The one country, two systems formula has been designed to suit Hong Kong's unique situation. It has provided a means by which our city could return to China without sacrificing our way of life or the essentials which have made Hong Kong a success. Among the institutions that have been preserved beyond 1997 is a clean and efficient civil service. Its importance is evident from the fact that the Basic Law has specific provisions protecting staff benefits which existed prior to the handover, allowing this British legacy to continue under Chinese rule. But the formula goes beyond keeping the recipe for success. It also puts emphasis on Hong Kong being part of China and expects further developments under 'one country' as appropriate. As our city continues to integrate more closely with the mainland on many fronts, it is natural for Beijing to expect a higher level of awareness in Hong Kong of its policies and development across the border. The school curriculum is being changed to make national education compulsory for youngsters. And more civil servants will be crossing the border to learn about the latest thinking on the mainland. There are plans for about 6,000 staff to take classes and seminars both there and in Hong Kong over the next 12 months, a big jump from the nearly 3,000 tutored each year over the past four years. Inevitably, the trend will foster a closer exchange and greater understanding on both sides. A rapidly developing country like China can be an eye-opener for visitors. But the civil servants should be mindful of the fact that they are not just sent there to learn how to better love the country. They are in a privileged position, being able to discuss the challenges China faces frankly with experts and insiders. The mainland authorities should also be aware that the bureaucrats are not sent for political brainwashing or indoctrination. They are expected to get to know more about the country while appreciating the differences between the two places under the principle of one country, two systems. It is no doubt a valuable experience for the civil servants, the majority of whom have limited official dealings with their mainland counterparts. It is also essential for the participants to be able to apply the experience in their work; and be able to tell what is and is not applicable in Hong Kong's context. The civil service has a clear vision - to foster a dynamic, visionary and knowledge-based team, which delivers quality service to the community through a clean, trusted, respectable and fulfilled workforce. The civil servants must ensure that they stay true to their core values while gaining a better understanding of national policies.