CHINA made it clear yesterday that Britain would have no say on the latest proposals about nationality for returning emigrants. Chen Zuo'er, the Joint Liaison Group's permanent residency sub-group leader, said China would only notify the British side on the new proposals put forward by the Preparatory Committee. 'No discussion with Britain will be held because the nationality question is China's internal affair,' Mr Chen said. Mr Chen's comments were a rebuff to Governor Chris Patten who had urged negotiations with Beijing on the issue. Mr Chen declined to say whether British assistance would be needed for the Immigration Department to put the proposals into practice. The Preparatory Committee has suggested that emigrants who return to Hong Kong with foreign passports should be treated as Chinese nationals and could retain their permanent residency status. They could only retain their consular protection rights if they declared to the Immigration Department their foreign nationality. But Hong Kong member Frederick Fung Kin-kee, chairman of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, criticised the proposal yesterday, saying the authorities would question the motives of those people who sought foreign passports. 'They must have sworn allegiance to their foreign nations. You cannot deny they have done so,' he said. The Hong Kong Alliance of Chinese and Expatriates yesterday urged the Chinese Government to let returning migrants keep their permanent residency after the handover, even if they chose to declare their foreign nationality. In a letter to Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Lu Ping, the group said: 'We believed returning migrants should be able to retain their Hong Kong permanent residency without forgoing foreign consular protection.'