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[Expat] Australian banker a fan of Chinese history
Latest Updated by 2007-05-29 10:24:19

TED RULE, among the earliest Chinese learners in Australia, first came to Shenzhen in 1973.

After working in the investment banking and private equity sector in Hong Kong for decades, Rule now spends a lot of time in his Futian home, learning about Chinese history and inviting friends to visit the city.

"My sister came for a visit recently after a trip back from South America. She was amazed Shenzhen is so clean," said Rule, chairman of the Hong Kong-based TDR Capital International Co.

Rule is amazed by Shenzhen's history, and Chinese history as a whole.

"I've seen many 'heaven goddess' temples around China, but the one in Chiwan, Shekou is the grandest of them all. History gave me a clue. Sea adventurer Zheng He met a storm on his journey and was blown off to the Shekou area. He thought the heaven goddess had saved his team and pleaded with the emperor to build that temple," he said

Fascinated by the migration of Hakka people to China's coastal regions during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), he is writing the history part of a travel book about Shenzhen which his wife is working on.

His job with the Australian Federal Government, after graduating from the University of Melbourne, took him to Taipei and Hong Kong.

In 1972 when Australia established diplomatic ties with the Chinese Government, Rule was among the first trade officials sent to Beijing.

"I first crossed over to Shenzhen in 1973, to send a senior official on a train to Guangzhou where he flew to Beijing. There were military barracks in the then small fishing town, and villages in Luohu," he recalled.

Rule started coming to Shenzhen more often after he returned to Hong Kong in 1987 as an investment banker.

He helped float C.P. Pokphand, part of a Thailand group with agriculture produce bases in Shenzhen, in the Hong Kong stock market. He also played an important role in the mainland B share market in the 1990s.

Fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Italian and a little Russian, Rule said he is learning the Hunan dialect to talk with taxi drivers from Hunan Province, who sometimes "have very interesting observations about life."

Editor: Wing

By:Li Dan Source:Szdaily web edition
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