Speech by CS at launch ceremony of "CFSS·Innovation·STREAM" in celebration of 20th anniversary of establishment of HKSAR (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, at launch ceremony of "CFSS · Innovation · STREAM" in celebration of 20th anniversary of establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today (January 9):

Professor Young (Chairperson of the School Management Committee of Chinese Foundation Secondary School, Professor Rosie Young), Dr Wu (Supervisor of Chinese Foundation Secondary School, Dr Annie Wu), Principal Au (Principal of Chinese Foundation Secondary School, Mr Au Kwong-wing), teachers and students,

     It is my pleasure to join you today at this kick-off ceremony to launch the celebration activities organised by the Chinese Foundation Secondary School for the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In fact, Rosie should not feel unexpected of my acceptance of the invitation to join you today, for another reason. Because of my close friendship and admiration for Professor Rosie Young and my respect for Dr Annie Wu, I have made it a point that whatever invitations coming from these two distinguished ladies, I will not decline. So you have my word.

     It is actually very delightful to come back to this school. As Professor Young has mentioned, I was first in the school about 10 years ago and I also joined the school in celebrating its 10th anniversary. On that last visit to the school, I was very impressed by all the things that this school has been offering to students in terms of its curriculum, in terms of its extensive outreach programmes and exchange activities between Hong Kong and the Mainland and other parts of the world, and also very impressed by the language skills of students. On that occasion, students displayed "兩文三語" - beautiful English and beautiful Putonghua, so a great credit should go to the Principal and also all the teachers in this school.

     20th anniversary is a very memorable occasion for Hong Kong. This is a time for use to review the progress and achievements made over the last 20 years under "One Country, Two Systems". It is also an occasion for us to envision, to have our dream and to think about the future. Even for individuals, all the Form Six students in the audience. Very soon it will be marking the end of your adolescence. I think by now none of you are 20 years of age, right? I doubt any of you have reached the age of 19, 17 or even 18, so you have a bit of time to enjoy adolescence. And by definition, an adolescent could be a bit wild in thinking and irresponsible in behaviour, but once you reach adulthood and go into university and go into work, I hope that you will remember what this school has taught you about civic responsibility and the respect and love for the nation.

     So, as we mark the beginning of 2017 and the 20th anniversary, we want really to share the joy of reaching this milestone with the whole community, so the Hong Kong SAR Government is joining hands with different sectors to organise a wide variety of celebration activities under the theme of "Together · Progress · Opportunity". In Chinese, "同心創前路.掌握新機遇". These activities include large-scale sports and cultural events, major exhibitions, international conferences, as well as community and district events to be held in Hong Kong. We will also showcase Hong Kong's talents in design, art and culture overseas and in the Mainland.

     Youth is a major focus in our 20th anniversary celebrations, whether in terms of events, activities or projects. Indeed, over the last two weeks, I have signed on behalf of the Hong Kong SAR Government two very important Memorandums of Understanding to take forward two projects. One is of course the building of the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District and the other is to jointly develop another innovation and technology park in an area called the Lok Ma Chau Loop together with Shenzhen. These two projects were conceived and developed very much with young people in mind, because we want to give our young people diversified opportunities - that is, not all of you need to go into banking, financial services, etc. You have a future in innovation and technology, as well as cultural and creative industries.

     But coming back to the 20th anniversary, there are many more ways for you, as students, to take part in the celebration. You can, for example, produce a video of your own and send it to our video competition themed on "Togetherness". The competition will run until the 24th of February, so you have enough time to put your creativity or innovation into gear.

     We have recruited 100 youth ambassadors - and maybe if you are enthusiastic we could recruit a bit more youth ambassadors - under the 20th Anniversary Youth Ambassadors Programme organised by the Home Affairs Bureau and the Commission on Youth. These young ambassadors will assist us in various international conferences and activities to be held in Hong Kong to promote Hong Kong's hospitality, and help receive young visitors from overseas during their stay here. They will also participate in international exchange programmes.

     To help youngsters develop their potential and interest in nature and heritage conservation, we are organising two internship programmes for those aged between 18 and 29. These two programmes of course are additional to the many internship and student exchange programmes that we have been running for many years. These two particular internship programmes will give young interns the rare opportunity to learn the intricacies of conserving giant pandas at Wolong in Sichuan Province, and conserving artefacts at the Palace Museum in Beijing. Details of the programmes, including recruitment of interns, will be announced in the first quarter of 2017, but I have to forewarn that we are offering only limited opportunities, so the competition is going to be very fierce to get into these two internship programmes.

     In addition to the events offered by the Government, district and community organisations will also host an array of activities to invite more people to join the celebration. District Councils, for example, are organising district-based events. I am very pleased to learn from your Supervisor, Dr Annie Wu, that your school will also be sponsoring a series of celebrations. I look forward to hearing more from the school about the activities at today's ceremony.

     The Hong Kong SAR 20th anniversary is not only an occasion for joyful celebration, but also an opportunity for us, our young people in particular, to learn and explore and appreciate the uniqueness of Hong Kong. With the staunch support of the country and concerted efforts of all sectors of the community, "One Country, Two Systems" has been successfully implemented in Hong Kong since 1997. I do hope that through the diverse anniversary activities, all people, especially our young people, can better appreciate the historical background leading to Hong Kong's present status as a unique Special Administrative Region in China, and how the city has continued to thrive despite various challenges over the last 20 years. I am sure it will help renew and reinforce our collective efforts to overcome the challenges ahead, reach new heights, and contribute to our nation and our city in the years to come. And this is very much the theme of this school's celebrations, and that is to serve the country and to serve the people of Hong Kong

     So, on this auspicious occasion, may I wish you all good health and happiness.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Monday, January 9, 2017
Issued at HKT 17:13