2,000 to attend Beijing conference
More than 2,000 members of a key mainland body are to attend a national conference in March.
The 2,196 Ninth Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) members will attend the forum in Beijing.
Conference chairman Li Ruihuan yesterday said it was necessary for the body to absorb more young members.
He said many new delegates would attend from Hong Kong and Macau while some would represent Taiwan to reflect 'the ever growing strength of our united front battleline'.
'The new CPPCC absorbs many members from the democratic parties and a new crop of leaders from the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. The large numbers of delegates from the Hong Kong SAR and compatriots from Macau and Taiwan are unprecedented,' Mr Li said.
The CPPCC comprises mainly retired politicians, non-Communist Party leaders, scholars and overseas lobbyists with links in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
The All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce is the largest body representing private businesses on the mainland.