Show of unity among Chinese youths

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 August, 1999, 12:00am

More than 10,000 Chinese youths from around the world will take part in a dragon dance stretching 3,040 metres at Beijing's Great Wall next February as part of the millennium celebrations.

The Dragon at the Great Wall project is organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and the All-China Youth Federation in the mainland together with the Home Affairs Bureau and the Home Affairs Department in the SAR.

Youths from Hong Kong, China and overseas will take part in the dance. The event will be televised worldwide in a bid to enter the Guinness Book of Records .

Rosanna Wong Yik-ming, chairman of the project committee and the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, said the performance aimed to highlight the unity and solidarity of Chinese youths and help them develop a commitment to their country.

A youth conference, which is expected to draw more than 2,000 young people of Chinese origin from around the world, will also be held in Beijing the same month.

Issues on arts, economics, science, politics and education which have a strong impact on youths and community development will be discussed.

A Dragon Foundation, which aims to develop leadership skills and promote exchange among Chinese youths, will be set up in January. Ms Wong said the foundation needed about $40 million to kick off the first two years' programmes.

'Youth and leadership are two inter-related ingredients which future societies need. By looking ahead to the new millennium, we hope to consolidate efforts around the world to deepen young people's knowledge of the motherland by giving them scholarships and exchange opportunities,' Ms Wong said.

Horse races, dragon dances, lantern shows and other cultural activities, topped by the biggest- ever fireworks display, will greet the start of the new millennium. The SAR Government has promised that the Millennium Extravaganza at the Happy Valley Race course would be an unforgettable experience.

To jazz up the event, international celebrities such as pop star Janet Jackson will be invited to stage a concert at Happy Valley.

The highlight of the evening will be a 'ring of light' fireworks display launched from the 1,400- metre ambulance track at the racecourse, Secretary for Home Affairs David Lan Hung-tsung said.

Another spectacular programme is the 'City of Light and Sound Project' in which more than 200 buildings in the SAR will shine with decorative lights.