President voices leaders' concern for Hong Kong but is confident of consensus on pace of political reform State leaders are 'very much concerned' with the development of Hong Kong's political system, President Hu Jintao said yesterday. And he expressed confidence the Hong Kong community 'will reach a broad-based consensus on the issue'. Speaking during a meeting with Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa in the Great Hall of the People, Mr Hu urged the Hong Kong government to 'continue its efforts to improve communications with [people of] all walks of life' and to 'draw on the wisdom of the masses'. During the 45-minute meeting, the president stressed that Hong Kong's political development must proceed gradually, along the 'clear-cut position of principle' laid down by the central government, according to Xinhua. Having heard the chief executive on the views of the Hong Kong community about the constitutional review, Mr Hu said the city's political system must develop in line with the Basic Law and the 'practical situations' in Hong Kong. 'We believe the Hong Kong society will be able to reach a broad-based consensus on the issue,' he said. Mr Tung said he briefed Mr Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao about the calls in Hong Kong for electing the chief executive in 2007 and the Legislative Council in 2008 through universal suffrage. The president hoped the special administrative region (SAR) government would 'be close to the general public, experience and observe the public feelings, and draw on the wisdom of the masses to constantly improve their services for Hong Kong residents'. Mr Hu added that the central government was concerned with the economic situation and social stability in Hong Kong, particularly the employment situation and how the tourism sector, stock market and property market were faring. Mr Tung, who is due to end his three-day duty visit to Beijing today, told the president that Hong Kong's economic situation and social atmosphere had significantly improved since July because of a series of support measures from the central government. Vice-President Zeng Qinghong, head of a leading Communist Party group on Hong Kong affairs, State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan and director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office Liao Hui also joined yesterday's meeting. Speaking during a separate meeting with Mr Tung, Mr Wen said the people of Hong Kong should treasure the accomplishments of the past six years. The premier believed that the concept of 'one country, two systems' would succeed and that Hong Kong people would be able to run the city effectively under the leadership of the SAR government. Mr Tung's visit came after the pro-government Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong suffered a huge setback in last month's district council elections. It is the chief executive's third visit to the capital this year, including one in the aftermath of the 500,000-strong march on July 1, and the fifth time he has met Mr Hu this year. In Hong Kong, former DAB chairman Tsang Yok-sing suggested inviting Beijing officials to attend a round-table democracy summit with local parties and government officials. He said the summit would be like one held in the late 1980s when Beijing officials came to Hong Kong to listen to the debate on the Basic Law and democracy. 'At that time people with different opinions could sit together in a summit and debate the various options. Beijing officials also came to listen to them,' he said. 'Different sectors participated and created a good atmosphere.' But Mr Tsang said the pro-democracy camp and the government allies were very confrontational at the moment, so he doubted whether such a summit could be convened in the near future. Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun said Beijing officials should not be invited before local politicians reached a consensus on the way forward. He said the eight-party coalition in Legco, which comprises representatives from all major parties, could first hold talks on the matter.