The chief executive's former special adviser has urged Emily Lau Wai-hing and Leung Chun-ying to drop a debate they plan to hold on Taiwan independence. The appeal by Paul Yip Kwok-wah came as Ms Lau and Mr Leung moved a step closer to staging an open forum in early July. The two agreed to meet publicly to debate Ms Lau's views on independence for Taiwan, after Mr Leung, an executive councillor, wrote several articles in February questioning the legislator's patriotism after she said she supported the right of Taiwanese people to decide if the island should re-unify with the mainland. Ms Lau met Mr Leung's representative yesterday to discuss arrangements for the debate. One option on the cards is to stage the debate in front of 1,600 people at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai on July 5. But Mr Yip said an open forum would damage relations with Taiwan and it was inappropriate for a legislator and an executive councillor to engage in public debate on the island's future. 'There is no need to be so concerned about Taiwan. The issues are indeed not to one's advantage,' he said.