ABOUT 80 mainland dissidents remain in Hong Kong, and, with slightly more than two years before the handover to China, most are anxiously awaiting political asylum overseas. Spokesman for the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement in China, Cheung Man-kwong, revealed that nine of the group were due to leave for New York in days. About 30 pro-democracy activists who made it to Hong Kong, many of them on the so-called 'Yellowbird' escape route established by Hong Kong sympathisers, have settled here and vanished into the community. Twenty have left since January, taking to 520 the number taken in by the international community in the six years since the Chinese military crushed pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. Mr Cheung said those who had melted into the local community were doing a variety of jobs, one becoming a foreign exchange dealer. 'They have good jobs. Some have even got married and have kids,' he said. Most wanted to put their past behind them and start a new life in Hong Kong. There were 40 activists, however, who were eager to leave before 1997, fearing they would be subjected to persecution. The alliance, which is organising a march today to mark the sixth anniversary of the crackdown, helps newly-arrived dissidents find jobs and accommodation. It also offers them a $3,000 monthly allowance for the first three months. Mr Cheung said overseas countries had not stopped offering political asylum but had been sluggish in their intake since 1992. 'Many countries have adjusted their attitudes towards China and the dissidents since then,' he said. In view of China's increasing tendency to release political prisoners for medical treatment, foreign governments believed the 1989 dissidents were in a less danger. 'They [foreign governments] are still sympathetic to their cause but they no longer think it is an important diplomatic issue,' Mr Cheung said. He said the alliance would continue pressing dissidents' cases to foreign consulates. Most of the 80 dissidents wanting to leave had been in Hong Kong for at least three years, but one had arrived only a month ago.