DISCUSSIONS on a training course to allow Hongkong administrators to get a broader understanding of China are to take place in Beijing next week. Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Barrie Wiggham, is expected to fly to Beijing on Sunday for a four-day trip to thrash out details of the programme with Chinese officials. Initiated by the Governor, Mr Chris Patten, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Mr Lu Ping, in Beijing in October, the training course is aimed at providing language training in Mandarin and helping participants to establish contact and get a broad understanding of China. Mr Lu, the director of the Chinese State Council's Hongkong and Macau Affairs Office, agreed in principle the idea of establishing the training course. It is intended that all levels of administrative officers, numbering 450 now, take part in the programme before the transfer of sovereignty on July 1, 1997. It is understood the Government hopes that the programme can be up and running as soon as possible. The Chinese side is said to prefer the idea of the Mandarin course being run by Qinghua University. Mr Wiggham is expected to return to the territory next Thursday and will take up the job of acting Chief Secretary as Sir David Ford will be away leading a high-powered business delegation at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Sir David will leave on Monday and during his and Mr Wiggham's absence, the Financial Secretary, Mr Hamish Macleod, will be acting Chief Secretary. Before flying to Switzerland Sir David will pay a brief visit to London. The World Economic Forum is a gathering of world leaders from business, government and academic circles. The Hongkong delegation led by Sir David also includes the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Brian Chau Tak-hay; the Hongkong Bank group chief executive, Mr John Bond; and Trade Development Council chairman Mr Victor Fung. Sir David will return to Hongkong on February 1, on the eve of the crucial Executive Council discussions on Mr Patten's controversial constitutional package of reforms. Meanwhile, the Director of the local branch of the New China News Agency, Mr Zhou Nan, last night invited the 19 district board chairmen to visit Beijing in March. At a dinner meeting at the Marriott Hotel with the chairmen, Mr Zhou also severely criticised Mr Patten's reform package. Mr Zhou was quoted as telling the chairmen that China's paramount leader, Mr Deng Xiaoping, had raised concern that the Hongkong Government would use up all of the Exchange Fund resources building the new Chek Lap Kok airport.