Fok: Return of Hong Kong happiest moment

By Li Qian (
Updated: 2007-06-18 11:07

As the eldest son of Hong Kong tycoon Huo Yingdong (Henry Fok Ying-tung), Huo Zhenting (Timothy Fok Tsun-ting) has been under the spotlight for his whole life, but the past 10 years has been the most important period of time for him.

Ten years ago, Huo Zhenting entered the political world when he joined the temporary legislature to prepare the legal system for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. He's also responsible for his family's business and is head of the Olympic committee of Hong Kong.

Undated file photo of Huo Yingdong (Henry Fok Ying-tung).

Huo Zhenting told the Guangzhou Daily during an interview that the best news in his life so far has been Hong Kong's return to China, and the saddest thing was the death of his father.

"I love Hong Kong and joined the preparations for the handover actively," he said. "The temporary legislative council wasn't held in the legislative building, because the office was occupied by the opposition, who threatened to come back after the handover."

He recalled the night of Hong Kong's handover ceremony when it was raining heavily and he attended the event with mixed feelings. He was there with his father to witness Prince Charles leave the former British colony.

"That scene was really unforgettable. It represents China restoring its sovereignty over Hong Kong," Huo added. "My father once said: from that moment, I became a real Chinese."

Hong Kong after Handover

Hong Kong is a city with a long history, but Huo says the period since 1997 has seen the fastest and greatest changes for Hong Kong, especially in people's way of thinking.

"Honestly, before the handover, people were not confident about their future. Many companies were left with only half of their employees. Everybody held several passports," Huo explained. "Now 10 years on, Hong Kong has really changed. People are not worried any more, but more actively participate [in social affairs]."

Hong Kong had under gone the Asian financial crisis, SARS epidemic and conquered all these challenges, which showed Hong Kong people's competence and suggested a brighter future of the city, Huo said.

Foreseeing the next decade, Huo believes Hong Kong will face greater challenges in a more globalized society, in which many cities quickly develop.

"I hope Hongkongers have a new mindset - to maintain city's advantage of an international metropolis, while learning more about the development and culture of the mainland," Huo said. He added that he was shocked by the immense changes that took place in Guangzhou in the past 10 years.

Sports Undertakings

Before Huo Yingdong passed away, he handed over the sports sector of his enterprises to Huo Zhenting. Now the eldest son regrets his father would not be able to see the Beijing Olympic Games next year.

The rise of Hong Kong in the sports world in the past decade is the most proud moment to Huo Zhenting. The city will host the equestrian event for the 29th Olympic Games in 2008, and host the 2009 East Asian Games.

Huo, a member of International Olympic Committee and Chairman of Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, sees sports as the most promising industry in Hong Kong.

"Who is the most well-known person in China? It's not officials, but Yao Ming," he said with a smile. "And this is the charm of sports."


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