Hong Kong may be best known for its financial and business acumen, but former chief executive CY Leung is hoping to show another side of the SAR when he attends a major Belt and Road forum in Beijing this week – its capacity to help people.
Leung, a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, is also the founding chairman of GX Foundation – a Hong Kong-based charitable group aimed at providing medical assistance to people in Belt and Road countries.
The foundation has been working to help treat people with cataracts in five Belt and Road countries in Asia and Africa. Leung said the group has helped provide vision-correcting surgeries for some 5,000 people over the past five years, and aims to completely eliminate cataracts in those countries.
“We do not go to a country, stay for three or six months and leave, leaving behind many disappointed patients who do not get a chance for surgery,” Leung explained.
“And we do not come up with a goal like to finish a thousand cases and we go. Rather, we give the local people a pledge and that is we won't leave until we finish the final case and clear all their backlog of patients", he said
Enhancing ‘people-to-people connectivity’ – bringing the peoples of different countries closer together – is one of the Belt and Road Initiative’s primary priorities. As such, this will be one of the focus topics at one of the sessions at the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Wednesday.
Leung and the Foundation's CEO Emily Chan, will be sharing their group’s work at this session.
“[Our work] exemplifies how Hong Kong, under the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle, can help the nation implement the spirit of sharing and people-to-people connectivity’ under the Belt and Road Initiative,” Leung said.
He also said his group is planning to invite foreign students to come to Hong Kong on exchange programmes, to widen the world view of youngsters here.