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Road of HK's cultural return to motherland
Updated: 2004-03-29 15:30

Hong Kong's political return to the motherland could be accomplished in one night, but the return of culture will be a long way, and there are a lot of work need to be done, said a Hong Kong university president.

Chang Hsin-kang, President of City University of Hong Kong, said in an interview with Xinhua last Thursday that the past seven years was just a tiny wave in the river of history, where Hong Kong people are still on the way back in culture.

Chang said that to raise clear and strong national conception is a major task of cultural construction in Hong Kong, and local schools play a vital role on the matter.

"It's imperative for the young people in Hong Kong to know more about our country's history, especially that of the past 150 years, only from which can we realize that the country is now at a key phase to get strong and prosperous."

Chang said Hong Kong people can never make light of the event of Hong Kong's return amidst the country's history. "It's a big step for the country's unification, which is a grand deed of a country peacefully playing more and more important role in the contemporary world."

Over the past years, Chang made every effort to promote communication and exchange between Hong Kong and the mainland in the educational field.

"I'm glad we have done a lot, but we still need to do more," said Chang.

Chang said one of the best way to make young Hongkongers know more about the mainland is to send them there, living and studying for a period of time.

During the past seven years, mainland universities have send some 2,000 students to eight Hong Kong universities to finish their four-year learning on scholarships. Starting this year, mainland students are allowed to study in Hong Kong's universities on their own expenses.

Chang said that it's a big push on the educational exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland. "I hope and we are making efforts that more Hong Kong students can also find it attractive to study in the mainland. I think they will get some knowledge they can never learn in Hong Kong, and learn more about the country."

In the 2003 celebration marking the 18th congregation of the City University of Hong Kong, Chang said when giving speech that in the past years, China has pursued reforms and opening-up, and it is playing an increasing role in the world affairs.

"We should be confident and feel proud of being Chinese today," he told the graduates.

He offered in the session the graduates a quote of late US President John F Kennedy: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

"I just want to let my students know that, the bright future for Hong Kong and China lies in every effort we make for the interests of Hong Kong and the motherland," Chang said.

Chang said that Hong Kong's young people, compared with their mainland compeers, still need more cultivation on national conception.

"Hong Kong people, who got the experience of about 150-year colony, need quite a long period to reroot passion for the motherland in their blood and realize from the heart that all of them are part of the Chinese nation," Chang noted.

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