A senior Beijing official in charge of Hong Kong affairs will go to Shenzhen to formulate strategies for the forthcoming Legislative Council by-election. Beijing has been concerned about the by-election - expected to be a contest between former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang and former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, as it has been framed as a 'referendum' on universal suffrage and a battle of 'democracy vs non-democracy'. A source close to Beijing said Liao Hui, director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, would have a final say later this week on the Beijing-friendly camp's by-election strategy after gathering information. Mr Liao will stay in Shenzhen for several days after attending veteran leftist Xu Simin's funeral today. The source said Mr Liao would meet representatives from different community sectors for updates on the by-election and November's district council polls. The source said Beijing felt the by-election would be a tough battle because pan-democratic camp candidates won previous elections with substantial margins. But the Beijing-loyalist camp is aiming to get at least 38 per cent of the vote and would consider this a success based on past results. The source said Mr Liao would also meet government officials to gauge public response to the green paper on political reform as part of a consultation process that will end on October 10. Liberal Party leader James Tien Pei-chun said yesterday the business sector would not support Mrs Chan's bid for a Legco seat, because it wanted to avoid pressure from Beijing. 'While those businessmen who call themselves pro-democratic will support her, those who are patriotic and love Hong Kong will definitely support Mrs Ip. If they support Mrs Chan, the central government will definitely express its unhappiness,' Mr Tien said. Hitting back at criticism from Mrs Chan that he was suffering from 'memory loss' by supporting Mrs Ip despite his last-minute opposition in 2003 to the national security bill, Mr Tien said he had not called for Mrs Ip's resignation. 'I have only said I did not support Article 23, but I never said I was against Regina Ip as a person.' He said Mrs Chan, as a former top civil servant, should understand Mrs Ip had only been carrying out orders from the government when pushing for the unpopular legislation. 'Mrs Ip supported Article 23 when she was an official, and she can change her stance now, since she represents herself. It is just like Mrs Chan, who was not very democratic as an official but has suddenly become democratic.' Mr Tien said Mrs Chan had made a courtesy call and he had told her his party was supporting Mrs Ip.