KEEPING abreast of events on the mainland will require ever-increasing resources and more space in the South China Morning Post, according to the paper's China editor, Willy Wo-Lap Lam. Lam said Hong Kong was becoming more a part of China each day and the SCMP hoped to reflect this in its news coverage. Bureaus in Beijing and Shanghai were efficient in reporting the main political, social and financial stories of the day, but the SCMP had not been given permission to open more offices. An answer, Lam said, would be to strengthen links with media organisations in the Chinese provinces which were beginning to enjoy some autonomy. The Morning Post Centre in Tai Po would play a crucial role in forging closer ties with the Chinese media. 'We opened our Beijing bureau in 1987 and one in Shanghai earlier this year,' Lam said. 'We've been trying to set up a bureau in Guangzhou for six or seven years without success. 'In the past one or two years, the Chinese Government has been very cautious about allowing foreign media to talk with the local people. 'We have to wait for them to relax their policy. It's difficult to predict when that will happen. 'Meanwhile, we could benefit [from Tai Po] in terms of getting more material from China, for example, Chinese television. 'TV news has made a lot of headway in China. 'In the past it was just CCTV [Central China Television] providing the news programme which would be picked up by all the local TV stations. 'But, in the last four to five years, regional stations have been much more aggressive in having their own programmes. 'If we have a way of monitoring the news from these stations, we could improve our coverage. From here [Dorset House in Quarry Bay], it is difficult to set up the facilities, such as antennae, to receive transmissions. 'We have talked on a preliminary basis with Chinese news organisations about possible exchanges of news items or other copyrighted material. No agreements have been reached.' Lam said the SCMP's expansion through projects such as the Morning Post Centre reflected its positive outlook as a future 'full-time' member of the Chinese media. 'As recently as 10 years ago, the media in Hong Kong would treat China like a foreign country,' Lam said. 'Quite naturally, with the change coming, it is becoming less and less of a foreign country. It is not yet the 'motherland', that it will be in about 19 or 20 months' time. 'Our main focus in China is political news, with some social and economic news. We have expanded our coverage of China business in the past two years.' The SCMP's China desk has five reporters in Hong Kong, two full-time reporters in Beijing, one in Shanghai and one part-time reporter in Taiwan. There is a separate, strong China reporting team. The paper prints two news pages daily focusing on China and an extra page for the China edition SCMP. 'In general, the Post's coverage of China will steadily expand. We have the resources and are just waiting on the [Chinese] Government's approval.'