On May 11th, the current Chief Executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, led a delegation to Sichuan University to visit and inspect the SCU-Hong Kong Polytechnic University Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction. Director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Zhang Xiaoming, representatives of the Hong Kong SAR Government and Sichuan Province, Chairman of the University Council of SCU, Wang Jianguo, President Li Yanrong, and Vice President Yan Shijing joined the inspection visit.
The SCU-Hong Kong Polytechnic University Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction is the world’s only interdisciplinary, international, high-end center for education, scientific research and social service in the new discipline of disaster management and reconstruction. Perusing the institute’s special exhibition on the past decade’s reconstruction work following the devastating 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, Carrie Lam expressed her deep appreciation for SCU’s significant achievements.
In the Center for Post-Disaster Education, Carrie Lam walked in on one of the classes that was just wrapping up a session on CPR with middle school students from Shatin, in Hong Kong’s New Territories. She encouraged the young students to study hard, engage in further cultural exchanges, and strengthen their ties of friendship with their mainland teachers and fellow students.
The inspection team then visited the International Emergency Response Medical Unit (Sichuan Province) who had set up a hospital tent at the institute. The unit, coordinated by SCU’s West China Hospital, passed official assessment by WHO experts on May 5th, making it the world’s first international, non-military emergency response unit of its kind (EMT Type 3). Lam made detailed inquiries about the cooperation between Hong Kong and West China Hospital and the work of the institute while touring the medical facilities on site. She praised SCU’s contributions to global emergency medical responses.
Before ending her visit, Carrie Lam attended a special meeting to discuss the past, present and future of disaster aid and reconstruction efforts. Reflecting on the work of the past eight years has taught her, first, the importance of early planning, second, the need for sustainable development in disaster-struck regions, and third, the efficacy of strong management skills, people-oriented policies, and social cohesion.
Noted experts and scholars from Sichuan University, the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong attended the meeting and shared from their various experiences in disaster management and reconstruction.