The Second Annual HFI Public Forum Debate Club Debate Tournament was successfully held on Sunday, 10 April. About forty debaters from HFI and other schools, including Country Garden, Guangzhou No. 1 High School, and Xiguan Foreign Language High School, participated. The resolution of the tournament was “Resolved: The Chinese central government should adopt a carbon tax.” The topic required contestants to analyze economic and environmental benefits and disadvantages of a carbon tax in the context of China.
Each team consisted of two people: the first speaker, who is responsible for the opening statement and the summary, and the second speaker, who is responsible for the rebuttal and the final focus. In the morning, each team had four preliminary rounds with others, and only four teams would advance to the semifinal in the afternoon based on their performance in the preliminary rounds. The semifinals, the final round, and the awards ceremony were held in the Yuehai Hotel in the afternoon.
As one of the contestants, I arrived at HFI at about eight a.m. and saw that lots of debaters were already there. Feeling a little nervous, I started to review my main arguments and then prepared rebuttals for both sides. I hoped to have strong opponents so that the competition would be exciting and challenging; but I was also afraid to have strong opponents because I might find no ways to rebut them. I was satisfied with my performance in the first three rounds; although our opponents had strong arguments, I was able to think quickly and rebut some of their points effectively. However, I did not do a good job in the fourth round, probably because I was so hungry that my brain stopped processing, and my rebuttal was somewhat disorganized. Fortunately, my partner, Jessica, was encouraging and helpful. She smiled at me and told me I did a good job after I finished my speech, so I was neither nervous nor upset during the debate.
To be honest, I did not expect that I would advance to the semifinal since all of our opponents were strong. Jessica and I were surprised when we heard our names in Mr.C’s announcement regarding the semifinal contestants. After arriving at Yuehai Hotel, I ate lots of pizza in order to gain enough energy for the semifinal round. I had no idea whether we could debate in the final round because the four teams in the semifinal were selected from about twenty teams, which meant that the semifinal would be much harder. Our opponents were two juniors at HFI who previously got second place at the Guangzhou City Tournament, but I did not feel afraid because what I wanted was to do my best and enjoy myself rather than to win. During the semifinal round, our opponents mentioned some professional terms in economics that we did not understand, such as “market failure,” but we also emphasized their weak points about unemployment again and again. The debate was so exciting that three judges voted for our opponents, while two judges voted for us. It was very close! Even though we lost the semifinal round in the end, both of us were contented with our performance.
It was my pleasure to debate with excellent debaters, and I was so happy to gain the second speaker award out of all of the debaters. The Second Annual HFI Public Forum Debate Tournament was not only a debate competition, but also a valuable platform for learning, making friends, and having fun.