LegCo Panel on Public Service
Informal Get-togethers Between
Senior Civil Servants and Chinese Government Officials
Members have asked to be briefed on what has been achieved in the first round of informal get-togethers between senior civil servants and Chinese Government officials, as well as the arrangements for and the intended results of the next rounds.
2. Following agreement between the British and Chinese Foreign Ministers last year, 12 informal get-togethers between senior Hong Kong civil servants and officials from the Chinese Side were held between November 1995 and May 1996. Participants from Hong Kong Government included all Branch Secretaries and Heads of Departments at D5 or above. Participants from the Chinese Side included officials from Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong Branch), Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, and Office of the Chinese Senior Representative of Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.
3. The first round of get-togethers took the form of a briefing by Hong Kong Government participants of the work of their branches/departments followed by lunch. There was a photo call prior to the discussion and the team leaders of both sides spoke to the press at the end of the get-together.
4. The first round gave senior officials from both sides a good opportunity in an informal setting to discuss a wide range of issues particularly those related to the participants areas of interest and responsibility. The sessions were held in a relaxed and cordial atmosphere. We believe that as a result of these exchanges, the Chinese side have acquired a better understanding of the work of Hong Kong Government and we also appreciated the assurances given by Chinese officials during these get togethers that the Chinese Government accords great importance to the stability and smooth transition of the Hong Kong civil service.
5. Following the successful conclusion of the first round, both sides agreed that there are merits for both sides to meet to enhance mutual understanding. A second round of get-togethers are now being held. There will be a total of 11 get togethers in the second round to be held between October and December 1996. Participants from Hong Kong Government will include senior civil servants at deputy secretary and deputy director level or above and Heads of Agencies. Participants from the Chinese Side will mainly be from Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong Branch). Officials from the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office and the Office of the Chinese Senior Representative of Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will be present when necessary.
6. The second round of get-togethers will take the form of tea sessions during which participants from Hong Kong Government will share with the Chinese Side some of the practical issues they face at work.
7. For enquiries, please contact Mrs Philomena Leung, Principal Assistant Secretary for the Civil Service at 2810 3100.
Civil Service Branch
Last Updated on 21 August 1998