Chief Executive-designate Tung Chee-hwa has publicly acknowledged Britain's contribution to the success of Hong Kong. In an interview with the BBC broadcast yesterday, Mr Tung also hinted that the Governor should not be blamed for the icy Sino-British relationship in the past five years - but the former Conservative government. Recently, Mr Tung admitted he donated GBP50,000 (HK$631,000) to the Conservative Party in 1992. The territory had achieved great success under 156 years of British colonial rule, Mr Tung said. 'There are many reasons why Hong Kong is successful,' he said. 'Certainly one of the main reasons is [the] rule of law, the Western system of governance and the freedom. 'From that point of view, Britain has indeed contributed greatly to the success of Hong Kong.' Mr Tung said Britain had changed its policy towards Hong Kong in the past five years, resulting in a difficult relationship. Asked what might have happened if Hong Kong had been governed by someone other than Chris Patten, he said: 'I would imagine this is the policy of the government as a whole.' Noting Hong Kong, and Britain under Prime Minister Tony Blair, were entering a new era, Mr Tung said he looked forward to improved relationships. A good Britain-China relationship would not only benefit the two countries but also Hong Kong, he said. Xinhua's Hong Kong director, Zhou Nan has also previously said Mr Patten is not to blame for strained Sino-British relations in the past few years.