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“Hong Kong’s relationship with the U.S. has been characterized by cooperation on a range of issues, such as economic and trade development, counterterrorism and global health protection,” Mr. Tong said in announcing his appointment.

“Beyond our valued partnerships and market-based philosophies, we also share many common values. We are committed to a free and open society, buttressed by our rule of law tradition, independent judiciary and clean and efficient government.”

Mr. Tong, who last served as first secretary in Hong Kong’s Washington office in 1994, will be in charge of trade offices in Washington, New York and San Francisco. Before his latest U.S. posting, Mr. Tong was deputy secretary for home affairs and was responsible for the Hong Kong events during the 2008 Olympic Games in China.

Hong Kong, a special free-market enclave in communist China, has a gross domestic product of $242 billion with an inflation rate of less than 1 percent. For the 14th year in a row, Hong Kong has ranked as the most economically free of 162 countries analyzed by the Index of Economic Freedom, a joint project of the Heritage Foundation and the Wall Street Journal.

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail James Morrison.