Prolific author Louis Cha and 13 prominent Hong Kong personalities received Wednesday the French honor of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of their significant contributions to furthering the development of French arts and culture in Hong Kong and China's mainland.
The French Minister of Culture and Communications Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, who presented the honors at a ceremony here, awarded Louis Cha the high rank of Commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Louis Cha, whose novels have sold more than 300 million copies worldwide, has a long and distinguished career in literature. He is an honorary professor at five universities and has won many international honors, including medal of Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur from the French government.
The other 13 personalities were awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of their work on the 16-member Honorary Committee-Hong Kong of "The Year of France in China." Among those were Lee Shau Kee, Chairman & Managing Director of Henderson Land Development Co., Ltd, and Vincent Lo, Chairman of Shui On Group Ltd.
The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres was established in France in 1957 by General de Gaulle to recognize eminent artists, writers and others who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.
Speaking at the presentation, Donnedieu de Vabres said these prestigious Hong Kong individuals and their companies have had a major influence on promoting French arts and culture in Hong Kong and Chinese mainland, and in further strengthening cultural, political and economic relations as well as understanding between the two countries.
Launched Tuesday in Hong Kong, "The Year of France in China" runs until the middle of July 2005 with more than 40 cultural and arts activities.
(Xinhua News Agency October 14, 2004)