AN academic conference has ended in Hawaii with an agreement to speed up the drafting of a new ''Chinese constitution'' that would adopt a federal system of government and grant semi-autonomous administrative status to Taiwan and Tibet under a unified China. Well known dissident scholars, such as Yan Jiaqi and Taiwan constitutional expert Professor Hu Fu, took part in the three-day conference organised by the US-based Foundation for China in the 21st Century. Mqapoi Jigme, who represented the Dalai Lama, has written a letter to the conference to express the Tibetan religious leader's support. Mr Jigme is the younger brother of Ngapoi Ngawang Jigme, who is a vice-chairman of the National People's Congress. A final draft of the constitution will be made public when it is ready next year. It is expected to adopt a bicameral system, protection of human rights, an independent national legislature and autonomy for provincial governments. Provincial legislatures would have the authority to draft their own mini-constitutions as long as they did not contradict the national constitution or violate the interests of other provinces and administrative regions. Under the new constitution, the federal government would be responsible for the country's foreign policy and defence. But Taiwan and Tibet would be accorded special administrative status and would be allowed to maintain their own armies and ties with foreign governments. The new constitution would include provisions on the membership of states and conditions for their withdrawal.