THE Government has not been doing enough to win the release of Hong Kong residents detained in China, legislators said. They approved a motion calling on the Government to take a serious view of the detention of Hong Kong people, especially businessmen, on the mainland and to take measures to safeguard their interests and safety. Sponsoring the motion, Democratic Party legislator Dr Huang Chen-ya said all the Government had done was to ask the Chinese authorities about the detainees. 'But the Government is satisfied and will do nothing even if the Chinese authorities do not give it any answer,' he said. 'The Government just has no shame when it says it has been effectively helping the detainees in China.' Dr Huang said the Hong Kong Government should help the families of the detainees to visit them. It should also help arrange for the detainees' lawyers to represent them in court on the mainland. Dr Huang suggested a hotline be set up for the detainees' families to let them know what kind of help was available. He said there was an Immigration Department team to help the families of those detained in other countries, but its service was not widely publicised. Dr Huang also called for the establishment of a mechanism involving both Hong Kong and Chinese authorities to handle business disputes in China involving local residents. His party colleague Zachary Wong Wai-yin said many Hong Kong residents had been illegally detained for years. 'The Chinese law enforcement and public security officers will tell the detainees they are looking for evidence while detaining the Hong Kong residents,' he said. 'And at the same time, the officers will ask the families to give them hundreds of thousands of dollars, claiming that the money could help an early release.' Dr Huang said unlawful detention of businessmen would affect foreign investors' confidence in China. Secretary for Security Peter Lai Hing-ling said the Government had well-established channels for raising cases of this kind. 'Our representations are initially carried out in Hong Kong by the Political Adviser's Office with the New China News Agency [Xinhua] in Hong Kong. 'Where appropriate, the British Government also raises the matter through the British Embassy in Beijing. 'Particularly serious cases where the persons concerned had been detained for long periods have also been raised at ministerial level,' he said. He said the Government had received 20 requests for assistance in the past four years concerning Hong Kong residents detained in China, and 19 of these cases concerned Hong Kong businessmen. 'We have taken up all 20 cases with the Chinese authorities. Most of the detainees have been released, but four Hong Kong businessmen are still detained in China,' he said. 'We will continue our efforts to bring about early resolution of their cases.'