Pro-democracy councillors to visit capital

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 12:00am

Four Democratic Party members are among the 36 district council chairmen and vice-chairmen invited to visit Beijing next month in what is being seen as another friendly overture to the pro-democracy camp.

Besides the Democrats, four other pro-democracy councillors are also on the central authorities' invitation list for the trip, the first by a district council delegation since the handover.

District councillors said the May 13 to 17 trip could include meetings with state leaders such as Vice-President Zeng Qinghong .

But two of the Democratic Party councillors - Kowloon City vice-chairman Chan Ka-wai and Wan Chai vice-chairman John Tse Wing-ling - have yet to have their home-return permits reinstated after their confiscation several ago.

Mr Tse described the trip as the 'beginning of communication' and hoped for improvement.

'It's better to have communication than having no communication at all,' said Mr Chan. Kwai Tsing chairman Chow Yick-hay and Northern vice-chairman Joseph Chow Kam-siu are the two other Democrats invited.