The language of the future
In the past, Hong Kong was ruled by the British and it was a well-developed city. In the 70s, Hong Kong’s economy took off and the city became an international finance hub.
Meanwhile, China had suffered from civil war, the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. Its economy was badly affected. That’s why Hong Kong’s financial services were the best among all Chinese cities in 2012.
Hong Kong plays an important role in China’s economic development.
However, China is developing rapidly nowadays. It has launched many projects, such as the Belt and Road Initiative, to boost the country’s economy.
Now, the most competitive city in China is Shanghai. Hong Kong comes second. Even Shenzhen may surpass Hong Kong in the future, because it has great potential for further development.
Unlike Shenzhen, Hong Kong is already developed, so there are fewer opportunities for economic expansion.
I fear Hong Kong is losing its competitive edge. Most of us may have to rely on the mainland for business opportunities in the future.
Maybe we all should study Mandarin because it may come in handy after 2047.
Jacky Li, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
From the editor
Thank you for your email, Jacky. We agree that studying Mandarin in Hong Kong is a no-brainer. It is the national language and it is what allows all the different ethnic groups of China to communicate with each other. It would be really silly to think of Hong Kong as being part of the Chinese nation and not being able to speak and use Mandarin.
English is still the most widely recognised language in the world, but Mandarin is catching up fast as China expands its global influence. Just recently we accompanied some Hong Kong students on a trip to Kenya to see the business opportunities that China’s investments in the country is bringing to its people.
We see stories of China’s investments all over Asia and even in South America. So there is no doubt that apart from being the world’s most populous nation, China’s main language is rapidly gaining importance outside its borders.
Instead of shying away from Mandarin, students should embrace it as yet another string to their bow and become as proficient in it as possible.