Even though I can only stay here in Hong Kong, it really is a great pleasure to be able to participate online in the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China. In President Xi Jingping’s speech, he affirmed the Youth League’s countless efforts over the last century in leading and encouraging Chinese people to resist imperialist enemies and defend the country. He also urged young people in China to continue to love the country and the Communist Party of China, to contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, to innovate and improve themselves in this new era, and to always stand at the forefront of both the Party and the people.
President Xi has high expectations of youths and expressed a number of wishes for the Youth League in his speech, where he encouraged the Youth League and young people to carry on their tasks with conscience and to always remain the spearhead force in the endeavor to build a modern socialist state of China. He believes that first of all, youths must study hard to equip themselves, after which they will be capable enough to contribute to the construction of the country. He encouraged youths to take up more responsibilities as they are youthful, energetic and forward-looking. He said, “Youth will shine with responsibilities”. I cannot agree more with these points made by President Xi. We only live once. Rather than staying nameless and unknown to the world, it is much better that we try our best to achieve something. By living our life to the fullest and leaving an enviable mark in life, we will not have any regrets about our life or youthhood.
At the moment, Hong Kong is at the phase of slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. With the number of new infections gradually coming down, society is picking itself up. That said, however, it is hardly a time to relax or celebrate. Our society now faces numerous problems and challenges that have to be handled with urgency. Under such circumstances, Hong Kong’s young people should assume greater responsibilities in making a better Hong Kong.
Young people in general possess the instinct of seeking progress in society. It was this instinct that fueled the anti-imperialist May Fourth Movement in 1919, which promoted nationalism and patriotism; and contributed significantly to the building of New China. Many of China’s political and social leaders of the next five decades emerged at this time, including the early members and leaders of the Communist Party of China.
Like their peers on the Chinese mainland, the young people in Hong Kong should carry forward the spirit of patriotism by striving for the progress and betterment of their country under the leadership of the CPC. They can play a significant role in facilitating national development, particularly in the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
Today’s young people are much luckier than their predecessors. They live in a peaceful environment created by their predecessors with sweat and blood. The only way they can express their respect for and gratitude to their predecessors is to make as much a contribution to national development as they can. During the process, they can hopefully immortalize themselves by making a name for themselves for making great contributions to their motherland.
Hong Kong has suffered greatly from the months-long social unrest of 2019 and the COVID-19 pandemic, but the city’s fortune is turning for the better now. With the motherland’s selfless support, Hong Kong has achieved a victory in its fight against the pandemic. The anti-COVID-19 victory demonstrates that as long as Hong Kong society is united and works together, no hurdle is too difficult to overcome.
Without a doubt, young people are our future and the very foundation of tomorrow’s society. As President Xi put it in his speech, “Youth offers boundless hope for a better and beautiful tomorrow”. Our motherland has just achieved the first centenary objective of creating an all-around moderately wealthy society, and is now working toward the second centenary goal of creating a comprehensive and modern socialist state. Hong Kong, meanwhile, is getting out of the morass of social unrest and pandemic. Here in Hong Kong, every one of us is eager to start on a new adventure that will enable our city to achieve greater success. At this historic juncture, young people have risen to an unprecedented significance. They can play a role that is more influential than they could ever have before. Staying nameless is a waste of youth. Make the best of the morning of your life. Take up more responsibilities and contribute to the efforts of building our country. I earnestly hope that all youths will strive hard to better themselves and to live up to the expectations of President Xi.
The author, a radiologist, is a co-founder of the Hong Kong Coalition and a council member of the Chinese Young Entrepreneurs Association.