Youth summit fosters exchanges between student leaders in Greater China region
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I was fortunate to be one of the participating student leaders at the Cross Strait Youth Summit, a 15-day exchange programme in July which was organised by the Students’ Union of City University of Hong Kong (CityU) in collaboration with the students’ unions at National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Normal University, National Taipei University and Taipei Municipal University of Education.The Summit and the various activities in Hong Kong and Taiwan provided us with an opportunity to enhance mutual understanding and exchange ideas. We were able to develop a deeper understanding of the history, politics, economics and education development of mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. In addition, we shared our experiences working for a students’ union and exchanged views on the autonomy of student organisations and student campaigns.
The participants were primarily presidents and vice presidents of students’ unions from universities in mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. The opening ceremony on 3 July was attended by The Hon Leung Chun-ying, Council Chairman of CityU, and Professor Paul Lam Kwan-sing, Vice-President (Student Affairs) of CityU.
Other speakers included Alfred Chan Tin-yau, President of CityU Students’ Union; Fu Wei-che, President of National Taiwan University Student Association; Chan Chi-seng, Chairman of the University of Macau Students’ Union; and Chen Mengxuan, Vice President of the Students’ Union of Huazhong University of Science and Technology.
I attended in my capacity as Chairman of the Cross Straits Youth Summit and Academic Secretary of the Students’ Union of CityU.
The first half of the Summit took place in Hong Kong. We visited the Information Services Department of HKSAR, InvestHK, Independent Commission Against Corruption, Lake Egret Nature Park and Lohas Organic Farm. We held in-depth discussions on issues concerning the environment and sustainable development, students’ autonomy, politics, anti-corruption measures, economics, commodity prices, the disparity between the rich and the poor, youth problems, and the pros and cons of scientific development.
The second half of the Summit took place in Taiwan. We visited Kaoshiung, Green Island and Yilan before returning to Taipei. During the tour, we attended 10 talks and seminars, capturing the attention of the local media.
Endy Wong Kin, Secretary-General of the Cross-Straits Youth Summit, said he was pleased with the outcome of the event.
“My initial idea was just to take part in the organising committee. I never thought we could actually pull off a successful event on this scale, bringing so many outstanding student leaders to CityU,” he said.
We all agreed to have more exchange activities and visits in the future to foster mutual understanding and to learn from each other.
For me, I was really pleased with the entire experience. We coordinated the entire event, raised the required funds and prepared all the materials. I feel very proud when I recall how the organising committee completed its tasks in such good humour, with such passion and such dedication.
I am proud of being a member of CityU. I hope the Summit is just the beginning and we will continue to promote exchanges and enhance unity among students in the Greater China region.