Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a newly-elected vice chairman of All-China Youth Federation, gestures during an interview with Xinhua on Aug. 31, 2020. (Xinhua/Wu Xiaochu)
Kenneth Fok Kai-kong, a newly-elected vice chairman of All-China Youth Federation, called for more efforts to help young people in Hong Kong to tap opportunities and find a broader arena in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
As Hong Kong youth are beset by a bleak job market and exorbitant housing prices especially after suffering from prolonged violence last year and COVID-19 epidemic, Fok described the Greater Bay Area as an unmissable chance during an interview with Xinhua.
"The Greater Bay Area development is a major opportunity for Hong Kong, offering a very good opportunity for the new generation of Hong Kong to participate in the growth of the mainland," he said.
However, Fok said more should be done to make the opportunities materialize, citing obstacles including high costs of commuting between Hong Kong and mainland cities, and urged bold reforms to address the concerns of young people.
After such problems are solved, Hong Kong youth can truly "share the benefits of the Greater Bay Area development from seeking jobs, setting up their own businesses or joining cultural and sports exchanges," Fok said.
"We are young people of Hong Kong and, more importantly, of China," he said.
Fok, also serving in the Youth Development Commission of Hong Kong, was elected as the vice-chairman of the national youth federation last month. Along with him, 93 other Hong Kong representatives became the members of the federation, including 60 new faces. Those members come from a wide range of sectors in Hong Kong, including education, technology, health care and the internet.
The new members can play the role of a bridge, Fok said, vowing to heed the opinions of Hong Kong young people more and learn about their requests and needs.
Fok in particular mentioned the involvement of young people in violent incidents last year.
"Blaming them is easy but not constructive, only increasing confrontations," Fok said, suggesting an effective dialogue platform and giving more care and help to young people.
Also vice president of the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, Fok plans to organize more sport activities between the mainland and Hong Kong young people and said his wife Guo Jingjing, a famous retired diver and Olympic gold medalist, had already helped a lot.
As sports facilities are inadequate in Hong Kong, Fok said efforts should be made to help Hong Kong athletes use training spaces of other Greater Bay Area cities.
Hong Kong, highly internationalized, can work with other Greater Bay Area cities that have sound sports facilities to jointly host large international sports events, Fok said, citing cross-boundary matches, such as marathons and cycling races.