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Liaison Office: No contact made with HK 'democrats'
( 2003-07-14 13:34) (China Daily HK Edition)

The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong denied any contact between mainland officials and Hong Kong's "democrats".

Such reports are "sheer nonsense", China News Service quoted an official as saying.

It is the liaison office's task - entrusted by the central government - "to communicate with people from all spectra of Hong Kong society and reflect views of Hong Kong citizens", the liaison official said.

He made the remark in response to local media reports that some mainland officials had requested separate meetings with members of the Hong Kong Democratic Party to gauge their views on public discontent and Article 23 legislation.

Sources reported that the Chinese Central Government in Beijing has dispatched officials to Hong Kong lately to assess the political problem arising from the Article 23 legislation. The mission follows a second demonstration in the territory against a proposed internal security bill.

A half-million people took to the streets on July 1, the city's largest protest in more than a decade.

"With such a big incident, Beijing wants to assess Hong Kong people's views on the local government, confidence in the'one country, two systems' principle, and why so many people took to the streets against Article 23," one of the sources said.

The officials are from different departments, including the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the source said.

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