Hong Kong is not an international city. More than 90 per cent of the population is Chinese, its culture isn't diverse enough, and its universities have too few international students.
That was the summary of the arguments that helped Kwun Tong Government Primary School defend its title in the grand final of the Third Nesta Primary Debating Competition on Friday at City University.
It was a rematch of last year's final, as Kwun Tong defeated Pui Kiu College on the question of whether Hong Kong is an international city.
Pui Kiu, which supported the motion, consisted of Primary Six students Andrea Wong Chit, Terence Ng and Jake Yeung.
Kwun Tong's team was made up of Ken Lee, Heymans So and Brielle Chung.
In the debate, the time limit for each speaker is two minutes and 15 seconds. After a speaker on one side spoke, there was a two-minute break to allow a speaker from the other side to prepare a response.
The affirmative side argued that Hong Kong is China's gateway to the world, with many multinational companies that have already set up their branch offices and headquarters in Hong Kong or are doing so.
"Hong Kong is where East meets West. We are a part of China, but we are not entirely under Chinese rule, and at the same time, we are not completely Westernised," said Jake, Pui Kiu's third speaker.
Kwun Tong presented their cultural diversity, population and tertiary education arguments, and added that the city has more speakers of Putonghua than English, which is the second language to the whole world.
The debate was adjudicated by Dr Rajesh Sharma, associate law professor at CityU; George Tax, a NET Section advisory teacher from the Education Bureau; Gina Green, regional NET co-ordinator from the Education Bureau; Ian Sanderson of the Nesta Debating Committee; and Stephen Bolton, a tutor at CityU's English Language Centre.
The adjudicators had a long discussion before awarding the championship to Kwun Tong.
Sharma, speaking for the group, praised the affirmative side for sticking to their argument and maintaining their team line throughout the debate, but it was the excellent presentation skills of the negative speakers that won judges over.
"The speakers from the negative side were confident. They presented their ideas smoothly and clearly. Their speeches were related to one another and they reinforced their arguments in the heads of the audience as the debate proceeded," he said.
Tax said both teams were extremely talented and performed far beyond their age.
"Their presentation was impressive. I learned a lot from these debaters. They were very good with research and presented a lot of relevant data," he said.
Brielle, Kwun Tong's third speaker, was named the best speaker of the debate.
"He is a very confident speaker. I was especially impressed with the sincere delivery, and he maintained eye contact with the audience," said Sanderson.