Chinese JLG team to streamline work

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 January, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 January, 1997, 12:00am

The Chief Executive-designate and his team will gradually take over issues now being handled by Chinese officials in the Joint Liaison Group.

Chinese JLG member Chen Zuo'er said the Chinese team headed by Zhao Jihua discussed with Mr Tung last week how to streamline its work.

Matters related to Chinese sovereignty would still be tackled by the JLG officials, he said.

Mr Tung and his team-designate would take part in talks as part of the Chinese team, and would have greater participation in matters within Hong Kong after the handover.

'We are happy to see this development,' Mr Chen said.

Beijing has insisted on raising handover issues with Britain before the transfer of sovereignty on behalf of the Special Administrative Region.

Mr Chen said Mr Tung and his team would take part in Budget talks as part of the Chinese expert team.

Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Nicholas Ng Wing-fui sidestepped a question on whether there would be a conflict of roles if the team-designate took part in JLG talks with the mainland team.

'I think the role of the JLG has been very clearly set out in the Joint Declaration,' he said.

'The JLG provides a forum for the British and Chinese sides to discuss subjects of mutual interest about the implementation of the Joint Declaration, with the objective of ensuring a smooth transition,' Mr Ng said.

'It is understandable that as we get close to July 1, there are subjects that are now dealt with by the JLG that the chief executive will have an interest in.

'To me, it is not exceptional and surprising that the work of the JLG will concern the chief executive.' Preparatory Committee member and legislator Cheng Yiu-tong said if Mr Tung and his team sat in on JLG meetings it would help familiarise them with the operation of the Government.