Appeal over Filipino maids
British officials will meet their Chinese counterparts in the next few months to discuss the tens of thousands of Filipino maids in Hong Kong.
Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Hanley said yesterday in Manila he would lobby China to allow the Filipinos to stay in Hong Kong after the handover.
Mr Hanley, who met Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon, said: 'I feel that the signs are good, but I have agreed to clarify this issue with the Chinese in the months ahead.' There are 153,000 foreign domestic maids in the territory.
The Philippine Government fears their residents would be eased out by an influx of mainland competitors.
But Mr Hanley said the Chinese authorities had said there would be strict quota levels in transfers between the mainland and Hong Kong.