Should Hong Kong become an outward-looking international city or a Chinese city acting as a bridge connecting the mainland with the rest of the world? Since the handover, many have called for more emphasis on Chinese values. City University of Hong Kong, for example, has instituted a mandatory year-long course in Chinese civilisation. Lingnan College, meanwhile, has made Putonghua a mandatory subject for all students. Does this reflect the true mood of the community? Or is the community divided on the issue? The switch to mother-tongue instruction, while popular within the educational establishment, has been widely criticised by parents and businessmen. Many want their children educated in English because they think it will lead to better career prospects. The business community fears a further drop in English standards would lead to a loss of competitiveness, compared with other cities in the region. According to a recent survey, many community leaders believe the Government is putting too much emphasis on 'one country' and not enough on 'two systems'. The University of Hong Kong's Social Sciences Alumni Association recently conducted a survey titled 'Hong Kong Leaders' Vision'. More than 110 corporate chief executives, heads of community bodies and professional groups and politicians responded to the survey. More than 80 per cent said Hong Kong should focus on be coming more cosmopolitan rather than more Chinese. The respondents said more emphasis should be put on English. They called for a more flexible policy to attract expatriates to live and work in the SAR and advocated promotion of international culture and values. Eight per cent of respondents said Hong Kong should put more emphasis on becoming a link between China and the rest of the world by promoting Putonghua and Asian values. Businesses in the SAR face many difficulties. Land prices are among the highest in the world. Salaries and fringe benefits are high as well. 'Many graduates' English is poor,' James Tien Pei-chun, legislator and chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, said. 'Their job application letters are full of mistakes.' Mr Tien called for a review of the education system. 'We need to think of ways to raise our productivity. 'We need graduates who can really help us. In the 70s and 80s, we did not have many university graduates but they were of high quality. They were the elite of the society,' he said. 'Many businessmen prefer elite education - which produces a small number of quality graduates - to general education, which produces a large number of graduates but with average or below-average standards.'