People have lost their way in the economic downturn and need to focus on 'one country, two systems' to revive the SAR, former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang said yesterday. Mrs Chan, who was receiving an honorary doctorate from Chinese University, said Hong Kong should never forget about the two systems because undermining our differences from the mainland would put the territory's future in peril. Speaking at the university's graduation ceremony, Mrs Chan said the reverberations of the terrorist attacks in the United States were too much for the people of Hong Kong to take on top of the difficulties caused by the Asian financial crisis. 'We live in troubled times. Somewhere we seem to have lost our way.' But she said it was as dangerous to be too pessimistic as it was to be unduly optimistic. 'Hong Kong still has a lot going for it. Investors round the world have not given up on us. Let us not give up on ourselves.' Mrs Chan, who ended her 38-year civil service career in April, said the SAR could best serve the mainland by upholding the concept of one country, two systems. 'Some may argue that with the eyes of the world turned increasingly towards China, we should be emphasising one country and forgetting about two systems,' she said. 'I suggest that quite the opposite is true. Hong Kong should best help itself and our country by leveraging on our differences under the two-systems concept.' Mrs Chan added that as China's window on the rest of the world, Hong Kong could perform a role that no other city or province could fill. 'We undermine our differences at our own peril,' she said. She declined to comment on whether she backed Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa for re-election. Honorary degrees were conferred on four other people yesterday, including Gao Xingjian, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature last year, angering Beijing. Gao said he felt easier this time compared with his February visit when he said he was embarrassed by the 'lack of freedom' he felt in the SAR.