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Oversea Chinese Proud of Great Changes in HK
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All of the oversea Chinese are proud of the great changes having taken place in Hong Kong since its handover, said Donald Lee, chairman of the Chung Hua Association of Zimbabwe, on Monday.

"We are proud of the great changes that have taken place in Hong Kong over the past decade since its handover in 1997, making it a more charming and more vital city," Lee told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

Lee said that despite his absence from the grand ceremony of the handover when China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, he has witnessed the tremendous progress there as he does business visits to Hong Kong every year with his Hong Kong-born wife Yolanda.

The most impressive is the good governance of Hong Kong with the smooth transition under the principles of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and "a high degree of autonomy," Lee said.

"The attitude of civil servants, immigration, customs and other officials are changing for better, and streets and public places are becoming cleaner with restaurants and theaters free of smoking," he said.

Public transport facilities are excellent and free of pollution due to the LPG fuel. The MTR there is the most efficient as well as the cleanest in the world, he said.

Lee, who operates a trade firm in Zimbabwe mainly engaged in trade between China and Zimbabwe, said the investments in Hong Kong are more solid and the currency is stable.

The oversea Chinese are benefiting more and more from the strong growth of China and the policy of economic cooperation with countries around the world, he said.

With the improvement of financial services in Hong Kong as a gateway to China, more oversea Chinese companies have been built and foreign trade has been expanded, he added.

"We oversea Chinese are mow feeling the dignity as China becomes stronger and Hong Kong becomes stronger, " he said, recalling the old days when his father started a business in this southern African country in the late 19th century.

Born in Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia when it was under British colonial rule, Lee said, he was denied to white school and white restaurant.

With the increasing trade and economic cooperation between China and Zimbabwe, he said he hopes a thriving business despite the gloomy economy in Zimbabwe due to the sanctions by the western countries.

Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980 with the assistance of many countries including China after the rule of the British for more than 100 years.

(Xinhua News Agency June 19, 2007)

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