THE Preparatory Committee's first job should be to meet People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops to be stationed in the territory after 1997, the pro-China Mirror says. The magazine article by Luo Suo, to be published next month, predicted that the local press would be invited to cover the event. The author noted that the meeting would have a number of meanings. 'The setting up of the Preparatory Committee signifies China and Britain moving to the 'actual work' over the territory's transfer of sovereignty. 'The stationing of the PLA in Hong Kong after 1997 is a sign of Chinese sovereignty. Showing the troops [to committee members and the press] would be encouraging.' It said China's main handover job was to take responsibility for defence from Britain. Hong Kong people had been concerned about the composition, quality, training and discipline of the PLA troops stationed in the territory, it said. And Chinese military authorities should want to let Hong Kong people learn more about the troops. It said: '. . . communications between the PLA garrison and the Hong Kong people through certain channels would help allay any unnecessary worries of the people in Hong Kong. It would also be advantageous for them to quickly build up mutual trust and a harmonious relationship.' On an earlier report which quoted a British source saying the PLA would be in Hong Kong before 1997, it said there might be people who deliberately made up the story to upset the relationship between the PLA and British garrison. Director of Xinhua (the New China News Agency), Zhou Nan, said the current situation was favourable to a smooth transition. Delivering his New Year message, Mr Zhou said 1996 would be a key year. He hoped more people in the territory would participate in the preparatory work of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Also, at a forum yesterday, leading political parties said the Preparatory Committee should be as transparent as possible to enhance its credibility. Ip Kwok-him of the pro-China Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong said the committee ought to let Hong Kong people know what was going on. According to some committee members, all 150 members will be bound by rules of collective responsibility and confidentiality. Wong Chung-ki of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood said collective responsibility was unfair to members holding minority views. But Carson Wen Ka-shuen of the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance backed the system adopted by the Preliminary Working Committee, under which only decisions and not individual views were made known.