Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao on Tuesday called on a group of Hong Kong youth representatives visiting in Beijing to support the “one country, two systems” principle under which the city was reunified with China and to inherit the spirit of patriotism. “Judging from Hong Kong’s development of the past 16 years, ‘one country, two systems’ formula has worked well and should continue to do so in the future. I hope all of you become the supporters of the system,” news agency Xinhua quoted Li speaking to dozens of representatives of Hong Kong youth in the Great Hall of the People. “Patriotism has long been a great tradition of our fellow countrymen in Hong Kong. It is the vitality that bolsters Hong Kong to remain prosperous and stable. I hope every one of you can be successors to this tradition,” he added. The meeting was part of an exchange programme that sends nearly 1,000 Hong Kong youth to visit various sight-seeing spots in Beijing and Inner Mongolia. It is aimed at strengthen patriotic ties between Hong Kong youth and the mainland. The vice-president in his speech also encouraged the youngsters to promote what he called the “Lion Rock spirit” and become a generation of entrepreneurs. But some Hong Kong internet users remained pessimistic about the city's economic prospects despite Li's encouragment. "A better China does not guarantee Hong Kong's success. Cities in [mainland] China would only slowly replace Hong Kong's status," one person commented on the HKGolden forum. The programme was organised by 13 youth groups and co-ordinated by the Liaison Office of Chinese government. This is the sixth time Hong Kong youth groups have visited the mainland as part to the programme which was started in 2007 to mark the 10th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the mainland.