TO understand the Chinese view on the proposed old age pension scheme, the Government should sit down and talk with them instead of merely reading the newspapers, the Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Lam Woon-kwong, said. The remark came after Mr Lam was pressed by legislators to assess the Chinese Government's position on the scheme, especially with regard to a scathing attack made by local director of Xinhua (the New China News Agency) Zhou Nan. Referring to the Government's scheme, Mr Zhou had said earlier this month that transplanting a Euro-socialist pay-as-you-go concept into the territory would be too costly for Hong Kong, now and after 1997. Mr Lam said: 'The best method of communicating with the Chinese side is not to guess and also not to merely read what the newspapers say. 'We can't see the opinions published in the papers as the Chinese Government's opinions.' He insisted the Government was prepared to give the Chinese side further information and was willing to discuss the issue with them at any time. 'Since the Government announced on December 15 last year in the council that it would pursue an old age pension scheme, the Government's stance has remained that consultation with the Chinese Government must be done before reaching a decision,' he said. Mr Lam said the Government was still analysing and evaluating the wide spectrum of public opinion expressed in more than 6,000 submissions and was not yet in a position to announce a decision on the way ahead.