On Friday the government, at long last, gazetted its much-delayed Race Discrimination Bill. It is certainly high time for Hong Kong to enact such legislation, after many years of denying the existence of race discrimination and the need for a law. The bill reportedly makes it unlawful not only to discriminate against anyone on account of their race. It's also an offence to discriminate based on a person's 'near relatives' - such as a spouse. By coincidence, the following day, I received the results of my DNA test from the National Geographic Society and IBM, which told me about my distant ancestors. The project's goal is to analyse human DNA samples and map out the route that humans took as they spread over the world. I learned about the Genographic Project from an article in the International Herald Tribune by a Japanese, Ko Unoki. He found that 'most of the paternal ancestors of the present-day ethnic Japanese come from all over Asia'. He concluded: 'If we employ notions of racial superiority, look down upon other ethnic groups ... we are in effect insulting our ancestors, who travelled far and wide over tens of thousands of years under unimaginably harsh conditions to get to where we are now.' That article spurred me to contact the Genographic Project, which was how I came to submit a sample of my DNA, obtained through a mouth swab. I discovered that, like all non-Africans, my earliest ancestor - about 50,000 years ago - was born in Africa. He carried a Y-chromosome marker designated M168 and lived perhaps in present-day Ethiopia, Kenya or Tanzania. He, it turns out, was the common ancestor of all non-African men. That is to say, despite all our differences, most of us are descended from one person. His name may not have been Adam, but he comes close to being the common progenitor of us all. About 5,000 years later, another male ancestor was born, this time either in North Africa or the Middle East. He possessed the marker M90, which is found in 90 to 95 per cent of all non-Africans. My ancestors left Africa for the Middle East. Some of the descendants of M90 remained in the Middle East, while others went on to Iran or Central Asia. This means that the peoples of Asia and those of the Middle East have the same roots. And, within the Middle East, Arabs and Jews are related. About 40,000 years ago, in either Iran or southern Central Asia, another ancestor was born, this one carrying the marker M9. This large lineage, known as the Eurasian Clan, dispersed gradually over thousands of years. It turns out that most people native to the northern hemisphere trace their roots to the Eurasian Clan. Nearly all North Americans and East Asians are descended from M9, as are most Europeans and many Indians. Thus, East Asians, Europeans and others share a common ancestry. About 35,000 years ago, another ancestor - who carried the genetic marker M175 - was born in Central or East Asia. His descendants - my ancestors - eventually arrived in China and East Asia. Within the last 10,000 years, another ancestor - who gave rise to the marker M122 - was born, probably in China. More than half of all Chinese men are descended from him. This means that despite all the languages and dialects spoken in China today, most people share a commonality. There is thus no reason for Hong Kong people to discriminate against other Chinese who are recent arrivals from the mainland. My own ancestors lived primarily in Jiangsu province and, in the last 700 years or so, were centred in Wuxi . My parents left Shanghai when the Japanese invaded in 1937, which is how we arrived in Hong Kong. The Genographic Project shows that we are all closely related and share many common ancestors. And so, it would seem, what we should emphasise is not so much our different races, but our commonality as members of the human race. Frank Ching is a Hong Kong-based writer and commentator.