While Hong Kong tries to put weeks of protests and violence behind it, up the coast in Shanghai, a friendly exchange is bringing young people closer together.
About 500 students and teachers from 17 Hong Kong high schools have visited Shanghai from July 5 to 10. The exchange program aims to deepen understanding and friendship between young people of the two cities.
The highlight of the exchange program was a ceremony to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on July 9.
About 1,000 students from Shanghai and Hong Kong joined the event.
Andrew Yao, an NPC deputy and the program organizer, said, “When we see you, we see the future of our country. The program aims to show the development of Shanghai and the nation. I think we achieved the goal. There are two elements of this exchange program, to experience the real Shanghai and to make friends.”
The students visited local Shanghai schools and communities and experienced various aspects of the city, including cultural activities, technical innovations, manufacturing, city planning and so on.
Sun Yuen Ki, a Hong Kong high school student, said, “We saw a 3D model of Jiaotong University when we visited its campus. When we put on the 3D glasses, every detail was so real and I was really impressed.”
Another Hong Kong student, Li Sin Yi said, “I definitely have more understanding after this visit. It is a very good experience. Many of us haven’t been to Shanghai before, and we have seen many neat city developments.”
Many said such events deepen their understanding and inspire them to learn from each other and explore more about one another.
Xu Yuan, a high school student from Shanghai, said, “We talked a lot about the similarities and differences of our study and lives, and we found a lot in common in our interests and hobbies.”
Andi Wong, a Hong Kong student, believed there will be many opportunities for them in Shanghai.
As economic ties between Shanghai and Hong Kong have grown closer in recent years, exchanges among young people are getting more frequent.
Paul Mak, the vice president of the Shanghai and Hong Kong Economic Development Association, said, “We have done a lot of work to encourage young people in Hong Kong to go to college, do their internships or find jobs here.”
Representatives from sports, engineering and business in Shanghai and Hong Kong shared their experiences and encouraged students to pursue their dreams in the future.