Leaders should meet a range of political groups, they say If the nation's leaders want to foster stability in Hong Kong, they should meet a diverse range of political groups, including democrats, the Liberal Party told State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan yesterday. The meeting with Mr Tang was the party's first with a state leader since its chairman, James Tien Pei-chun, resigned from the Executive Council days after 500,000 people marched in Hong Kong on July 1 to show their opposition to the National Security Bill. Mr Tien quit Exco after failing to convince Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa to postpone the bill's passage. Mr Tang yesterday called the Liberal Party a 'patriotic group' and urged its members to rally behind Mr Tung, a request repeated in a later meeting by Vice-President Zeng Qinghong. Although neither Mr Tang nor the Liberals named the Democratic Party or used the phrase 'opposition parties', Mr Tien said state leaders should meet people who were not allowed to visit the mainland. 'Under the present situation, it will help the stability of Hong Kong if the central government listens more to people with different views and gives them the opportunity to come and understand more about the mainland,' he said. Mr Tien declined to comment on Mr Tang's response to their suggestions. Many members of the Democratic Party have seen their applications for home return certificates denied by the mainland. A special arrangement was made last night for the Liberals to meet Mr Zeng, the vice-president. On Tuesday, Mr Tien had expressed disappointment the party was not receiving equal treatment. Delegations from the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Progressive Alliance met Mr Zeng during their earlier visits to Beijing. The Liberal delegation had been told earlier that Mr Zeng was too busy to meet them. Mr Zeng urged the party to support Mr Tung and Hong Kong's economy. The director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office, Liao Hui, and Liu Yangdong, minister of the United Front Work Department, also attended the meeting. Newly appointed Executive Councillor Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, a party vice-chairman, quoted Mr Zeng as saying he was having an extra shift last night because of the special meeting. 'We are honoured,' Mr Tien said, adding the meeting had lasted more than an hour. The delegation earlier met Chen Zuoer, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. The meeting had to be cut short, but Mr Chen promised to attend a lunch the party will host today.