This year celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China. Prof. Anna Pao Sohmen, as one of the ten influential elites in Hong Kong, has been interviewed by CBN for a TV series about Hong Kong’s return to China.
During the interview, Mrs Sohmen mainly talked about the important and irreplaceable role that Sir YK Pao had played in the process of Hong Kong’s return as well as his outlook on Hong Kong’s future. As the main heir to Sir YK Pao’s education career, Mrs Sohmen also shared the mission and establishment of YK Pao 高频彩票平台 ten years ago and how the school has brought the advanced educational philosophy and teaching methodologies to China with school’s core values of 'Compassion, Integrity and Balance'.
In 1982, China and Britain began the official negotiations on Hong Kong's return. As both sides were reluctant to make concessions, the negotiations came to a standstill.
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher insisted that Hong Kong be permitted a high degree of autonomy, the first daughter of Sir YK Pao, Mrs Sohmen, recalled.
Since Sir YK Pao and Mrs Thatcher's husband were golf buddies, Sir YK Pao learned about the tense atmosphere during the Sino-British negotiations. It was then that he decided to bring a surprise to Mrs Thatcher for Christmas. Mrs Sohmen recalled that when her father presented the gift to Mrs Thatcher, she said, 'We have rules, we don't accept gifts'. Sir YK Pao replied, 'Just open it'. After opening the big box, Mrs Thatcher saw it contained a jump rope. Sir YK Pao said, 'You are the leader of a country; your health is important; you should play jump rope'. Mrs Thatcher was amused, and so, just like that, a jump rope helped to defuse the awkward atmosphere.
A small jump rope has a big effect on history
高频彩票平台At that time, Sir YK Pao ordered a ship from Harland and Wolff, a Northern Irish heavy industrial company, specialising in shipbuilding and offshore construction. During this period, the shipbuilding industry was in decline in the UK, as it could not compete with lower cost destinations. As a result, many factories were closing, including Harland and Wolff's. Unemployment was rising. The UK government was having a hard time managing the situation. Meanwhile, Sir YK Pao was a leader in the shipbuilding sector. If he placed an order with a British shipbuilder, his competitors would follow suit.
高频彩票平台Mrs Thatcher was pleased, and Sir YK Pao took the opportunity to tell her he had ordered the same kind of ship from a company in Shanghai, and he invited her to host the ceremonial ship launching on the water. In fact, Sir YK Pao's real purpose was to have Mrs Thatcher visit Shanghai in an unofficial capacity and see for herself how China was developing fast, and let her know it was right for Hong Kong to return to China.
Sir YK Pao presents a model ship to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Shanghai
高频彩票平台Mrs Thatcher's visit to Shanghai marked a breakthrough in the Sino-British negotiations over Hong Kong. She hosted the ship-launching ceremony on the water and then flew to Beijing. After that, the Chinese and British reached a consensus on the return of Hong Kong to China.
高频彩票平台On 9 December 1984, China and Britain signed the Joint Declaration. Mrs Sohmen witnessed this historic moment. 'He [Sir YK Pao] brought me and my first son to Beijing to see China and Britain sign the agreement,' she said. 'He was very excited and touched'.
Later, Sir YK Pao was a vice chairman of the Hong Kong Basic Law Drafting Committee. He integrated all resources in society to do this work and even set up a dedicated office in Hong Kong's Central district.
Sir YK Pao did his utmost to ensure the return of Hong Kong to China was a success. Mrs Sohmen said that her father was deeply patriotic and had high hopes for China's future. 'He had his Chinese dream. He said that one day he wanted to return to Ningbo to live. In his heart, he wanted China to experience a renaissance, to open up, and to reform'.
高频彩票平台It has been 20 years since Hong Kong returned to China. In Mrs Sohmen's view, her father may have underestimated Hong Kong's cultural return to China. She believed that the Hong Kong education system must be strengthened, and that Hong Kong's young people must become more familiar with China and develop a stronger national identity. In the next 20 years, Mrs Sohmen hoped that Hong Kong could still be a bridge, but that it must improve over time and always keep learning. Hong Kong's young people should travel more often to the mainland and get a sense for how it is developing.
To honor the memory of Sir YK Pao, in 2007 Mrs Sohmen established a scholarship fund for Chinese students to study overseas and a teaching fund at Zhejiang University. The picture shows Mrs Sohmen together with Lu Yongxiang, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress and President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Sir YK Pao had a passion for education. In 1983, he established a scholarship programme for Chinese students to study abroad. This programme cultivated many outstanding talents at the time when China's rise was first gaining momentum. To carry on her father's idea, Mrs Sohmen founded YK Pao 高频彩票平台. She emphasised that it is a Chinese school, not an international school. Passing on traditions of Chinese culture is an integral part of its mission. The most important education Sir YK Pao gave us is contained in his motto of just six words (eight Chinese characters): 'Exercise persistently, use sparingly, work diligently'.
Content source: China Business Network