Chinese Communist Party is under construction.

M+ stands for the Museum of Chinese Art, and is due to open in 2022.

The museum is strongly critical of China’s one-party regime and is seen as an object of resistance to mainland China’s cultural influence.

A significant portion of the exhibits will deal with the Cultural Revolution, and the history of fighting for Hong Kong’s freedom.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Vandals damaged some installations for the museum in its first public night of opening

Mr Alexander Leung, the man behind the project, said that the museum would bring “aspirations, dreams and struggle into the nation’s building”.

But as the museum is being built, Mr Leung himself finds himself under attack.

In November, five activists became the most senior Hong Kong political leaders to be banned for life from running for office. A month later, one of them attacked Mr Leung in a restaurant.

Mr Leung responded by saying that he would not resign from his post.

At a museum launch dinner on Wednesday night, Liu Yawei, president of the national museum of China, defended Hong Kong’s media freedom.

“Hong Kong’s press is freer than that of any other country in Asia, except Taiwan,” he said.

But the general secretary of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, Alex Chow, said that Mr Leung had “managed to instigate the worst cultural violence” in Hong Kong history.

After the three-year civil unrest, those who fought for democratic reforms were called “roadkill”, said sociologist Jean-Pierre Cabestan, who fears that this openness has been lost.

However, they argue that the museum is proof that Hong Kongers want to engage with China.

“Sixty-one percent of Hong Kong people want to move forward,” said the art school chairman from the M+ board, Chan Ping-tse.

Bauhinia artist and husband of a Communist Party official, Sean Cheung, is among those who have curated projects at the museum.

“It’s very cool to help because it is a new thing,” said Mr Cheung.

“I was born before Hong Kong was under Chinese rule,” he added. “It’s a part of my life.”

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