Xinhua office wants name change to reflect true role

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 January, 2000, 12:00am

Xinhua's SAR branch wants to change its name to reflect its role more accurately.

Describing the office as 'not a news agency', Deputy Director Wang Fengcao said a change was necessary.

'In Hong Kong, this body should have transparency. It is not a news agency,' Mr Wang said.

He said the organisation was named a news agency before the handover because of special circumstances.

'The name of a news agency was given before 1997 under the special historic conditions,' Mr Wang said.

'Now that Hong Kong has returned [to the mainland], we should make the public aware that the name of the organisation should be in line with what it does.' Xinhua has reportedly considered renaming itself the Central Government's Representative Office.

It served as a communication channel between the mainland and Hong Kong before the handover and helped co-ordinate affairs in the pro-Beijing camp.

He said the name change was his personal view and there had not been any concrete details on the suggested change.

Mr Wang also indicated that the headquarters at Happy Valley were dilapidated and the offices should be relocated.

A Standing Committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Xu Simin, said the Xinhua branch could change its name in spring, which he said was the season for change.