Some people in the International Monetary Fund seem to know nothing about the 'one country, two systems' concept under which Hong Kong will be governed after the transfer of sovereignty. The ignorance so far seems confined to the fund's rank-and-file staff, who are calling on the multilateral lending agency to consider moving next year's annual meeting out of Hong Kong. This would be in protest at the imposition of an 11-year jail term in Beijing on Hong Yang, a mainlander working for the organisation. There is no denying that China has acted disgracefully, insisting that Mr Hong join a mission to Beijing although it was unrelated to his usual work, then arresting and convicting him on evidence which lawyers say was insufficient. The fund may wish to consider downgrading its representative office in Beijing in protest. But to punish Hong Kong by relocating next year's meeting would undermine the territory's autonomy at a most sensitive time. Although the staff members making the protest seem unaware of it, Hong Kong will continue to be a separate economic entity from the mainland after the handover. That means the territory should be judged on the policies which it pursues, not by those of Beijing. To hold Hong Kong responsible for the actions of a mainland court would destroy the rationale underlying the 'one country, two systems' concept, and leave the territory dangerously exposed whenever any foreign government has a disagreement with China. Fortunately, there are no signs the fund's managers are taking the suggestion seriously. Its senior officials have told the Hong Kong Monetary Authority that they have no intention of shifting the meeting. Nor would the finance ministers and central bankers who sit on the fund's board of governors be likely to endorse such a move. But the mere suggestion is damaging. The fund agreed to meet in Hong Kong as a gesture of international confidence in the territory's future. To link this to Beijing's behaviour can only damage such confidence, and shows how much remains to be done in educating the world on the realities of 'one country, two systems'.