UK puts revised reforms package

Chris Yeung

BRITAIN will table an amended version of Chris Patten's pro-democracy plans when the ninth round of Sino-British talks on the 1994/95 electoral arrangements get underway in Beijing today, according to senior sources.

The revised package, made in response to recent Chinese counter-proposals, removes from the negotiating table some aspects of the Governor's plan which have stalled previous talks.

A source said Britain would negotiate for the allocation of the nine additional functional seats based on the mainland proposals.

However, Britain had so far refused to concede to demands that the election committee, which is to appoint 10 legislators, be comprised of four categories of members. These are business; professionals; grass-roots and former political figures such as local delegates of the National People's Congress.

China's proposals are in stark contrast to Mr Patten's original political blueprint, which says the election committee should be composed of directly elected district board members.

But it is understood that London will allow flexibility in the talks by agreeing to the Chinese proposals as long as most of the seats are democratically elected.

Despite the concessions, a source said Britain was still committed to pushing through as much of the original Patten plan as possible.

It is believed that China had earlier proposed the new functional seats should go to the Chinese Enterprises Association, kaifong associations, export and import companies, insurance, fishery and agriculture, labour, sports, aviation and the textile and garments industry.

A mainland source said Britain has specifically rejected the Chinese Enterprises Association ''for various reasons'' but was more amenable to the inclusion of the kaifong associations.