There can be no better sign that 'one country, two systems' is working and Hong Kong is faring well under Chinese sovereignty than the local Indian community's change of heart over becoming Chinese nationals. Like most local Chinese who had acquired a limited form of British nationality by naturalisation or birth in Hong Kong while it was a British colony, ethnic minorities here were issued British National Overseas passports that gave them no right of abode in Britain. Fearful of what might happen to Hong Kong after 1997, they had mounted a high-profile campaign during the run-up to the handover to be given full British passports. They were concerned that the BNO passports are merely travel documents, whose holders cannot pass on their British nationality to their children, who could technically become stateless because the acquisition of Chinese nationality is primarily based on descent. Many were also uncomfortable about becoming Chinese nationals because of the tumultuous history of China. It does not help that while the Chinese Nationality Law has detailed provisions on how foreign nationals or stateless persons can become Chinese nationals, local immigration officials seem to have routinely discouraged such applications from ethnic minorities. The revelation that an increasing number of locally born Indians now have no qualms about applying to become Chinese nationals and are being accepted is therefore encouraging. It shows a new found maturity on the parts of both the immigration authorities and the ethnic minorities. Many non-Chinese citizens in this multicultural community are highly qualified to become Chinese nationals as they were born in Hong Kong, have always lived and worked here and speak the Cantonese dialect fluently. They were once hesitant about doing so; the fact that they have put aside their reservations sends the clearest message to the world that Hong Kong under Chinese rule is faring well, despite periodic rumblings about its perceived shortcomings. However, if 15-year-old Vehka Harjani's experience of getting Chinese nationality is anything to go by, the Immigration Department will need to regularise its procedures for handling such applications. Why should Vehka's father have to call a senior immigration official and cite the case of Mike Rowse, head of InvestHK, who was naturalised as a Chinese last year, before he could even get an application form for Vehka? Shouldn't such forms be readily available to all those who feel they qualify? It is not as if the central government is concerned about Hong Kong accepting too many non-Chinese as nationals. China is a big country with more than 50 ethnic minorities who constitute less than 10 per cent of the population. The ethnic minorities in Hong Kong have the option of leaving for other immigrant receiving countries. That they are applying to become Chinese nationals should be seen an auspicious sign of their long-term confidence in Hong Kong and the country as a whole.