Hong Kong

'Bridges to China' founded

By Nicole Wong (HK Edition)
Updated: 2007-04-13 07:05
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The Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridges to China) Charitable Foundation was inaugurated in Hong Kong yesterday, highlighting the bridges of love and care from Hong Kong to the mainland. The occasion marked the SAR's 10th anniversary of reunification with motherland.

Founded by Edward Ng, Professor of Architecture in the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the foundation aims to mobilize university students and professionals for sustainable bridge projects in the rural villages on the mainland.

Following the completion of the first Wu Zhi Qiao in Gansu in 2005, the project will bring together volunteers from Hong Kong as well as university students and villagers from mainland to build another bridge in Dengbo, Sichuan in August.

The enthusiasm of Hong Kong people has been reciprocated by mainland authorities. At yesterday's ceremony, Zhao Hui, Deputy Director-General, Department of Rural Construction, Ministry of Construction (MOC), signed the cooperative agreement with the Foundation's chairman Ng.

It was the first agreement ever signed between MOC and a non-government organization. Zhao noted that it served as a very good beginning of MOC's cooperation with the foundation, as well as further connection between Hong Kong and mainland.

"Wu Zhi Qiao unites Hong Kong people with mainland villagers," Zhao said. "We believe it is making real contributions to education and the government."

Based on the agreement, MOC will build a data bank of sites for bridges, coordinate works between the local governments and the Foundation, as well as evaluate the results and give encouragement to officials and villagers.

"The ministry has been very supportive, for which I am deeply grateful," said Ng. "The MOC will assist us greatly in terms of technicalities and legalities, which is essential for our plans for construction."

With the support of the SAR government and the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong, the foundation has successfully invited the Chief Executive Donald Tsang and Gao Siren, Director of the Liaison Office, to be its honorary patrons.

Officiating guest Michael Suen Ming-yeung, Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, said the foundation's inauguration was a symbol of understanding and friendship between Hong Kong people and their peers on the mainland.

For the upcoming project in Dengbo in August, over 20 student volunteers will join with medical professionals from the Hospital Authority, as well as various engineers, surveyors and architects from the Professional Green Building Council.

(HK Edition 04/13/2007 page6)