Adviser missing from list of visitors
China's chief adviser on Taiwan issues, Wang Daohan, is absent from a list of delegates to attend the handover ceremony, diffusing speculation of a meeting between him and senior Taiwanese guests.
However, the vice-chairman of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, Tang Shubei, is in the central delegation.
The list comprised top representatives from non-communist groups.
They included He Luli from the Revolutionary Committee of the Chinese Kuomintang, Fei Xiaotong from the China Democratic League, Cheng Siwei of the China Democratic National Construction Association, Lei Jieqiong of the China Association for Promoting Democracy and Cai Zimin of the Taiwan Democratic Self-Government League.
Another organisation, the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, which recently held talks with Taiwan officials, will also send its chairman, Jing Shuping, to the handover ceremony.
Analysts believed non-communist VIPs would serve as important officials in securing talks with Taiwan guests and Hong Kong people.
Taiwan press reports had said that Taipei's chief negotiator with China, Koo Chen-fu, may hold an unofficial meeting with Mr Wang just before the handover ceremony. The reports said such a meeting would take place in a break between the Hong Kong Government's VIP dinner and the handover ceremony at 11.30 pm on June 30.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin will lead the 72-person delegation.