Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has advised local youth to serve the country, stating that many Hong Kongers are focused on making demands but few on making contributions.

At the closing ceremony of a military summer camp at San Wai Barracks on Sunday, Leung addressed 260 high school students in Putonghua: “In Hong Kong society, many talk about individuality, but few about collectivity; many talk about rights, but few about obligations; many talk about demands, but few about contributions.”

Leung said that this year’s theme of the 15-day camp was “power and responsibility”, and he expressed hope that young people would fulfill their obligations to society and serve the country, according to local newspapers.

Pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po said that Leung’s speech was referring to recent “illegal occupations” and filibustering that “advocate individual interests and erode Hong Kong’s core values”.

On the same day, Occupy Central founder Benny Tai, student leaders and members of several civil society groups introduced a new campaign called Community Citizen Charter. The charter promotes participation in public affairs, elections and community planning.

Participants of 2011 military summer camp. Photo: GovHK.

As part of the national education programme, the annual military camp is organised by the Education Bureau, People’s Liberation Army Hong Kong Garrison, and a charity group called Concerted Efforts Resource Centre.

The charity group was founded by Betty Chiu Hung-ping, wife of former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, with the mission of promoting national education, according to its website.

It received a free office space in 2003 from Stephen Tai Tak-fung, who was present at the ceremony, for training and public outreach purposes. Tai sits on China’s top political advisory body and chairs manufacturer Four Seas Mercantile Holdings.

The centre’s vice chair Lina Yan Hau-yee, also vice chair of the publicly funded Hong Kong Arts Development Council, told RTHK that Chiu was the first advocate for the establishment of the military camp.

The camp was founded in 2005, the same year as Tung Chee-hwa resigned from the government. It aims to teach students discipline and teamwork skills through a series of activities, including military training and martial arts lessons.

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Ellie Ng

Ellie Ng has written for Foreign Policy, the Daily Telegraph, Global Voices Online and others.