Concerned about stability, the central authorities are seen as trying to pacify HK supporters critical of his leadership Dozens of pro-Beijing figures have been invited to the capital by central government officials anxious to keep them united in support of the Tung administration. More than a dozen delegations of Hong Kong professionals and politicians have been invited for talks over the next two months. The officials will seek to pacify these members of the pro-Beijing elite, particularly those who are dissatisfied with the performance of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. Sources told the South China Morning Post the trips were arranged by the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong. Invitations had been issued in the wake of the huge July 1 anti-government march that stunned leaders in Hong Kong and Beijing. More than 100 professionals and representatives of business chambers and political groups are expected to make the trip north between mid-August and mid-September. They will meet officials responsible for Hong Kong affairs and may be received by state leaders. Last weekend, leaders including President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao pledged their all-out support for Mr Tung's administration when the chief executive visited the capital. Some of those invited to Beijing said the timing of the visits was quite unusual and the trips might be linked to the central government's concern with the political crisis in Hong Kong. 'Hong Kong's business leaders and professionals are usually invited to visit Beijing at the end of September to participate in activities marking the National Day,' a pro-Beijing businessman said. 'It is rare for Beijing to invite us to travel to the capital during the summer holiday.' It is understood state leaders are likely to discuss Hong Kong affairs during an informal meeting in the first half of next month. In a powerful show of solidarity, central government leaders lined up last Saturday to meet Mr Tung and took steps to bolster his position by promising new measures to boost Hong Kong's economy. They pledged the central government's 'resolute support' and said it would 'try every means' to support the Tung administration and safeguard social stability in Hong Kong. One pro-Beijing politician expects officials will tell the visitors to make preservation of social and political stability in Hong Kong their overriding concern. 'The central government is aware of the fact that a substantial number of Hong Kong delegates to the national congresses are dissatisfied with Mr Tung's performance,' the politician said. 'The remarks by state leaders last Saturday primarily targeted the pro-Beijing circle in Hong Kong. 'The last thing Beijing wants to see is that even some of us join in the chorus criticising the chief executive.' Another pro-Beijing politician said the primary task of the central government was defusing tensions in Hong Kong to buy some time to consider what should be done. 'I don't think Beijing will keep Mr Tung at all costs if he fails to improve his governance,' the politician said. Three years ago, pro-Beijing businessmen and professionals were also invited to travel to Beijing to meet senior officials following a spate of protests against Mr Tung's governance during the so-called 'summer of discontent', during which several protests also drew big turnouts. Veteran China analyst Johnny Lau Yui-shui said of the professionals' visits: 'The central government may find it necessary to listen to a wider spectrum of opinion in the wake of recent controversies.'