Goals set by Britain and China had been met through the process of consultation, Mr Tsang said. Under the title A Process of Consultation, Mr Tsang mentioned the background and the course of the deal struck by the Joint Liaison Group. 'Because this is a transitional budget, the British and the Chinese sides needed to go through a process of consultation in order to achieve a unified budget for the whole financial year,' he said. Recalling the establishment of a budget expert group in 1995, he went on to say: 'When we started these consultations, the sceptics predicted nothing but bad news.' He described the discussion as pragmatic and constructive and said the two sides had worked in a co-operative spirit. Repeated public declarations made by the Chinese side that they would not meddle in the budget drafting after June 30 had helped reassure the local and international communities.