Officials have been accused of leaving taxpayers with no choice but to accept an 'unfair' deal with Disney. They had failed to spend enough time exploring other options, said public affairs commentator Johnny Lau Yui-siu. Mr Lau said it had been unwise for the Government to set a deadline for the deal. Negotiations took nine months to complete after officials postponed the 'target date' to finish the talks from June 30 to October. But it took five years for the Tokyo park and 2.5 years for the one in Paris. 'I don't see any urgency for the Hong Kong Government to reach the deal in such a short time frame,' said Mr Lau, a veteran China-watcher. 'The Government should have considered other options as a way out for Hong Kong other than Disney. But it seems it ranked the Disney project as a priority.' He said the Government could have explored hi-tech joint development projects with coastal mainland cities. 'Hong Kong can become the operating and financing centre for the hi-tech developments in China.' He said the Government's failure to explore more options had left the public with no choice. He did not think Disney would have built a park in Shanghai or Zhuhai because of the gap between US and mainland political culture. 'But Hong Kong's situation is different because of its capitalist system. Officials should be able to see that Hong Kong is Disney's first choice.' Mr Lau said the deal was unfair, with the Government shouldering a greater financial burden and risk than Disney. A government spokesman said June 30 and October 30 were not intended to be deadlines but target dates both sides could work towards. 'Walt Disney has to be answerable to its shareholders and the Government has to be accountable to the public,' she said.