CHINA'S local advisers yesterday remained critical of the Preliminary Working Committee's (PWC) proposal to water down the Bill of Rights, despite an attempt by mainland experts to justify the plan. After attending a briefing given by three visiting PWC members, Liberal Party chairman Allen Lee Peng-fei said there was still no evidence to suggest the bill was in breach of the Basic Law. Mr Lee was among a group of about 100 local deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) and Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and Hong Kong affairs advisers who attended the three-hour meeting at the Happy Valley headquarters of Xinhua (the New China News Agency). PWC legal sub-group mainland convener Shao Tianren, political sub-group co-convener Xiao Weiyun and legal expert Wu Jianfan arrived on Thursday on an unprecedented trip to reply to the criticism of the PWC's proposal. The three mainland members spoke for more than two hours. Only Mr Lee, Frederick Fung Kin-kee and Liu Yiu-chu had a chance to speak in reply. Mr Lee said he had made it clear to the PWC that he opposed the proposal because it was not constructive. He suggested the Special Administrative Region (SAR) government and the future legislature should decide whether the laws should be revised. Mr Fung, chairman of the Association for Democracy and the People's Livelihood, said the briefing had not cleared public doubts and worries. He said he had criticised the PWC for sparking a row with Britain without considering Hong Kong people. Two NPC deputies, Elsie Leung Oi-sie and Liu Yiu-chu, still opposed the PWC proposals. 'I understand their views but I'm not going to change my mind,' Ms Leung said. 'What use is [the proposal] if it creates legal confusion and affects the confidence of Hong Kong people?' Ms Liu said: 'They kept saying Britain had set a plot against them. But that was 1984. We have to live with the reality. We cannot turn the clock back,' said Ms Liu. She still welcomed such meetings. 'They help bring the debate and preparation work for the transition back into the territory,' she said. Pro-China legislator Chan Yuen-han disagreed with the justifications by the PWC members. 'I still don't think the Bill of Rights has overriding power over the Basic Law. Also, I have a different concept of the common law system from the members,' she said. A local CPPCC member, Kenneth Chow Charn-ki, said he had gained a better understanding of the PWC's rationale. 'Some are reasonable,' he said, but the proposal needed to be improved.