CHINA has offered to make a public commitment that any military sites not used by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) after 1997 would be returned to the administration for re-development. The plan, raised at the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group (JLG) meeting last month, is expected to clear the final hurdles on a full agreement on the issue, which has been discussed for more than seven years. It is understood the Chinese team, led by senior representative Guo Fengmin, told the British side that Beijing would make a commitment that any unused military sites would be returned to the SAR government for redevelopment. Despite British insistence on such a commitment in previous talks, it is believed the British team made no immediate response to the offer. The British side is expected to respond at a defence sub-group meeting scheduled for next week. Although progress had been made on the defence land negotiations, British sources said an agreement was not imminent. It is understood the Chinese Government will make the commitment when the package on the transfer of military sites is announced. The British side was worried the well-being of Hong Kong people would be hurt if the PLA were able to pocket the benefits of using the defence sites commercially. It has been learned that the Chinese side has demanded the re-provisioning of some military sites and facilities in exchange for its approval to release some sites for re-development.