I share Premier Zhu Rongji's determination, commitment, patriotism and ideas on helping Hong Kong and the mainland in the Chinese Renaissance. Among Mr Zhu's first acts of office were the forming of a relatively young technocratic Cabinet, lowering interest rates and proposing the repatriation of overseas investments so that the capital can be committed partly to Hong Kong. Back in the spring of 1995 I spoke at the Foreign Correspondents' Club and wrote in a business journal on the theme of mutual assistance and 'shared interest' between Hong Kong and the mainland. This partnership is a cornerstone of Hong Kong's economy and will continue to grow in importance. The media nevertheless seized on the subject, without truly comprehending the content, as 'evidence' that I was a 'sycophant' of China. Insult in place of analysis was rife in those days. Now in more sober times, with all that has transpired over these three years, I look more and more oracular as I prepare to host my 'I Told You So' luncheon on June 26 at the Furama Hotel. There, local and foreign journalists (all are invited) and I can compare notes - with objectivity and no acrimony - to see who is right about Hong Kong. We face trying economic times along with the rest of Asia. We have not only withstood the vagaries, we have demonstrated leadership that is like an anchor for the floundering Asian ships in the regional tempest. We have managed because of the traditional resilience and resourcefulness of our people. We have prevailed because we have the total backing of our country. Mr Zhu himself has pledged that China would defend Hong Kong financially at any cost, much to the relief of the International Monetary Fund, which has pleaded with the Chinese to hold firm so as to give the rest of Asia a stab at a quick recovery. A crisis engenders both risks and opportunities, as the Chinese ideogram for the word itself depicts. A crisis also exposes the weaknesses and strengths of an economy like ours. We must avail ourselves of this chance to rectify the flaws of a market still without adequate, up-to-date regulations. We must take steps to protect small investors and to stop excessive speculation and panic reactions. We must also enhance our advantages. One of our competitive edges is our special bond with the mainland, which is now undergoing reforms that will decide the fate of the country well into the 21st century. For too long we in Hong Kong have been gazing at our navels. This is not surprising, given our obsession about adjusting to our new status as a Special Administrative Region of China, an autonomous entity rather than a colonial appendage of a distant power. Our Chief Executive also knows Hong Kong requires a coherent strategy for the future rather than continued reliance on a past series of kneejerk reactions that substituted for economic policy. Tung Chee-hwa realises that just living for the day and hoping for the best is not a successful formula because it is passive and, in today's intensely competitive world, defeatist. Soon we will need to define precisely what our role will be to China, Asia and the rest of the world in the age of information sans frontiers. This will not be easy because we will have to ask hard questions and be prepared to accept blunt answers. To this end, Mr Tung has named the previous chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, Professor Chang Lin-tien, to lead the new Commission on Innovation and Technology. This is proof that he will tap the best expertise, whatever the source, to benefit Hong Kong and thus China. Mr Zhu has honoured the central government's commitment to aid Hong Kong, and we should reciprocate by doing our part for our 'shared interest'.