Call to allow Hongkongers to serve in the PLA to ‘cultivate pride’ in Chinese culture

Party chairwoman Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, and lawmaker Eunice Yung Hoi-yan met Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to discuss her coming policy address

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 8:30am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 August, 2017, 8:30am

The New People’s Party wants Hongkongers to be able to join China’s People’s Liberation Army and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to boost their sense of national identity.

The party’s chairwoman, Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, and lawmaker Eunice Yung Hoi-yan met Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Monday, to discuss Lam’s first policy address, which she will give in October.

The party raised a number of policy suggestions to the government – one of the topics was how to better promote the city’s integration with China.

They argued that Hongkongers, especially youngsters, had a rather weak sense of national identity, saying more opportunities for locals to work for the central government would help to enhance their attachment.

Joining the PLA will help young Hongkongers ‘understand the country better’

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs may list out related requirements on linguistic and diplomatic knowledge, then arrange qualified Hong Kong applicants to receive training on the mainland,” Ip said.

She also suggested Beijing open the doors for interested Hongkongers to join the PLA, which has stationed troops in the city.

To increase students’ knowledge of their motherland, and “cultivate their pride in Chinese culture”, the pro-Beijing party also suggested making Chinese history a compulsory subject among lower secondary school students.

For China’s Belt and Road initiative, Ip, who is also an executive councillor, called for a review of the secondary school curriculum, suggesting adding Russian, Arabic or other related languages as selective courses.

“An extra fifty scholarship quotas should be offered to sponsor the outstanding and interested students to study in universities of the countries along the Belt and Road,” Ip added, referring to the current scholarship scheme.

Let Hongkongers serve in China’s People’s Liberation Army, says top military official

The Education Bureau had launched scholarship for Belt and Road students, from Indonesia and Malaysia, to study in Hong Kong, but not the other way round.

Meanwhile, Ip said she was concerned about the “three mountains” facing the city: the soaring housing price, the public health care system and the management of public housing malls by The Link Reit.

Ip proposed moving Kwai Tsing container terminals to Lantau Island to free up the 300 hectares of land. She also supported land reclamation under conditions of not damaging the ecology.