Beijing has stepped up measures to promote a united patriotic front among people in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan by launching the first China Overseas Friendship Association. The association is the Communist Party's latest propaganda effort aimed at fuelling nationalism among overseas Chinese and to glorify party policies and achievements when Hong Kong returns to mainland rule. In an official establishment ceremony, Wang Zhaoguo, vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and head of the united front work department of the party's Central Committee, was elected president of the association. He said the association would help to solidify and develop the front's work and pro/mote unity of the Chinese nation. Official reports said the association would seek consensus with overseas Chinese on the 'one country, two systems' principle to promote the peaceful reunification of the motherland. It was also aimed at strengthening economic, scientific, educational and cultural exchanges and co-operation between the mainland and overseas countries. Mr Wang said that reunfication of the motherland remained the common wish of people of various ethnic groups throughout the country, including those that were in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.