Time to re-ignite hope among Hong Kong's youth

August 15, 2019 17:50
People watch the dots of laser pointers move across the facade of the Space Museum in Hong Kong during a flashmob protest action on Aug. 7. Social inequities and insufficient economic opportunities are a major worry for many young people. Photo: Reuters

The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area plan has been described as an initiative that would offer enormous career and business opportunities for the people of Hong Kong, but the truth is that the opportunities are largely out of reach for the average, and sometimes even the very bright, young people in our city.

Rather than individuals, most of the opportunities in the Greater Bay Area are firmly in the hands of big consortiums, large institutions and a handful of elites.

Besides, to a certain extent, young people in the mainland have much more competitive edge than their counterparts in Hong Kong. As a result, it has become very difficult for the grass-roots youth in our city to actually benefit from the opportunities presented by the Greater Bay Area.

And such a difficulty often applies to even the youth who are highly educated.

Given the situation, the key to the Greater Bay Area project is to make sure that resources are reasonably allocated to young individuals through the use of state power and policy initiatives by cities within the region, so as to re-ignite hope for the future among our young people.

Over the past 22 years, the implementation of “one country, two systems” in our city has been largely successful, thanks to the support of the nation.

However, as it turns out, the magnitude of the crisis facing Hong Kong’s capitalist system has exceeded far beyond the city’s ability to resolve the deep-seated conflicts.

As far as Beijing and Hong Kong are concerned, what has happened over the past two months in Hong Kong is a stunning wake-up call which has fully exposed the deep-rooted problems in society which have remained rotten for years.

In this time of crisis, what Hong Kong needs most is a deep and thorough therapy through the efforts of the state and many learned people.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Aug 10

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Chen Xiaofeng, Doctor of Juridical Science