French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius Sunday honoured Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai, appointing him a Commander of France's Order of Arts and Letters.
The minister presented Wong with the medallion of the order at the French consul's residence in Hong Kong.
The decoration "has even more significance because it comes from France, the spiritual home of cinema where liberty, equality and freedom of expression and love are the main fundamentals", said the 56-year-old director, who has won numerous awards in France.
Wong won the Best Director award at the 1997 Cannes film festival for "Happy Together". He picked up a Cesar, the French equivalent of an Oscar, in 2001 for "In the Mood for Love", a film which became a cult classic in France.
Wong also headed the jury at Cannes in 2006, the first Chinese director to do so.
His latest film "The Grandmasters", which has just been released in France, is based on the life of Ip Man, a martial arts master who trained actor Bruce Lee.
Fabius arrived Sunday in Hong Kong for a visit before leaving Tuesday for Japan.