By Zhang Andi
Hong Kong's return to the motherland marked the beginning of a new era for the region. Over the past 25 years, with the full support of the country and the joint efforts of the HKSAR government and people from all walks of life in Hong Kong, the success of "one country, two systems" has won recognition throughout the world.
Let's hear what Hong Kongers want to say about the 25 years growing with Hong Kong.
Ye Chaoji: As a traditional Hong Konger, I love the city deeply and support our motherland
I was born on June 3, 1956 in Mongkok of Hong Kong, and have been studying and living in Kowloon since then. I graduated from English secondary school, after graduation, I have worked many jobs as a clerk and worked for stock exchanges and fund houses, then an insurance salesman, I even joined the police, at the time the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. I eventually ended up on a job in a trading company, and later set up my own company, and went back to the mainland to open my own factory. Up till now, I’ve mainly been doing import and export trade.
I had been staying overseas to take care of my business before 1997. Though holding the Hong Kong BNO Passport, few people knew what Hong Kong was back then. At some places, we were not paid well, nor did we feel respected. I know many fellow Chinese in London’s Chinatown and I see too many of us are not treated equally in society. We get the most challenging job in the company, but we’re on top of the list whenever there is a layoff, it’s impossible for us to become part of the white society. Many Chinese people overseas got angry when talking about it. I thought to myself then that I did not want my own children to grow up in such an environment, so I shut down the restaurant in London and sold my house there.
When Hong Kong returned to China in 1997, I was in Hong Kong and watched it live on TV. It was an exciting moment. Not all the people thought it positively back then, and some of my friends even left Hong Kong. I had lived all over the world and I chose to be a real Chinese person. I like to study Chinese history and I know the significance of Hong Kong’s return to the motherland as a former British colony. From that day on, I felt I’ve become a Chinese in real sense, and I’m more than happy for that.
No matter it was the Occupy Central or street violence, people of my generation as Hong Kongers who were born and raised here, we hate it. We’re saddened to see the damage they brought to Hong Kong. That’s why after the “National Security Law” came out, people around me and my family were actually very, very relieved. Some of the young generation, in fact, as we know very well that they were being used by others, and they didn’t know what they were doing at the time. The older generation of Hong Kong people, like me, we share a strong emotional bond with Hong Kong and we’re in full support of our motherland.