The north beckons for Hong Kong’s STEM graduates. It’s often said that there are only so many research or technical jobs the city can offer for those who major in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But on the mainland, the sky’s the limit, quite literally. China’s Zhu Rong rover that has successfully landed on Mars carries a “Made in Hong Kong” camera installed to ensure the landing was smooth. The Mars Landing Surveillance Camera, weighing just 390 grams and designed to withstand extreme temperatures, was built by researchers at the Polytechnic University. Another PolyU team helped the China National Space Administration choose the landing site, located in Utopia Planitia, a region in the northern hemisphere of the Red Planet, with advanced computerised mapping and geotechnical evaluation. The camera team had also helped the last Chinese lunar mission to design a sampling tool , to retrieve soil and rocks, which have been returned to Earth on a fully automated robotic programme. Science and space exploration don’t get any more exciting than that. Where else can STEM graduates from Hong Kong get to work at the cutting edge of their fields? It’s unfortunate that Hong Kong-mainland relations have reached a nadir after the widespread social unrest of 2019. Young people, many of them university students, took part in the anti-government protests and riots, leading to resentment and even hatred against mainland authorities. The general social malaise has blinded many Hong Kong people to the opportunities – unavailable anywhere else – that a rising China and its growing economy have to offer. Not the least of these growing fields are in the sciences and technology. In March, during the annual meeting of the National People’s Congress, the Vision 2035 development strategy was unveiled as part of the latest five-year plan with a primary focus on technological innovation and scientific research. These include artificial intelligence, quantum computing, life sciences, space and aviation, deep-sea exploration, and green technologies. From official research institutes to private start-ups across the border, such programmes offer rare opportunities in funding, jobs and careers that would be hard to find in Hong Kong, or anywhere else in the world. A rising tide lifts all boats. China’s rise today offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young people with talent, drive and ambitions to shine. It’s time to jettison your prejudices and preconceptions, and look towards mainland China with a fresh pair of eyes.