Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, admires a photo during an exhibition at the Hong Kong Central Library on Friday. The event features photos showing China’s development over the past century. [Photo by Edmond Tang/China Daily]
Central government officials on Friday called on Hong Kong society to improve the education standards of modern Chinese history and foster stronger national identity to ensure the city moves forward on the right track.
They made the remarks at the opening ceremony of an exhibition in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region featuring photo collections of China’s development over the past century. The exhibition also highlights Hong Kong’s growing ties with the motherland.
A total of 226 photos were selected from 10 million from the Xinhua News Agency with themes covering China’s drastic changes in economy, education, environment, culture and social life. The exhibition is open to the public from Saturday to Oct 17 at the Hong Kong Central Library before the photos will be toured about the broader community, including on university campuses.
An entire chapter of 78 photos is about Hong Kong, from the workers’ strike against foreign capitalist exploitation in 1922 to this year’s grand celebrations of the SAR’s 24th anniversary of the return to the motherland in July.
In a video address, Deng Zhonghua, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, said he hoped the exhibition will be an opportunity for local authorities to beef up education on Chinese history.
Deng emphasized the promotion of China’s modern and contemporary history that included the leadership of the Communist Party of China, reform and opening-up, and the practice of “one country, two systems”.
Hong Kong people will cultivate deep feelings toward their motherland and “draw strength” from history. The correct view of history will lead to a consensus in the community and guide society on the right path of implementing “one country, two systems”, he added.
Lu Xinning, deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR, said the young generation in Hong Kong is in urgent need of Chinese history education, which will help them distinguish between right and wrong and avoid “going astray”.
When Hong Kong people develop a solid sense of national identity, the city will be better protected from destructive forces, Lu said.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor agreed with the need for such public education, saying that the exhibition will help Hong Kong people to have a deeper understanding of modern China and promote patriotic education, as a series of local events did in recent months to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC and National Day.
The exhibition is jointly organized by the HKSAR government, the liaison office and Xinhua. An album of the exhibited photos was released in Hong Kong on Friday.
Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference who attended the opening ceremony, said he would recommend young people visit the exhibition. By understanding the history and the progress of the nation, the youngsters can think more about how to contribute to the future development of the country, Fok said.
Principals, such as Kelvin Yau Siuhung of Yan Chai Hospital Wong Wha San Secondary School, and Hui Chung-lung of HKFEW Wong Cho Bau Secondary School, told China Daily that they would soon arrange group visits for their students.
Yau said he was impressed by the graphic story of many soldiers sacrificing themselves in building a highway in western China in the 1950s. He hoped students would understand the country’s intention and determination to serve the people.
Hui expects students will have more confidence in the bright prospects of Hong Kong’s development in tandem with those of the country, with the knowledge that Hong Kong has always been closely linked to the motherland.