Plans to renew Most-Favoured Nation (MFN) trade status to China for only six months would destabilise the territory's business community, political and administrative leaders say. In Washington, Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming yesterday expressed concern at the potential plan to hand Beijing only six months more of its special trading status, warning it would cause commercial unease. In pressing Washington to push through a year's renewal of MFN, Mr Lee said: 'I wish Chinese leaders would make it easier for us to help the Chinese Government win another year of MFN.' Commenting on House Speaker Newt Gingrich's suggestion of renewing MFN for only six months to send China a stronger message, he said: 'Delay in a decision could cause worries on the part of business people concerned, as to whether contracts will be carried out or not. 'But I can understand the anxiety and frustration on part of many congressmen on that issue because the Chinese Government has not been helpful to people like us to help China win another renewal of MFN.' In Hong Kong, Acting Secretary for Trade and Industry Tam Wing-pong said a six-month MFN was 'tantamount to conditional renewal'. He said the Government was very concerned and would be sending a delegation to Washington to discuss the proposal. The territory's trade would be hit hard by any fallout between its biggest trading partners. 'If the US is concerned about the handover, then the best thing is to assure the community by making sure nothing dramatic happens to Hong Kong,' Mr Lee said. 'The first thing is to ensure the maintenance of confidence. If they are worried about China and the smooth transition, then why punish Hong Kong.' On the MFN issue, which he lobbied strongly for in earlier meetings on Capitol Hill, he said: 'The Democratic Party has always strongly supported renewal of MFN for China unconditionally. We have never changed from that position.' He added that 'China is sending all the wrong messages about Hong Kong'.