Top French honour for director Wong Kar-wai
Film director Wong Kar-wai will join one of the art world's most exclusive clubs today when he is appointed a Commander of France's Order of Arts and Letters.
The filmmaker will be presented with the medallion awarded to recipients of France's highest cultural honour by Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius at the opening of the French May arts festival in Hong Kong.
Wong's work has long been acclaimed in France.
He won the best director award at the 1997 Cannes film festival for Happy Together and picked up a Cesar, the French equivalent of an Oscar, in 2001 for In the Mood for Love.
His induction into the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres sees him follow in the footsteps of fellow stars from the film world Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery and Michael Caine, as well as illustrious artists including the poet T. S. Eliot and singer David Bowie.
As well as honouring Wong, Fabius is due to sign a visa accord with Hong Kong authorities intended to promote travel and business links between France and the city.
Hong Kong is home to up to 20,000 French expatriates.
The foreign minister is also hoping to stimulate investment in France by Hong Kong business leaders.
He will deliver a speech on Europe-China relations at a lunch tomorrow hosted by the Asia Society.