TITLE holders China sounded an ominous warning to their would be rivals as they began their defence of the Seiko Asian Championships in style last night at Hongkong's Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai. China, bidding for a hat-trick of titles in the men's team tournament after winning in Semarang in Indonesia in 1987 and Shanghai in 1989, started well at the expense of Hongkong with a comprehensive 5-0 victory. And favourites Indonesia showed they meant business when they thrashed Thailand 5-0 in their opener. Hongkong, drawn in Division One for elite countries, did not disgrace themselves against the renowned Chinese in their opening Group One match. In all three singles, Chan Kin-ngai, Wong Wai-lap and Ng Liang-hua showed they have narrowed the gap between themselves and their illustrious opponents. Hongkong number one Chan had chances to win the first game against world number nine Wu Wenkai, leading 9-7, but crumbled under pressure for Wu - last year's Hongkong Open champion - to score a 15-12, 15-7 victory. Wong also showed touches of class before going down to last year's All-England champion Liu Jun in a 16-18, 3-15 defeat. Hongkong's best hopes in the tie rested on the territory's doubles pairing of Chan Siu-kwong and Ng Pak-kum, but the recent Portuguese Open champions found Chen Kang and Chen Hongyong too strong in a 15-11, 15-10 defeat. With the tie already won by China, Ng took a game off Wan Zhengwen, who was stretched to a 15-1, 11-15, 15-9 victory. Hongkong coach Chan Chi-choi was pleased by the territory's performance saying: ''We gave them a bit of a run in the singles and our boys played up to their expectations. Our preparations were not good because they had just come back from a tough Europeancampaign and were involved in the local doubles league.'' ''Our boys just don't have the experience to play the big points better but they are getting there and with a few more years' experience I expect them to play even better,'' he added. Indonesia, who rested recently-crowned All-England champion Heryanto Arbi, had few problems against their Thai counterparts who also had their number one player, Sompol Kukasemkij, on the sidelines. Olympic champion Allan Budi Kusuma began the rout when he outplayed Teeranan Chiangta 15-4, 18-14 in the first rubber. Kusuma, who won Indonesia's first gold medal in Barcelona last year, was given a few anxious moments before winning 15-4, 18-14. World number one pairing Ricky Subagja and Rexy Mainaky had no such difficulties as they gave Indonesia a 2-0 lead with an effortless 15-0, 15-5 defeat of Pramote Thirawiwatana and Sakarapee Thongsari. Olympic silver medallist Ardy Wiranata won the tie with a 15-3, 15-3 demolition of Thaweesak Koetariphan. Indonesia proved too strong again in the dead rubbers with Imay Hendra and Bagus Setiadi defeating Monthol Bum Phenkeitikul and Khunakorn Sudhi Sodhi 15-6, 15-5 in the second doubles. And Hermawan Susanto completed the rout with a 15-4, 18-13 victory over Kasemsak Chatuchinda in the third singles.