BEIJING was yesterday accused of breaching the Basic Law with its recent attacks on the alleged politicisation of the civil service. As Chinese Joint Liaison Group (JLG) team leader Guo Fengmin confirmed the topic would be discussed at Tuesday's meeting in Beijing, it was revealed the future mini-constitution guaranteed the right of public employees to join political parties. Union leaders charged Beijing last week breached this by blasting the Hong Kong Government's policy of allowing most civil servants to take part in political activities. Under Article 39 of the Basic Law, all international labour conventions now in force in Hong Kong will remain valid after 1997. The Government's international law chief, David Edwards, confirmed last night this included a 1978 convention, Article 9, which safeguarded the political rights of public employees. He said the two sides had already agreed, in the JLG, that this would remain in effect beyond the transition. ''China has breached the Basic Law and they should now review this convention,'' claimed Federation of Civil Service Union chairman Michael Siu Yin-ying, also a member of the United Democrats. ''We are no different from other workers, so we should have the right to be involved in politics. ''China may not be very familiar with the convention, as they are not the country that ratified it.'' He said Hong Kong was the only state in Asia to do so. Government officials privately said the revelations showed Beijing had not read the Basic Law carefully, in an apparent retort to Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office chief Lu Ping's recent jibe that Governor Chris Patten should study the mini-constitutionmore closely. Mr Lu last week accused the Government of politicising the civil service, both by allowing public officials to take part in political activities, and by proposing a functional constituency for civil servants. Speaking on his arrival in Beijing yesterday, Mr Guo said this would be high on the agenda of the forthcoming JLG: ''We will be discussing issues related to the civil service and questions of stabilising it.'' But Acting Secretary for the Civil Service Stuart Harbinson said the policy on political participation was entirely in line with Article 9: ''We are aware of our obligations under this article and we have observed them.'' Article 9 of International Labour Organisation Convention No. 151, ratified by the Government in 1981, states that: ''Public employees shall have, as other workers, the civil and political rights which are essential for the normal exercise of freedom of association, subject only to obligations arising from their status and the nature of their functions.'' Mr Harbinson said this did allow for the Government's limited restrictions on administrative, directorate and information officers taking part in politics. International law officer Mr Edwards said the convention was one of 49 on labour which would remain in force beyond 1997, and that the right of civil servants to participate in such activities was also protected by the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. That convention will also remain in effect under the Basic Law. National People's Congress delegate Liu Yiu-chu conceded the right of civil servants to be involved in politics was a grey area of the Basic Law. ''Common civil servants should be allowed to vote and join election campaigns, but it is necessary to discuss whether they should be allowed to join political parties,'' she said. But pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong chairman Tsang Yuk-shing defended China's stance on the issue, citing another article in the Basic Law saying the present civil service system should remain unchanged. ''Article 103 clearly states the management and discipline of the civil servant should be maintained. As far as I know, this includes the political neutrality of the civil service,'' he said. The article states: ''Hong Kong's previous system of recruitment, employment, assessment, discipline, training and management for the public service, including special bodies, shall be maintained.''