"Dear squad leader, I'm wondering if you still remember me? It is ok if you do not. I was a trainee at the "Hong Kong College Students Military Life Experience Camp" and am one of Hong Kong's seven million people who are paying attention to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Hong Kong Garrison. If it were not for you, I would have become a child who knows nothing and would not be able to understand the PLA style."--- Huang Yiqing
In the summer of 2017, as Hong Kong marked the 20th anniversary of return to the motherland, a Hong Kong girl wrote a letter to the officers and soldiers of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison, telling them she had become a young instructor at the Hong Kong Army Cadets Association Limited (HKACA). Her decision to take on that role came from her experience at the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks in Hong Kong two years ago.
Her time with the garrison enabled her to make up her mind to help more young people in Hong Kong understanding their motherland.
My name is Huang Yiqing, I am a graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. I was a student of the fifth "Hong Kong College Students Military Life Experience Camp". After that, I came to HKACA to work as an instructor. I wrote a letter to my squad leader in June 2017. I wrote this letter because July 1, 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to the motherland and the stationing of the PLA in Hong Kong.
I would like to write a letter to express my gratitude to my squad leaders as well as the officers and soldiers stationed in the PLA Hong Kong Garrison.
It was the first time for me to participate in the Hong Kong College Students Military Life Experience Camp, and even as a local resident of Hong Kong, I was not familiar with the PLA Hong Kong Garrison.
I had heard before that military personnel are very strict and harsh, so I was very nervous before I went to the camp.
But after the 13-day training in the Camp, I gradually realized that they are actually not just harsh, they are very friendly as well and they care for us indeed.
The most unforgettable moment was the tour of Victoria Harbor on the military vessel from the Ngong Shuen Chau Barracks. This is the first time that my friends and I had boarded a military vessel. We enjoyed the whole trip from beginning to end.
In fact, we were very unwilling to leave the camp at the end. On the day of departure, all of our classmates were lined up and our squad leaders all lined up outside and watched us get on the bus one by one.
That feeling was actually very sad, and when we sat on the seats, many people were already in tears. We felt very unfamiliar and a bit scared in the beginning but we wanted to stay in the barracks when the camp came to an end.
I hope to publicize or share more about our motherland through platforms like HKACA.
There are actually two reasons why I joined HKACA. I wanted to share what I learned in the barracks with more Hong Kong adolescents. And I hoped that through my role as an instructor, I could help more people to know and understand our motherland, then they could have better thinking and reflection.
In fact, our compatriots in the Mainland love us very much. Just like the officers and soldiers of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison, we can go to talk with them and they will not feel strange. We are just like families because they care for us.
When I know that the troops stationed in Hong Kong actually protect us all the time, I feel that the relationship between us is particularly intimate and cordial with no sense of distance.
Backgrounder: Since Hong Kong's return to motherland 20 years ago, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison has organized 29 military camps, more than 6.8 million local people have got in close touch with the PLA. And it has also organized 13 youth military camps and 7 military life experience camps for students, more than 3,600 students have been trained. Such activities enable young people to have a deeper understanding of national defense and their motherland.