PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 April, 2010, 12:00am

It's a no-win situation

The row between the central government and Google, the most popular and powerful online search engine in the world, remains unresolved.

No one is going to benefit if the stalemate continues.

Google said it would no longer bow to government censors in Beijing by filtering search results. It shut down its Chinese search engine, re-routing mainland users to its site in Hong Kong.

Google will lose a lot of money if it pulls out from China. Although the search giant refuses to give in, insisting that it serves as a platform for everyone to express their views, it cannot afford the loss.

The responsibility does not lie with China either. It's Google which compromised its principles by accepting censorship in return for access to the mainland's vast market in 2006.

Beijing has the right to censor unwanted materials online and Google has to oblige.

For a country with a population of more than 1.3 billion, it's no easy task to maintain social stability and consolidate state power. China's desire to restrict the flow of information seems reasonable.

But then, imagine what the mainland would be like without Google. The search engine allows information and ideas to flow freely throughout the world. Such information and ideas broaden the horizons of internet users. Google is important for China's economic growth and development.

Both sides should think twice before they leap. It is important the two parties reach an agreement because there's too much to lose.

Lam Ho-pak, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

Travelling an amazing experience

If you are bored of staying in Hong Kong, you should take a break and go somewhere on your next holiday. Travelling has many benefits.

First, travelling can broaden our horizons. We can also learn about other cultures and traditions.

What's more, travelling helps improve our English. Visiting countries such as the United States, Australia and Britain gives us a chance to talk to foreigners and practise our oral English.

Thirdly, we can see amazing sights and beautiful scenery.

Don't hesitate, go somewhere this summer.

Cheng Ka-wing, Baptist Wing Lung Secondary School

More resources for sport development

The Hong Kong Sevens was a major success. Every year, the Sevens draw a lot of people from different countries to come and watch the matches. Spectators dress up in funny costumes to support their teams. The cheering teams add to the festive spirit. The event is wonderful for Hongkongers.

Hong Kong has been hosting world-class international sporting events. The East Asian Games was also a huge success.

But the local sporting scene needs a boost.

The government should allocate more resources to train local athletes. It should promote sports like soccer and rugby, and hire world-class coaches. Young people should be encouraged to play sport. Classes should be offered to help them learn more about sport.

Ping Wu Ka-ping, Pooi To Middle School

Don't fall for coupons

A lot of places, such as shops and supermarkets, give out coupons. You even get them on the street from people promoting certain products.

Most people think coupons help them save money, but I think they are a business trap.

Coupons make consumers think they are saving money, so they often buy more than they need. In the end, they spend the same amount as without the coupons.

Even with these coupons, businesses are still making a profit. Coupons are just a trap to make consumers buy more. It's a business strategy.

Cheung Ho-ching