Ground prepared for Zeng's Disney mission
Gary Cheung and Ambrose Leung
Chen Zuoer, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, staged an unannounced trip to Hong Kong yesterday to prepare for the arrival of Vice-President Zeng Qinghong to open Disneyland.
Mr Zeng will be the most senior Beijing official to visit Hong Kong since Donald Tsang Yam-kuen became chief executive.
Hong Kong officials are finalising arrangements for the visit, which is expected to be capped by a function to which all 60 legislators will be invited.
The Chief Executive's Office said Mr Tsang did not meet Mr Chen yesterday, adding that the mainland official engaged in 'work exchanges' with government officials during his trip.
A government source said 'something very positive' was being discussed between Mr Chen and the Hong Kong officials, but declined to reveal the details or which officials were involved.
Government sources confirmed that Mr Zeng would be in Hong Kong to officiate at Disneyland and that the government was preparing for the forthcoming trip.
On Monday, Mr Tsang said the government was fighting for the chance of having a state leader visit Hong Kong during the Disney opening. But he did not confirm whether the vice-president would officiate at the event.
Mr Zeng, the state leader in charge of Hong Kong affairs, is likely to arrive in the city two days before the Disneyland opening on September 12. He is expected to officiate at the opening ceremony and leave the same day. It would be his first visit to the city, one seen as giving further support for Mr Tsang.
The Hong Kong government is reportedly planning to invite hundreds of guests, including all 60 legislators, to attend a reception to welcome Mr Zeng.
Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat said he had not received any invitation from the government to meet Mr Zeng.
'Of course it would be a good thing if we had the chance to meet Mr Zeng,' he said.