Lawmakers Stress Macao Youth Issue

By Zhang Lulu

Chinese lawmakers warned about the lack of clarity of national identification among young people in Macao.

Li Gang, director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Macao, raised the issue of young people, a topic which has received less attention in the past, during a group discussion of the ongoing third plenary session of the 12th National People’s Congress, China’s annual legislative meeting, on March 5 in Beijing.

Li said the SAR government should encourage exchanges between young people in Macao and the Chinese mainland. These exchanges would cement the cultural bond and show Macao students that there is not a universal standard for democracy, and that it must be chosen by local citizens in accordance with the local situation, Li said.

Li’s concern was echoed by Ho Sut Heng, president of the Macao Federation of Trade Unions, who said that young people in Macao lack an adequate understanding of the actual situations in the Chinese mainland and Macao.

She noted that the history of modern China was barely taught at Macao schools and there was not a generally agreed-upon citizen education book in Macao. She also said publicity of China’s political system should be enhanced among Macao youth, so they would understand that the system was chosen by the Chinese people and determined by history.

Some Macao students took part in a massive demonstration last May to protest against a controversial bill that gave generous compensation for the departing chief executive of the SAR government.