Legco president Rita Fan says it will mean 'more mutual understanding' Hong Kong's legislature has formally invited members of its Guangdong counterpart to visit the city, in a further move to strengthen cross-border ties. The Legislative Council also plans to establish a permanent channel of communication between the two legislatures. The move follows the groundbreaking visit to the Pearl River Delta by Hong Kong's legislators. Legco president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai yesterday said she had written to the Communist Party's provincial authorities and the Guangdong People's Congress, inviting mainland deputies to visit Hong Kong. 'This is a gesture of goodwill,' she said. 'It is good to have more mutual understanding and discussion on issues of mutual concerns.' She said that as this week's visit had yielded 'good results', members of Legco's 18 panels could also make plans to visit the mainland for fact-finding trips in their policy areas if they wished. She said there were also plans to set up a mechanism to enable the Legco secretariat and the Guangdong congress to exchange information. Mrs Fan said it was still up to the central government whether Hong Kong legislators could visit Beijing. Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat has written to Legco House Committee chairwoman Miriam Lau Kin-yee requesting the arrangement of mainland trips. Mr Lee said the Democrats had found it a good opportunity to communicate, but insisted that any further communication would not compromise the party's demand for universal suffrage. Meanwhile, veteran pro-democracy activist Szeto Wah said he knew nothing of moves by the Professional Teachers' Union, whose senate he chairs, to seek a visit to Guangdong. Mr Szeto, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said he would consider whether to join such a tour 'only when that moment comes'. 'I will see whether I could find time to join the delegation and the nature of the tour. I am not at the mainland authorities' beck and call,' he said. 'I will not go if it's a trip mainly for eating lychees.' Beijing has branded the alliance as subversive and Mr Szeto, the union's founding president and senate chairman, has been barred from entering the mainland for the past 16 years. The union will write to Guangdong Communist Party Secretary Zhang Dejiang next week seeking a visit to the province soon. Mr Szeto, 74, emphasised that returning to the mainland was his legitimate right. He said it would be inconsistent with his principles if he was only allowed to return to the mainland with a one-off home return permit. Union vice-president Au Pak-kuen said the union's executive committee would further discuss the possible tour.