In our news this week, we have stories about a new, quasi-political group, in Hong Kong, the new submarine cable from China through Pakistan to Marseilles in France, the difficulties Chinese students have in overseas universities, and a story about the Chinese love affair with jade.
“Reform” and “seeking change” seem to be the keywords of Hong Kong this year. There are unprecedented challenges for Hong Kong, even after the Central Government has formulated the Hong Kong National Security Law and revised the Hong Kong election system.
The impact of the social movement in 2019 has been considerable. Hong Kong is normally a society without any violent factions. From protesting and arguing, we evolved to weekly street violence. There was a vacuum in the law. Society suddenly split into camps. People from various industries and backgrounds gathered to discuss the fundamental problems in Hong Kong after work.
NPHK represents this group. Wang Yu, one of the founders, said sincerely:
We have been in Hong Kong for more than ten years, and we are also Hong Kong people. In fact, we don’t have to distinguish between mainlanders and Hong Kong people. We have people who grew up in the mainland, but at the same time, we are also Hong Kong people who want to make their own voice heard.
This group, without political parties or funds, has slowly developed different sections and has many members and “fellow travellers.”
During the protest movement in 2019, anyone living in Hong Kong was greatly affected. At that time, the most common feelings were powerlessness, struggle, and dissatisfaction and disappointment with the government. However, the hope for one country, two systems was always there. “A diverse and inclusive Hong Kong in our hearts has always been there,” Liu Chang, another founder of NPHK recalled. Therefore, they hope to establish an organization that can provide Hong Kong with a new direction in a difficult situation.
It has attracted colleagues from neighbours, students, and like-minded people. The composition is very interesting, from the children of the “post 00s” to the elders in their 60s and 70s. There are Hong Kong Mainlanders who have only been in Hong Kong for one or two years; there are also natives who are born and raised in Hong Kong; there are Mainlanders who know Hong Kong better, and there are Hong Kongers who know the Mainland.
The leaders of NPHK believes that organic growth is the way forward.
We do the most basic things first. In the process of doing things, we will gradually establish our own policies and functions.
NPHK is like a young start-up company. Everyone comes together with common ideals to build a family from nothing. Everything is in the exploratory stage, and there is no capital and big platform: this avoids the dilemma of losing personal values and creativity due to being coerced by the organizational structure.
NPHK hopes to bring about a more in-depth, more meaningful, and more valuable social discussion. Now the focus of many policy discussions is on “yes or no”. If this is the case, society will not progress. “No matter how you express your position, there should be a set of arguments. If you agree, please tell me the benefits; if you disagree, please come up with a better plan.” Wisdom does not only come from a certain individual or a certain political group, but the people. When the government decides, there is no wide discussion, and it just ignores opinions.
NPHK wants to bring positive policy discussions to Hong Kong and put forward some suggestions for the future of Hong Kong so that everyone can participate in the progress of society.
The group’s policy research and programs cannot reach the level of professional academic reports. However, when they looked at the issue, they realized that Hong Kong lacks discussion about its future direction. NPHK wants to help change Hong Kong and find a new direction.
From China to France, the 12,000-kilometre subsea super project is here
The submarine cable project “Peace” led and constructed by China will be completed at the end of the year. The project starts from mainland China and enters the sea after passing through Pakistan. It finally arrives in Marseilles, France. As the first submarine cable connecting China and Europe, the “Peace” project is not only of pioneering significance, but the total length is an astonishing 12,000 kilometres.
Difficulties of overseas students. (In May 2019, we also published some thoughts about overseas students.)
In March this year, the news that a Chinese student committed suicide in the United States, once again focussed the public’s attention on the mental health of international students. In the past few years, along with the increase in the number of students studying abroad, some overseas students have developed mental illness due to depression and anxiety. How to properly deal with negative emotions is a major challenge for overseas students on their way to study.
When I first arrived abroad, I felt that everything around me was very interesting. The novel culture and the different living environment. Most international students enjoy themselves at first.
Li Sheng (pseudonym) studied at Nagoya University in Japan and went to Japan in 2018. She is still impressed by the excitement when she first arrived in the country of study.
However, this situation changes. As life gradually enters a period of calm and the novelty at the beginning of school fades, the psychological pressure in the process of studying abroad gradually appears.
“At that time, my academic pressure increased. Sometimes the teacher spoke too fast, and I couldn’t understand it. It was really frustrating for me to see other international students around me being able to cope with it easily.” Li Sheng said. Many international students often choose to report the good and not the worries to their homes.
Fortunately, the time difference for her is only one hour, and Li Sheng can keep in touch with her family and friends in China. But for many overseas students who live in more distant countries, who want to find a friend in China to confide in, it will take a long time to wait for a reply to any message.
In recent years, with the expansion of China’s study abroad team, and younger students studying abroad, some international students lacked personal skills. Inadequate preparation, coupled with language barriers, academic burdens, social pressures, cultural conflicts, and other factors can easily lead to emotional frustration.
Some international students said that the stress of homework and fierce competition among students are the main reasons for their emotional anxiety. Some students cannot pass exams on time every year. Tuition fees in the United States are expensive and living expenses are high. “We spend precious money saved by our parents, so everyone wants to learn something as soon as possible and often pressures themselves,” says one student.
Psychological preparation before studying abroad is very important, but it is often overlooked.
A student’s father once went to Germany to study. Before she set out to study in Brazil, the father and daughter completed a ‘Brazil strategy’ in as much detail as possible. “The more you understand a country, the more at ease you will feel in your heart. This is my father’s experience. From history, language, and culture to the habit of three meals a day, whether to say hello to a handshake or a hug… knowing more before going abroad, will make cross-cultural adaptation a little better.”
Chinese people have long admired and cherished jade. Here is why.
In Chinese romance, jade is the most in line with the Chinese people’s view of love. It is not as glamorous as gold and silver, nor as dazzling as diamonds, but it has been nourished by the sun, moon, and stars for hundreds of millions of years before it emerges from the rough and hard stone and becomes beautiful jade in the palm of the hand.
Just like the relationship between men and women in China, it is reserved and restrained, and it can stand the temper of the years. Even if aged and withered, it is still clear. Good jade, nourishes the mind and body, makes people easy-going, and calms the mind; good love nourishes the spirit, makes people happy, worry-free and fearless.
Therefore, for thousands of years, the Chinese have only been in love with jade.
In the eyes of Chinese people, dragons and phoenix are the embodiment of auspiciousness. Wearing a dragon and phoenix jade pendant, you can pray for beauty to come to you. The allusion to dragon and phoenix is auspicious, from “The Analects of Confucius “.
The mutton fat white jade with the concentric dragon and phoenix jade pendant is produced in the most high-quality jade mine – the high-altitude, old mine in the Kunlun Mountains in Qinghai.
This thing of long love needs to be given to the long-term lover. Even though they are separated by thousands of miles and shuttled for thousands of years, with it, the hearts and minds are dependent on each other.