I refer to your report on the suggestion from Mr Aron Harilela for an early dialogue with Beijing on arrangements for Hong Kong after 2047 (“ Hong Kong chamber chief calls for early dialogue to settle ‘post-2047 uncertainty’ ”, May 3). The anxieties reflected in Mr Harilela’s remarks are understandable, but, if past is prologue, his suggestion of setting up “a panel comprising mainland Chinese and Hong Kong officials, representatives of political parties and various sectors of Hong Kong society” to discuss arrangements after 2047 is unlikely to find favour with Beijing. The first reason is that a dialogue now is likely to be considered premature and untimely, given repeated statements by Beijing officials that Hong Kong’s top priority now must be to stop the “black violence” and restore order. Secondly, the shape of the arrangements for Hong Kong after 2047 is likely to depend on the successful implementation of “one country, two systems” in the next 20-odd years. If this arrangement is judged not to be working as originally intended – contributing to the national unity and territorial integrity of China and guaranteeing the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong – then all bets are off. The stern statements issued by the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and the central government’s liaison office recently about paralysis in the Legislative Council, the severe economic downturn , and the local administration’s inability to quell the unrest suggest that Beijing is deeply concerned about whether the implementation of “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong is currently on the right track. Certainty about land leases is not a problem, as the Lands Department continues to grant or renew leases of 50 years’ duration. It should be borne in mind also that in the run-up to the Sino-British negotiations on the future of Hong Kong in the 1980s, Beijing jealously guarded against any false expectation that Hong Kong could take part as a negotiating partner. There was a row over the participation of Hong Kong officials in the negotiations. The then governor, Sir Edward Youde, was eventually allowed to take part as a member of the British diplomatic team, not as the governor of Hong Kong. The views and aspirations of Hong Kong people would no doubt be taken into account. But any “panel” in which Hong Kong appears to take part as a negotiating partner would be a non-starter. Regina Ip, member, Hong Kong Legislative Council Help us understand what you are interested in so that we can improve SCMP and provide a better experience for you. We would like to invite you to take this five-minute survey on how you engage with SCMP and the news.