Beijing would probably increase its backing for Tung Chee-hwa after the Chief Executive's two-day visit to the capital this week, an academic said yesterday. Mr Tung leaves on Thursday for his annual duty visit to meet state leaders. It is expected that he will meet President Jiang Zemin, Premier Zhu Rongji and Vice-Premier Qian Qichen. He was received by the three during his visit in November last year. During the two-day trip, Mr Tung is expected to brief leaders on current developments in the SAR and his Policy Address which he delivered this month. A government source was unable to say yesterday whether Mr Tung would discuss his proposals to introduce an appointment system for principal officials to make them more accountable to the public. 'Mr Tung has yet to finalise his blueprint on the arrangement. Any new system would be compatible with the Basic Law. The new system would not require any amendment to the Basic Law,' the source said. A copy of the SAR chief's fourth Policy Address was sent to Beijing two days before he delivered it on October 11. On whether Mr Tung's re-election would be discussed, the source said: 'It will be a matter for 2002. Mr Tung is eyeing recent developments.' Professor Lau Siu-kai, associate director of the Chinese University's Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, said Beijing leaders would send a clearer message to the SAR of their recognition of Mr Tung's performance. They would repeat their appreciation as usual but increase the level of their recognition of Mr Tung in future, he said. Mr Zhu praised Mr Tung on Sunday during a visit to South Korea, saying the Chief Executive's performance was 'much better' than his own. But Professor Lau pointed out that Mr Zhu's comment was typical of his sense of humour and also reflected the line that Beijing leaders took. However, he believed the Beijing leadership would not openly state whether it would support Mr Tung to run for a second term as this could invite criticism the central Government was interfering in internal SAR affairs. Professor Lau said the political situation would become more complicated in the coming two years and Beijing could be expected to consolidate Mr Tung's power. But he thought Beijing's support would have little influence on strengthening Mr Tung's popularity.