A new lawyers' group made up of pro-Beijing figures was formally launched yesterday, with members promising to promote 'rational and constructive' discussion of issues facing Hong Kong. And the first action of the Hong Kong Legal Forum was to rule out the possibility of any of its six members standing in the Legislative Council elections in September. One of the founders is Executive Councillor Andrew Liao Cheung-sing. Although observers believed its establishment was aimed at countering the growing influence of the Article 45 Concern Group - which mainly comprises barristers - the founders insisted that this was not the case. Daniel Fung Wah-kin, another of the founders and a former solicitor-general, said the group had a wide range of objectives and did not target any particular law. He said he would welcome any member of the legal profession, including those from the Article 45 Concern Group, who wanted to join, as long as they accepted the new group's objectives. These include supporting 'one country, two systems', upholding the Basic Law, acting as a bridge to legal circles across the border, and promoting free and rational discussion in the city. Mr Liao said the diverse views held by people from various sectors on how to implement 'one country, two systems' and how to understand and interpret the Basic Law had contributed to divisiveness in the society. 'Opinions have become radical and the emotional has replaced the rational,' he said. 'There has been a deviation from rational and benign discourse.' Mr Liao, when asked whether there would be a conflict of interest between his Exco position and his being a founder of the group, replied that he had told Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa about the group. The other founders of the forum are Mr Liao's younger brother, Martin Liao Cheung-kong, former Law Society presidents Simon Ip Shing-hing and Anthony Chow Wing-kin, and solicitor Kennedy Wong Ying-ho. Andrew Liao, Mr Fung and Mr Wong are local delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. The group is expected to hold forums and publish articles within the next couple of months. Political scientist Ma Ngok, of the University of Science and Technology, said: 'When it comes to issues relating to law and politics, the Article 45 Concern Group has occupied an authoritative position ... they [the pro-Beijing sector] hope the new group will present alternative opinions to counter them.' Meanwhile, Mr Wong said he would fly to Beijing tomorrow for a CPPCC Standing Committee meeting, which will run until Thursday. He said he would tell the mainland authorities that the theme of the July 1 march was fighting for democracy and that the marchers did not chant slogans that targeted the central government. Mr Wong said that he would suggest the central government to adopt some measures to pacify the public before the Legco elections.