The Chief Secretary yesterday urged senior SAR officials to meet their Beijing counterparts in order to improve networking between Hong Kong and the mainland. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen was speaking after making his first duty visit to Beijing since taking over as Chief Secretary for Administration 10 months ago. Yesterday, he met for 3.5 hours with Liao Hui, the director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, and other officials. He is scheduled to meet Premier Zhu Rongji, Vice-Premier Qian Qichen at Zhongnanhai and Qiao Xiaoyang of the Legislative Affairs Commission today. Mr Tsang said that it had been Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's wish for him to get to know officials in the capital during his five-day visit. He said forging such personal relationships was important when discussing joint economic development. 'On the exchanges between Hong Kong and mainland officials, the people of Hong Kong find them to be something that should be done. I think this is a normal development,' he said. He hoped that in future Financial Secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung, Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie and other bureau heads would seek to extend their networks by visiting Beijing. This would give them extra channels of communication if Hong Kong was in need of the central Government's support, Mr Tsang said on the second day of his visit. Asked how Mr Liao had assessed his performance and how he thought it compared with that of his predecessor, Anson Chan Fang On-sang, Mr Tsang only said that talks with Mr Liao were of benefit to both teams. This was in sharp contrast to Mrs Chan's duty visit to Beijing in September 2000, when Mr Qian urged the civil service to better support Mr Tung. Mr Liao was reported to have criticised Mrs Chan for not co-operating with Mr Tung. When asked if Mr Liao had tried to exert similar pressure on him, Mr Tsang said: 'I didn't hear Mr Liao or other officials expressing any worries about Hong Kong's civil service. This is something which I find to be consoling.' During yesterday's meeting, Mr Tsang took the opportunity to follow up on issues dealt with by various bureaus. Mr Tsang also said he offered Mr Liao his own observations on Hong Kong people and how they were reacting to the challenges of the economic downturn and civil service reforms. A large-scale exhibition could be held at Beijing's Millennium Monument to mark the fifth anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to the mainland, it emerged yesterday. Mr Tsang managed to visit the monument yesterday to see for himself whether it would be suitable to stage the proposed celebrations at the venue. A spokesman for the Hong Kong SAR office in Beijing said yesterday their proposal tentatively included a large-scale exhibition featuring Hong Kong and would run for two weeks between June and July.