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8 July 1999

The Honourable Tung Chee-hwa
The Chief Executive of the
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
of the People's Republic of China
Chief Executive's Office
Hong Kong

Visits of Leaders of Central Government

Since reunification, leaders of the Central Government have made a number of visits to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the most recent one being the visit by Vice-President HU Jintao from 29 June to 1 July 1999. While they were here, national leaders met with senior government officials, prominent businessmen, community leaders, etc. However, no arrangement had been made on any of these occasions for a meeting to be held between Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) and the national leader. In fact, we were rarely invited to the official functions organized for the visiting national leaders in our capacity as LegCo Members.

The LegCo is a constitutional body under the Basic Law. As elected representatives of the Hong Kong people, we do see the need for us to meet with visiting national leaders. More communication between leaders of the Central Government and LegCo Members would be beneficial to both sides. Even in the colonial days, arrangements were made for Members of the former LegCo to meet with the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary of the British Government during their visits to Hong Kong. The House Committee considers that arrangement should be made for Members to meet formally with leaders of the Central Government during their visits to the HKSAR so that Members could discuss and exchange views on issues of public concern with them. Members have instructed that I should convey their request to you and the State Council.

Some Members have also noted that we were not invited to the reception organized for Vice-President HU on 29 June 1999, although the function was meant for the Vice-President to meet people from different sectors and the guest list included chairmen of Provisional District Boards. Members would like to know the criteria adopted by the Administration in determining who to invite to official functions organized for national leaders during their visits here.

I look forward to your early reply.

(Dr Leong Che-hung)ChairmanLegislative Council House Committee