Anger as PWC cancels meeting

Linda Choy

THE Preliminary Working Committee (PWC) came under fire yesterday for its sudden cancellation of a meeting with the liberal Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood (ADPL).

As part of the agenda of the PWC's 10 days of meetings in Hong Kong, invitations have been extended to a number of political groups, with the exception of the United Democrats, whose leaders China considers subversive.

A deput''people who do not recognise the Chinese Government''.

The meeting with the ADPL was cancelled at the last minute.

Mr Wang said that the PWC, of which he is a member, had a tight schedule in Hong Kong, and the ADPL had held a meeting with him last month in Beijing.

ADPL chairman Frederick Fung Kin-kee, recently appointed a Hong Kong affairs adviser, yesterday rejected the reasoning.

''If they cannot spare time, why did they agree to the arrangement in the first place?'' Mr Fung asked.

He said the ADPL's earlier meeting with Mr Wang did not make the cancellation justifiable. ''We talked about human rights and the Xi Yang case last time. We have a different agenda for this meeting.'' Mr Fung refused to speculate whether the cancellation was related to the ADPL's support for the single-seat, single-vote system.

The PWC's political sub-group said on Tuesday that the system should be scrapped.

''We think that the single-seat single-vote method should be retained, since it is an election method acceptable to the people of Hong Kong, and has been adopted since direct elections began,'' Mr Fung said.

In an unprecedented move, the director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Lu Ping, plans to visit a public housing estate on Sunday, one day before his departure.

A Chinese official said Mr Lu might visit a flat ''to be in touch with Hong Kong people''.

But a Housing Department spokesman said there had been no request to organise a visit for Mr Lu.

y director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Wang Fengchao, said it was difficult for them to engage in discussions with