Taiwan's top mainland policy-maker has become the highest-ranked government official to visit Hong Kong since the handover. Mainland Affairs Council chairman Chang King-yuh is making a four-day visit. Mr Chang, who began his private trip on Sunday, said yesterday that Hong Kong had remained stable after the handover. 'The overall situation is, by and large, stable and nothing unusual has happened,' he said. He is the first head of the cabinet-level Taiwanese agency to be granted a visa by the SAR Government. During the low-profile visit, Mr Chang met Tung Chee-hwa's special adviser, Paul Yip Kwok-wah. 'We have exchanged views over some issues concerning Taiwan and Hong Kong,' he said. The Chief Executive's Office yesterday gave a low-key response to the landmark visit, saying Mr Tung had not invited Mr Chang. The Chief Executive has not met Mr Chang. Mr Chang denied his visit was clandestine, saying he came for an informal exchange with the local community. Professor Lau Siu-kai, associate director of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia Pacific Studies of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, described the visit as a breakthrough in Taiwan-Hong Kong relations. 'It can also enhance Taiwan's understanding of the one-country, two systems [approach] and how the mainland has maintained a prudent and non-interventionist approach [on Hong Kong] after the handover,' he said. Mr Chang has met the business community and academics and will visit the Convention and Exhibition Centre's new annex this morning before leaving in the evening. Asked if Taiwan would adjust its Hong Kong policy after his visit, he said: 'We hope to develop close relations with [people from] different walks of life and believe there is still potential for further development.' Mr Chang is understood to have said that immigration procedures for Taiwanese visitors and officials should be simplified. Sources said he had no difficulty obtaining a visa but received no diplomatic privileges.