China is happy to talk to local groups opposed to the provisional legislature provided they want consultation, not confrontation, according to senior Chinese official Lu Ping . Mr Lu, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Director, was responding to questions about why China invited a delegation from the Bar to visit Beijing, but denied representatives of the United Front Against the Provisional Legislature entry to Beijing this month. He met the delegation, led by chairman Gladys Li Chi-hei, which will meet the Preparatory Committee's legal sub-group during its six-day trip. Mr Lu said: 'We are having discussions with the Bar Association in the form of consultation. We welcome anyone who discusses things in this way. Whatever different views you have, we are willing to listen.' Eight members of the United Front coalition had their travel documents confiscated when they planned to hand in petition letters to Chinese leaders in Beijing. Ms Li said after the meeting they had exchanged views with Mr Lu on the provisional legislature. She declined to say if they had got closer on the issue and stressed there would be further discussion. Ms Li said their fears over the possible threat to judicial independence caused by a provision in the Basic Law had eased after the talks. Article 158 empowers the National People's Congress to give the Basic Law interpretations on matters decided by central government and the courts have to follow these interpretations. 'We discussed how this issue should be handled and hoped independence of the Court of Final Appeal would not be intruded,' Ms Li said. Delegation members also expressed their hopes of making the legal sub-group's discussion about recommendation on the legality of existing laws more open.