OUTGOING Housing Authority chairman, Sir David Akers-Jones, is to become the first expatriate and the most senior ex-civil servant to be appointed by Beijing as a Hongkong affairs adviser. Sir David yesterday declined to comment, saying ''it's better to wait until an announcement from China''. China had earlier shown reservations about appointing expatriates to its panel of advisers. But Sir David's critical attitude towards the Governor, Mr Chris Patten, and the high positions he had held in the administration overshadowed his British background, sources said. With differences between China and Britain over Hongkong's future political development still polarised, Beijing is eager to solicit support in Hongkong to fend off any British offensive in the run-up to the 1997 change-over. Sir David, who has wide business interests in China and is a frequent traveller to Beijing, will be among 50 Hongkong residents included in a second batch of appointees. The preparatory committee of the Liberal Party last night endorsed its convenor Mr Allen Lee Peng-fei's invitation to become a Hongkong affairs adviser. The committee also gave the green light to its members Mr Stephen Cheong Kam-chuen, Mr Ngai Shiu-kit and Mr Steven Poon Kwok-lim to become advisers. A ceremony to present certificates to the new advisers will be held on April 2 in Beijing. Asked if he would accept if China offered him an adviser post, Sir David said: ''If the Chinese offered, I think I would accept it. ''Certainly if I am named, if I can do anything to help the relationship between Hongkong and China, I shall be happy to do so.'' In an interview with the pro-Beijing magazine, Mirror, the director of the local branch of the New China News Agency, Mr Zhou Nan, indicated a recognition of the expatriates' role in ensuring a smooth transition. He said part of his duty as the local NCNA chief was to unite compatriot Hongkong residents and ''expatriates willing to co-operate with China to faithfully and fully implement the Joint (Cont'd on Page 6, Col 3) See also Page 23 Declaration and ensure a smooth transition''. But Sir David yesterday denied his resignation from the Housing Authority chairmanship had anything to do with the appointment of Hongkong affairs advisers. He said the two matters were not connected, and he had not entirely made up his mind yet. Sir David was strongly recommended by a local delegate to the National People's Congress (NPC), Mr Chan Wing-kee, who urged China to appoint retired civil servants regardless of their nationality. Sir David was chief secretary between 1985 and 1986, and acting governor for six months following the death of then governor Sir Edward Youde in December 1986. Both Sir David and Mr Chan are members of the conservative Business and Professionals Federation (BPF), as a member of the advisory council and executive committee respectively. With the Sino-British row over the political reforms unlikely to end by early next month, the BPF has decided to postpone its Beijing visit on April 5 to the end of the month. Mr Donald Liao Poon-huai, a former secretary for home affairs and member of the British team of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, is the only other retired civil servant on the panel.