A TOP adviser to the Governor, Executive Councillor Tung Chee-hwa, has accepted an offer to sit on the China-appointed Preparatory Committee. Sources said yesterday that Chris Patten had discussed the offer with the shipping magnate and given him his blessing. Mr Patten was comfortable with the idea of Mr Tung sitting on both the committee that will oversee Hong Kong's return to China and his quasi-cabinet. 'The committee is a different animal. The Government has already given a pledge to co-operate with it. It's in the Basic Law. I don't see there should be any conflict of role,' the source said. Mr Tung, who is also a Hong Kong Affairs Adviser and a local deputy on the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, accepted an offer from Mr Patten to join Exco in 1992. He is tipped as a leading contender for the post of Special Administrative Region chief executive. Mr Tung is believed to be on a list of 150 prospective members put to the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee for approval during the eight-day meeting which began in Beijing yesterday. Ninety-four candidates are local, with the remaining 56 to come from the mainland. The candidates will be approved by the end of the plenum next week. Tsang Hin-chi, the only local NPC standing committee member, confirmed one Exco member was included, but would not reveal who. There are also 10 political figures, mostly Legislative Council members. Thirty-four are business leaders, with 33 professionals, including five leading figures in universities. The remaining 16 come from the religious, social work, grass-roots and rural sectors. Mr Tsang, who owns the Goldlion Group, said the composition was broadly-based with mainland representatives from the various ministries and departments familiar with Hong Kong affairs. The fact Hong Kong members would take up about 63 per cent of the seats which would help forge in-depth discussion on local affairs and consultation in the community, he said. There will be one chairman, nine vice-chairmen (five from Hong Kong), one secretary-general and three deputy secretaries-general. But Mr Tsang hinted there would be no members from the Democratic Party, whose leaders such as Szeto Wah and Martin Lee Chu-ming have been branded subversive by Beijing. The Democrats, making up the largest party in the Legislative Council, said the structure of the committee was biased in favour of business and professional interests. They claimed the committee's credibility and representativeness would be in doubt in its proposed form. Local NPC deputy Liu Yiu-chu, likely to be excluded, said it would be an unhealthy development for people to take a committee seat as a gift from China. 'Politicians should have confidence in themselves. They should not be too concerned about it if they support the principle of elections,' she said. A member of the now defunct Preliminary Working Committee, Leung Chun-ying, said it was not important for the Democrats to be on the committee because they did not necessarily represent a true cross-section of society. It was also important the committee did not become a battleground for political factions. An anonymous Hong Kong Affairs Adviser said there would be 'less liberal-minded figures from the pro-China camp' in the final line-up - and said the Governor was to blamed. He said there would be more members from the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance, which was more conservative than the other pro-China party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong.