A TOTAL of 42 directly elected district board members and some top business figures were among the 263 people appointed as district affairs advisers to Xinhua (the New China News Agency) yesterday. Together with the nine rural committee representatives, this brings the number of district board members serving on the Chinese advisory body to 121 - 70 were appointed among the first batch of 274 advisers in March 1994. But only one member of the small-'l' liberal camp managed to get a seat on the advisory body. Eric Wong Chung-ki, chairman of the Shamshuipo District Board and a member of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, said he was unhappy the Democrats had been excluded. Mr Wong is among the three district board chairmen included in the latest batch of advisers. He was appointed alongside Ko Tam-kan of the Southern District Board and Tang Po-hong of Kowloon City. This means only three of the territory's 18 district board chairmen are not part of China's advisory network. They are Yuen Bun-keung from Central and Western, Sin Chung-kai from Kwai Tsing and Winnie Poon Yam Wai-chun from Kwun Tong. Mr Yuen and Mr Sin are both members of the Democratic Party, while Mrs Poon is a close ally of the liberals. None of Mr Yuen's and Mr Sin's party colleagues was offered seats in the advisory body, despite the fact the party was the top winner in last September's district board polls. Tony Chan Tak-wai of the Hong Kong Democratic Foundation was given a seat. Mr Chan is believed to enjoy good relations with the pro-China force in Eastern District, where he serves as a district board member. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong has 40 appointees while the Liberal Democratic Federation has 10. Yesterday's appointments took the number of district advisers in the territory to 537. A total of 59 professionals and businessmen were added to the appointee list, together with 20 academics. They included the deputy chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Industry, Kenneth Ting Woo-shou; the president of the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers' Association, Eddie Leung Wai-ho; and manpower resources lecturer Wong Yui-tim. At a ceremony to present appointment certificates at the China Resources Building, Xinhua deputy Zhang Junsheng defended the exclusion of the Democrats. 'I never agree with the view that there is such a group as the 'so-called' democrats in Hong Kong,' he said. 'If by 'democrats' we mean those who love democracy, I think the majority of Hong Kong people do belong to this group and should be qualified as 'democrats'. Thus, those invited today to be district advisers are real democrats.' He said the new advisers would be the last to be appointed by China before the changeover of sovereignty.