China’s first lady Peng Liyuan answers greeting card, tells Hong Kong kindergarten children to ‘write a better future’ for city
She reminisces about her school visit last year when she was in town with President Xi Jinping to mark city’s 20th handover anniversary
China’s first lady Peng Liyuan has written to three Hong Kong children at a kindergarten in the city’s upscale Kowloon Tong neighbourhood, telling them to “draw the most beautiful paintings” of their life, and “write a better future for Hong Kong” when they grow up.
The printed message from Peng came after the trio from Yau Yat Chuen School sent her a greeting card which showed a drawing of her surrounded by flowers and two children on the cover.
They also wrote in the card: “Auntie Peng, thank you and wishing you health and a happy life”.
The three were among a group of children and teachers who met Peng on June 29 last year, when the kindergarten was one of the stops during her visit to the city with President Xi Jinping. They were in town to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return from British to Chinese rule.
In the letter to the three children, dated July 15, Peng wrote that she had received the card they made.
“The drawings and the writings were really good, I like them a lot, thank you!” she wrote.
During Peng’s visit last year, the first lady chatted with children at the kindergarten, praising and kissing them. They entertained her with a performance, conversing with her in Mandarin, according to a government video released later.
Peng also gave each child a box of colouring pens and the school six multimedia teaching sets. The children presented her with a souvenir fan featuring hand-painted pandas.
Peng wrote in her letter that the gathering at the kindergarten gave her “good memories”.
“The children’s lovely and happy faces were especially unforgettable. I am still keeping and treasuring the panda paper fan you gave me,” she added.
“I am happy to hear that you like the water colour I gave you. You will enter primary schools soon, I hope that you will learn diligently and grow up healthily.
“When you grow up, use your wisdom and your hands to draw the most beautiful paintings of your life, and write a better future for Hong Kong,” the first lady said.
“Please also extend my greetings to the teachers and children of Yau Yat Chuen School.”
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s office issued a press release on Monday evening, revealing that Lam had invited three children, who wrote to Peng, as well as staff from the kindergarten for a gathering at Government House.
A copy of Peng’s letter was also attached with the press release.
In the government statement, Lam was quoted as saying that Peng’s response to the children’s card “fully showed her love and care for Hong Kong’s pupils”.
“On behalf of the residents of Hong Kong, I express my heartfelt gratitude to Professor Peng,” Lam added.
During Peng’s visit last year, the preschool children also made paper models of dim sum, introducing the various types of cuisine to her. The pupils were asked to come back to class on their day off for the event.
Peng’s response to the card was not the first time China’s power couple has personally reached out to the young in Hong Kong.
In February, Xi also wrote a response to a Lunar New Year greeting from members of a police youth group, the Hong Kong Junior Police Call.
He said Hong Kong’s youngsters should “read thousands of books”, travel more and try to deepen their understanding of history and national affairs. Xi visited the group’s training camp during a tour of the city last year.