Beijing-Hong Kong School Dialogue Programme
12 November 2005
Speech by Professor Arthur K C Li
Secretary for Education and Manpower
Good Morning, Ms Li, Professor Macfarlane, Ms Liu, Sister Margaret, Ms Wu, honorable guests, teachers and students in Beijing and Hong Kong,
This is my pleasure to speak at this Beijing-Hong Kong School Dialogue Programme. This programme is a joint effort of the governments, schools and commercial sectors. In particular, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Li Ka Shing Foundation for initiating this cross-border, cross-cultural, and cross-disciplinary project for Hong Kong and Beijing students. And I would also like to thank Hutchison Global Communications Limited for offering a robust technical solution to support the videoconference today.
Without doubt, due to the advance of modern technology, the world is indeed getting closer to each other. We could now communicate anytime with anyone from almost anywhere in the world for all kinds of purposes. In this global community, the ability of collaborating with people from different cultural backgrounds, through a variety of communication technologies, proves to be very essential for our young generation. In order to equip students with such capacity, we treasure this kind of interactive learning programme. This allows our students in Beijing and Hong Kong to interact with world-renowned scholars and celebrities and to collaborate with each other in doing project learning through the support of technology.
Today’s topic is on “Green Gold: the Empire of Tea”. “Tea” is not only just something to drink, to quench our thirst. It is, in many ways, the heart of Eastern and Western cultures over the last few centuries. Both Chinese and English are “serious tea-lovers” and it has been successfully interwoven into our histories, economies, customs and daily lifestyles. I am sure that Professor Macfarlane from the University of Cambridge will elaborate more about this and will give us insights in his lecture later on. Finally, I would like to encourage everyone to grasp this precious opportunity to put forward questions and ideas during question time.
Last but not least, I wish to express my special gratitude to St Paul’s Convent School & Ren Da Fu Zhong(人大附中) for their hospitality to be the co-hosts of this cross-border event.
Beijing and Hong Kong students, I wish you all to have a terrific “tea” break and hope you every success in your endeavours.