Hong Kong Protests & Riots: Hong Kong youth discuss ongoing unrest
As protests and riots in Hong Kong continue to escalate, many people wonder why the area's young people are so angry. Some say many of them are losing hope for the future with the unaffordable housing prices and limited opportunities in the city. CGTN's Ge Yunfei talked to two young Hong Kong start-up entrepreneurs and got their views on the current situation, and their solutions.
As Hong Kong's protests get more violent and volatile, the ripple effects continue to reach millions. Case in point - Peter Pang, a young Hong Kong entrepreneur. The 26-year-old is running a start-up both in Hong Kong and in the mainland.
PETER PANG, FOUNDER POISSON PUBLIC COMMUNICATION HONG KONG CO., LTD "I used to go back to Hong Kong every week to have dinner with my family. But now they tell me not to come back unless I have to because Hong Kong is in chaos. And my customers in Hong Kong told me now it would be better to communicate by phone rather than face-to-face."
Pang says he's very concerned about the city's future.
PETER PANG, FOUNDER POISSON PUBLIC COMMUNICATION HONG KONG CO., LTD "Hong Kong's advantages still exist. Whether in terms of educational resources or the structure of society and the number of international enterprises, its quality is still the best in Asia. However, this advantage has been suppressed by these frequent riots. I don't know how long this will last."
Terence Chan, a Hong Kong architect, established his own design company in the city in 2014. Four years later he set up a new one in Guangzhou for the huge mainland market.
TERENCE CHAN, DESIGN DIRECTOR PRIME DESIGN CONSULTANCY "Hong Kong has everything except the market."
Chan says he understands why some of Hong Kong's young people are being so violent.
TERENCE CHAN, DESIGN DIRECTOR PRIME DESIGN CONSULTANCY "I was born in Hong kong. I studied in Hong Kong, and I grew up in Hong Kong. Everything's so expensive. The wages, the salaries are very low. The rents and as well as the property prices are very, very high. So for them, it's just not okay. This is my city. I can't buy houses. I can't rent a place because it's too expensive. I can't see the future."
He says the solution lies just miles away in the nation's Greater Bay Area.
TERENCE CHAN, DESIGN DIRECTOR PRIME DESIGN CONSULTANCY "Why don't you look beyond and the closest way would be the greater bay area which is a fantastic opportunity for them. That's what I did. I left Hong Kong as an entrepreneur AND came into mainland into the greater bay area because I'm searching for opportunities. I didn't go on the streets to protest. But I came to the mainland."
Though the central government is awarding many preferential policies, for Hong Kong youth, the choice to leave the city comes with daunting challenges and risks.
PETER PANG, FOUNDER POISSON PUBLIC COMMUNICATION HONG KONG CO., LTD "I think the word 'hope' is very interesting. Hope is both given by someone and earned by one's self. Hope is only real when you have confidence in yourself. If you don't even believe in yourself, no matter how much hope or how many preferential policies others give to you, you still cannot rise above your trouble. I hope these young people will find more confidence to face more challenges."
In Guangzhou, Jack Lam is running an incubator providing necessary guidance in business, legal issues, accounting, and even daily life for Hong Kong's young people. He said to solve the current issues, more communication is badly needed.
JACK LAM, DIRECTOR GUANGZHOU TIANHE YOUTH START-UP SERVICE CENTRE "We all hope we can live in a rich and powerful country. We need to sit down with young people and talk to them."
But as the situation is still getting worse, an active dialogue might not take place immediately. Ge Yunfei, CGTN, Guangdong Province.