The influential Better Hong Kong Foundation - financed by some of the SAR's wealthiest tycoons - has decided to change focus and concentrate on promoting better understanding of China in the United States and other foreign countries. It has concluded that fears about adverse consequences of the 1997 handover are no longer a major concern overseas. Formed in 1995 by a group of business leaders to promote the long-term prosperity of Hong Kong, the group decided at a trustees' meeting earlier this year to seek new ways of promoting Hong Kong's interests. Executive Council member Nellie Fong Wong Kut-man has stepped down as chairwoman of the executive committee. She was succeeded by Ronnie Chan Chi-chung, chairman of the Hang Lung Group. Mr Chan, who holds a US passport and has extensive links with the US political, business and think-tank community, is a close friend of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. As part of ongoing programmes, the foundation has invited US media to visit Hong Kong next month. Last June, Mrs Fong led a delegation to Washington and New York, when topics including Beijing's Olympics bid were raised. The South China Morning Post learned Mr Tung had privately suggested the foundation could play a significant role in promoting better relations between China and the US. The foundation's chief executive, George Yuen Kam-ho, said: 'The issue of the 1997 anxieties [has become] a non-issue. Some trustees think our mission has been accomplished. Most believe we should continue to operate and take a broader perspective.' Mr Yuen stressed the foundation would not be acting as a mouthpiece for China.