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China's sky is the stage for Hong Kong’s young generation

The China-made large passenger aircraft C919 successfully performed a test flight yesterday.

Over the past decade, I have visited two manufacturing sites of large passenger aircraft. In June last year, I went to France and visited the final assembly line of Airbus. I had also invited 19 university students from Hong Kong to join. Most of them were studying mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering, and they were all in good and high spirits. Three years ago, during the political reform exercise, I paid a visit to Shanghai with Legislative Council Members and toured a manufacturing site of large aircraft there. Regrettably, most of the pan-democratic Members in the delegation refused to join. On the day of the tour, the senior management officers of the aircraft company welcomed us at the entrance. Some of them were Hong Kong people.

Forty years ago, I studied abroad in Bristol, England. Since aircraft manufacturing was an important industry in Bristol, aerospace engineering was a popular subject at the university. Some students coming from Hong Kong also studied aerospace engineering there. However, in those days, all these young Hong Kong people who studied aerospace engineering complained about not being able to put what they had learnt to good use.

Today, China has succeeded in building large aircraft, which are in great demand in both the local and overseas markets. From now on, we will see more and more China-made large aircraft flying in the sky around the world. Hong Kong’s young aerospace engineers can also pursue their careers on a bigger and bigger stage, just like the sky of our country.

May 6, 2017