As the frontier of exchanges between China and the West, Hong Kong is duty-bound to play the role of a “super-connector” and tell the good stories of China and Hong Kong to the outside world.
As we all know, against the backdrop of international geopolitical tensions and the Western-dominated narrative, external forces and opposition factions deliberately spread rumours from time to time to discredit the country and Hong Kong. In addition, the three-year-long COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected international exchanges and weakened the outside world’s understanding of China and Hong Kong. As the frontier of exchanges between China and the West, Hong Kong is duty-bound to play the role of a “super-connector” and tell the good stories of China and Hong Kong to the outside world.
In its first Policy Address, the new-term HKSAR Government stated to tell the good stories of Hong Kong and set out key performance indicators (KPIs). By the end of 2022, Hong Kong had successfully held international events such as the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, the Hong Kong Sevens, the Hong Kong Legal Week, and the Hong Kong Maritime Week, demonstrating its diverse vitality and real situation to the outside world. In addition, key government officials and political parties frequently went overseas to present Hong Kong’s strengths. As Hong Kong has entered a new stage of normalcy and a new paradigm, the Chief Executive has stated that he will focus on economic development and promote Hong Kong on all fronts. However, compared with telling the good stories of Hong Kong, the Government lacks a specific direction and route for telling the good stories of China.
Fully understand the country’s history, culture and development
To tell the good stories of China well, we must first have a comprehensive understanding of the country’s national culture, history and development in order to gain cultural confidence based on understanding, and then tell the good stories of China to the outside world in a calm and easy manner. I fully appreciate the work of the Education Bureau (EDB) in strengthening education on Chinese history and culture, as well as promoting the Constitution and the Basic Law together with the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) in recent years. Nevertheless, while carrying out the series of "Teaching the History of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression” and following up on the incidents where individual teachers incorrectly taught the Opium Wars and where inappropriate teaching materials disseminated the message of Hong Kong independence, teaching should also keep pace with the times so that teachers and students understand the country’s development blueprint and Hong Kong’s position in it to enhance students’ national pride and sense of ownership. Take the 20th CPC National Congress report as an example. The report stated to “realize the Second Centennial Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects and to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization”. Shouldn’t the EDB appropriately incorporate the concept of Chinese modernization into the curricula and teaching content of Hong Kong’s primary and secondary schools as soon as possible? In addition, students may not be able to easily absorb and understand the essence of the important information conveyed in the 20th CPC National Congress report and national strategic initiatives. Therefore, the EDB should strengthen the training of teachers so that they can act as guides for students to acquire knowledge and forge character.
Be reasonable and fair by letting numbers speak and exerting cultural soft power
Secondly, telling the good stories of China and Hong Kong must be reasonable and fair. It must be well-founded, ie, “let the numbers speak for themselves” to showcase the unique strengths and developments of the country and Hong Kong. For example, when promoting Hong Kong during visits to other countries, the progress and prospects of the national development plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area), the advantages of choosing Hong Kong to enter the Greater Bay Area and the country for development, and the merits of Hong Kong as a “super-connector” in developing and deepening the country’s “Belt and Road” Initiative projects with professional services should be explained with specific goals and development figures. In addition, it is necessary to put efforts on the soft side, i.e., set soft power in motion, with culture as the foundation. The “14th Five-Year” Plan has positioned Hong Kong as a center for arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world. One of Hong Kong’s strengths has always been bringing in Western works, while Hong Kong-produced films have enjoyed glorious times. Going forward, the Government should adopt a new strategic mindset to bring in foreign works while going global to vigorously promote Chinese culture and Cantonese culture, and allocate additional resources to assist in exchanges and producing more shows like No Poverty Land that reflect the reality of China’s development.
Fully and faithfully implement and develop “One Country, Two Systems”
Finally, I would like to point out that, to tell the good stories of the country and Hong Kong, the most fundamental thing is to fully and faithfully implement and develop “One Country, Two Systems”. President Xi Jinping has stated the “four matters of confidence” of socialism with Chinese characteristics, i.e., to be confident in our chosen path, confident in our guiding theories, confident in our political system, and confident in our culture. And “One Country, Two Systems”, as a great innovation of socialism with Chinese characteristics, is an important part of Chinese modernization. In response to the turbulent changes in the situation in Hong Kong, the country enacted the Hong Kong National Security Law and improved the electoral system to implement the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong”, enabling Hong Kong to restore order and resume stability. Going forward, we must strengthen our confidence in our guiding theories and political system, continuing to prove the superiority of “One Country, Two Systems” through Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Since Hong Kong residents are participants and stakeholders in advancing the cause of “One Country, Two Systems” and telling the good stories of the country and Hong Kong, the HKSAR Government must unite all walks of life to work hand in hand in writing a new chapter of “One Country, Two Systems”.
This is a free translation. For the exact meaning of the article, please refer to the Chinese version.
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