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									             Faculty of Computing, Health & Science


                     BRIEFING NOTES

The Faculty Office of the Faculty of Computing, Health & Science is pleased to provide you
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                                     INFORMATION SOURCES

The following Background, Historical, Political, Economic and General Information has
been sourced and combined, from the following Web Sites:

Reference:         Austrade Web Online - www.austrade.gov.au
                   Aust. Dept of Foreign Affairs - www.dfat.gov.au

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For centuries China stood as a leading civilization, outpacing the rest of the world in the arts
and sciences. But in the 19th and early 20th centuries, China was beset by civil unrest, major
famines, military defeats, and foreign occupation. After World War II, the Communists under
MAO Zedong established a dictatorship that, while ensuring China's sovereignty, imposed
strict controls over everyday life and cost the lives of tens of millions of people. After 1978,
his successor DENG Xiaoping gradually introduced market-oriented reforms and
decentralized economic decision-making. Output quadrupled by 2000. Political controls
remain tight while economic controls continue to be relaxed.


China has one of the world's oldest continuous histories and civilisations, although not the
earliest known. Samples of archaic Chinese writing, out of which modern characters evolved,
date back to 2000 BC. For the greatest part of this time, Chinese history has been a
succession of imperial dynasties, cyclically rising, flourishing and decaying. Its influence has
been profound on neighbouring countries. Until the mid-nineteenth century, Chinese
civilisation withstood successive invasions by outsiders.

During the Qing (Manchu) dynasty, between 1644 and 1911, China achieved its greatest
territorial boundaries, incorporating both Taiwan and Tibet, and experienced almost a
trebling of its population (estimated to be nearly 450 million by the late 19th century). By the
mid-nineteenth century, the Qing (Manchu) dynasty was declining, and resistant to reform,
China was increasingly unable to stand up to the technologically more advanced Western
powers. China lost the first Opium War which erupted against England in 1840, and was
subsequently forced to grant special commercial privileges to England and the United States.
Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in 1842, and a 99 year lease was executed on the New
Territories in 1898 when the Opium Wars ended.

The discrediting of conservative Manchu rule gave further impetus to a growing reform
movement. One of the most prominent reformist writers was Sun Yat-sen whose
championing of nationalism and democracy was the inspiration for the growth of secret
societies aimed at overthrowing the Manchus and forming a republic. The revolutionary
movement spread across China, forcing the Qing to abdicate in late 1911. Sun Yat-sen
became the first President of the Republic.

Infighting between revolutionaries and other powerful groups led to a breakdown in central
government in the first five years of the Republic. Resistance to the conservatism of military
leader Yuan Shikai, who then took power, came from the provinces and led to division and
the emergence of warlords throughout the country. At the same time Chinese nationalist
feeling grew because of demands made by Japan for the former German concession in
Shandong Province. The confirmation by the Versailles Conference in 1919 of Japanese
claims to the concessions stirred mass student demonstrations. These led to the mobilisation
of the May Fourth Movement which opposed old customs and proposed the modernisation
of China, revitalising the revolution and leading to the formation of reform groups, including
the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1921. The main party of the time, the Nationalists or
Kuomintang (KMT), under the leadership of Sun Yat-sen and later Chiang Kai-shek, shared
an alliance of sorts with the CCP for six years until 1927.

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From 1927 to 1936 the KMT and CCP were at war. The CCP built up peasant armies, but
after a series of campaigns against them by the KMT were forced into a number of base camp
areas, the most well-known being at Jinggangshan in Jiangxi Province. Pressure from KMT
armies eventually forced the CCP to decamp to northern Shaanxi Province. Many were lost in
this expedition, known as the Long March. Through the attrition of war and internal power
struggles during the Long March, Mao Zedong emerged as party Chairman in January 1935.

Japan's growing designs on China in the thirties assisted the rise to power of the CCP. The
Party was able to appeal to nationalism to derail Chiang Kai-shek's preoccupation with
handling the communist insurgency first. The Japanese had overrun Manchuria in 1931 and
had infiltrated further south while the KMT was pursuing the CCP during the Long March.
Only when mutinying KMT troops kidnapped Chiang Kai-shek near Xi'an in December 1936
and released him on the condition that he co-operate with the CCP to fight the Japanese, did
the KMT and the CCP join in an uneasy truce. In the ensuing all-out war, especially after the
full scale Japanese invasion of China in 1937, the CCP began to take the initiative. The party
used its well-practised guerilla warfare methods to retain control of large areas of

After the defeat of the Japanese, the experience the CCP had gained in warfare was decisive
in the three years of civil war which ensued. The CCP eventually took control of most of
China, through its armed wing, the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Chiang Kai-shek and
the remnants of his Nationalist Government fled to Taiwan. Mao proclaimed the People's
Republic of China in Beijing in October 1949.

China faced enormous economic problems by the end of the civil war. Industry and
agriculture revived under the more settled conditions of the First Five Year Plan period
(1952-57). But the collectivisation of agriculture in the late 1950s, and Mao's disastrous move
to communes and intense focus on steel production at the expense of other activity under the
Great Leap Forward of 1958, led to three years of mass starvation and economic decline.
The early years of the sixties saw the rise to prominence of Deng Xiaoping and the first
experimenting with the pragmatic reform policies which Deng revived after 1978. These
experiments collapsed with the onset of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976, when
Mao sought to regain the influence he had lost after 1958 with a program of extreme left-
wing policies.

The deaths of Premier Zhou Enlai in January 1976 and Mao Zedong eight months later
marked a turning point in China's political development. Mao's proteges, the so-called Gang
of Four, were arrested soon after. An interim leadership emerged under Hua Guofeng. But
Hua was unable to resist the pressure for the return to power of Deng Xiaoping in mid-1977.
Deng had received Zhou's nomination as successor in 1975 but had been dismissed after a
riot in Tiananmen Square in April 1976. In that incident Deng was held responsible for the
protests which broke out when supporters of Mao tried to cut short mourning for Zhou Enlai.
By December 1978 Deng had attained the dominant position within the Chinese leadership
and launched his campaign of economic reform. China under Deng Xiaoping was among the
first of the communist countries to recognise that communist economic policies, with their
emphasis on detailed planning and moral incentives, were failing to deliver growth.

Deng’s reforms initiated the transition from a command to a more market-based economy
and led to rapid economic growth in China through the 1980s. However, economic growth
was not accompanied by political reform. Tensions came to a head with the student uprising

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and occupation of Tiananmen Square in mid-1989. Tanks and military forces were brought
into Beijing and used to forcibly remove demonstrators from the Square and the streets.
Unofficial estimates put the number of casualties in the hundreds, with many more
imprisoned. The events of 1989 caused a strong reaction around the world and cast a shadow
over China’s foreign relations. In China, a period of increased political conservatism
followed the suppression. Economic reform was also stalled in the aftermath, but revived
with new impetus by 1992.

After the death of Deng Xiaoping in 1997, Jiang Zemin, PRC President from 1993 to 2003,
announced that he would continue with Deng’s reforms, including reform of the political
structure. However, there was little evidence of political liberalisation. Jiang was the first
Chinese leader since Mao to have concurrently held the positions of Party Secretary General,
President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission. He oversaw the return to China
of the former colonies of Hong Kong and Macao in 1997 and 1999.

It was under the economic management of former Shanghai Mayor Zhu Rongji after 1993
that economic, though not political, reform, made further headway. Zhu Rongji was elected
Premier in 1998. Known abroad as China’s economic tsar, Zhu brought the overheating
Chinese economy to a soft landing in the early 1990s and initiated the restructuring of China
debt-ridden state enterprises. China also weathered the storm of the Asian Economic crisis
without de-valuing its currency, partly because China was closed to short term foreign capital
flows. However, economic restructuring brought with it social instability as state enterprises
shed their workforces, and workers lost their benefits and their safeguards. Official corruption
was a further source of discontent. The government therefore faced the conflicting tasks of
ensuring continued economic growth and reform while maintaining social stability.
The 16th Party Congress in November 2002 and the 10th National People’s Congress in March
2003 saw the largest change in the senior Chinese Party and state leadership since the early
1980s. All of Politburo Standing Committee members stepped down except Hu Jintao, the
late Deng Xiaoping’s favoured choice, who succeeded Jiang Zemin as Party General
Secretary and President. Wen Jiabao replaced Zhu Rongji as Premier. Jiang Zemin retained
control of the armed forces as Chairman of the Central Military Commission.


The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s most powerful organ is the National Party
Congress, which convenes every five years. The Congress elects a Central Committee
which functions as the highest organ of Party authority between Congresses. The Central
Committee in plenary session elects a Political Bureau (Politburo) and a General Secretary
of the Party. The power of the CCP General Secretary, technically the most senior member
of the Politburo, tends to flow from prestige and personal political resources rather than from
the official title.

The National People's Congress (NPC) is the highest state body, and is China's Parliament.
It is elected every five years and holds one session every year. The NPC elects a Standing
Committee which convenes regularly. The NPC has the power to appoint and remove the
President and Vice-President of the People's Republic, the Premier and Vice-Premiers of the
State Council, the Procurator and President of the Supreme People's Court and the Chairman
and members of the State's Military Commission. The NPC can amend the Constitution and
supervise the enforcement of laws. It also scrutinises and approves national economic and

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social planning and examines and approves the State budget. The NPC comprises nearly 3000
deputies, elected by Provincial People's Congresses and the People's Liberation Army.
The President of the People's Republic of China is China's Head of State. Both the
President and the Vice-President are elected by the NPC. The terms of office of the President
and Vice-President are the same as for the NPC (five years) and are limited to no more than
two consecutive terms. Hu Jintao and Zeng Qinghong are currently the President and Vice-
President respectively.

The State Council is the most important administrative organ of the central government. It is
at present composed of Premier Wen Jiabao (elected on 15 March 2003), 4 Vice-Premiers
and 5 State Councillors (senior ministers without portfolios), a Secretary-General of the State
Council and various Ministers. The members of the State Council and the Premier and Vice-
Premiers coordinate the work of the Ministries and Commissions. The State Council also
draws up detailed economic plans and the national budget in accordance with Party policy.
The main functions of the central government revolve around the planning and supervision of
the national economy and the approval of the appointment or removal of the top office
holders. Major policy decisions concerning economic development strategy and social
priorities or foreign policy and military affairs are the domain of the central organisations of
the Chinese Communist Party, as the Government is subordinate to the Party.


Under China’s political system, state structures are subordinate to the Chinese Communist
Party (CCP), which holds predominant political power. According to the Constitution
adopted in March 1982, the National People’s Congress (NPC) is the highest organ of state
power. The NPC meets once a year for about two weeks to enact laws, appoint or remove the
Premier and Ministers of the State Council, and approve national economic plans and state
budgets. Following the closing of the tenth National People’s Congress (NPC) on 16 March
2007, Premier Wen Jiabao confirmed the course of the leadership under Hu, focusing on
social stability and economic development under the rubric “Building a Socialist Harmonious
Society”. The NPC also passed a law that recognised some forms of private property for the
first time since 1949.

The 17th Communist Party Congress was held from 15 to 21 October 2007. It reappointed Hu
Jintao as General Secretary and also established China’s future goals in economic, domestic
and foreign policy, as well as reaffirming the priorities of the past five years. The Congress
also changed the Party Constitution to reflect the importance of the concepts of “scientific
development” and “harmonious society”, which seek to ameliorate the social effects of
China’s economic reforms and rapid growth.

The current generation of Chinese leadership has committed itself to promoting social
equality and justice; protecting the environment; improving China’s legal system and human
rights protection; fighting corruption and expanding “inner party democracy” (as a response
to corruption), while explicitly rejecting broader democratic change.

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The 16th Party Congress in November 2002 and the 10th National People’s Congress in March
2003 saw the largest change in the senior Chinese Party and state leadership since the early
1980s. All members of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s highest decision-making
body, stepped down except Hu Jintao, the late Deng Xiaoping’s favoured choice, who
succeeded Jiang Zemin as Party General Secretary and President. Wen Jiabao replaced Zhu
Rongji as Premier. Jiang Zemin retained control of the armed forces as Chairman of the
Central Military Commission.

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have declared that they intend to resolve
China’s rural poverty problems and to implement substantial agricultural reforms. In his final
work report to the 10th National People’s Congress, former Premier Zhu Rongji conveyed the
leadership’s key message that long term growth is dependent on further economic
restructuring, and predicted sustained growth of 7 per cent. This growth is expected to
quadruple the size of China’s economy over the next two decades.


As a permanent member of the Security Council, one of the world's five nuclear weapons
states, and a major and growing economy, China sees an increasing international role for
itself. This mirrors China’s assertion that it seeks a stable and peaceful external environment
in order to concentrate on economic development and internal policy challenges during a
period of enormous transition. For these reasons, China has made a concerted and largely
successful effort in recent years to improve its relationships with states worldwide, including
through a program of frequent and extensive international visits by China's leadership. These
visits not only bolster China's status and importance in the world, but also provide
opportunities to promote bilateral relations and to discuss perceptions of international
developments. At the same time, China remains sensitive and firm on what it sees as
fundamental principles of international relations, such as those relating to maintenance of
sovereignty and territorial integrity.


China is experiencing a sustained period of rapid economic expansion with GDP growth
averaging 9.5 per cent over the last two decades. China’s GDP grew by 11.1 per cent in 2006
and China is now the single largest contributor to global growth. China is the world’s second
largest economy in purchasing power parity terms (fourth largest in exchange rate terms). It
is set to overtake the United States to become the world’s second largest exporter by the end
of 2007. Despite this growth, China’s per capita GDP, at around US$2000, remains relatively

Securing supplies to meet its rapidly growing energy needs is a major challenge for China.
China is now the world’s second largest producer and consumer of energy after the United
States. To ensure its future energy supplies, China has been actively pushing outward
investment in energy and resources projects around the world. China is also promoting
renewable energy options and imposing energy efficiency targets.

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Reform of the agricultural sector remains a key challenge, particularly in building a system of
enforceable land rights, providing greater access to funds for farmers and allowing freer
movement of workers from country to city regions.

Other key problems include infrastructure bottlenecks on the eastern seaboard, particularly in
the energy and rail transport sectors which threaten to limit industries’ capacity to source
adequate electricity and raw material inputs; unemployment, exacerbated by the reform of
SOEs, and underemployment in the rural sector.

China faces the long-term challenge of rebalancing its economy away from its current pattern
of export- and investment-led growth to more sustainable growth generated by expanding
household consumption and allowing a greater role for the service sector.

In 2006 China was Australia’s 21st largest investment destination ($3 billion). China has
approved some 5000 Australian investments. Australian financial institutions have a number
of investments in Chinese Banks and there is substantial interest in the mining sector. More
opportunities for Australian investment will open up as China liberalises its services sector.


Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
China’s successful bid for the 2008 Olympic Games was a moment of tremendous pride for
China and the millions of ethnic Chinese across the globe. In Australia, celebration broke out
throughout the Chinese community, most visibly in the Chinatowns of Sydney and
Melbourne. The Australian Government will work hard to promote Australia’s unique
Olympics expertise in Beijing, recognising that the hosting of the pre-eminent world sporting
event could offer our business considerable opportunities.

WTO Membership
By joining the WTO in late 2001, China has agreed to undertake a series of important
commitments to open and liberalize its regime to better integrate in the world economy and
offer a more predictable environment for trade and foreign investment in accordance with
WTO rules. Australia moved early to reach agreement with China on its WTO accession
package. Then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Tim Fischer, reached in-
principle agreement on market access issues on 31 May 1999. The Minister for Trade, Mark
Vaile, signed the final text of the bilateral agreement with the Minister for Foreign Trade and
Economic cooperation, Shi Guangsheng, on 22 May 2000 in Beijing. China’s WTO
commitments hold enormous promise Australian exporters of goods and services.

Among some of the commitments undertaken by China are the following (for more
information, see the tradewatch webpage on this site and the recent EAU report, China
Embraces the World Market):

   China will provide non-discriminatory treatment to WTO Members, including Australia. All
    foreign individuals and enterprises, including those not invested or registered in China, will be
    accorded treatment no less favourable than that accorded to enterprises in China with respect to
    the right to trade.
   China will eliminate dual pricing practices as well as differences in treatment accorded to goods
    produced for sale in China in comparison to those produced for export.

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   price controls will not be used for purposes of affording protection to domestic industries or
    services providers.
   the WTO Agreement will be implemented by China in an effective and uniform manner by
    revising its existing domestic laws and enacting new legislation fully in compliance with the
    WTO Agreement.
   Within three years of accession all enterprises will have the right to import and export all goods
    and trade them throughout the customs territory with limited exceptions.
   China will not maintain any export subsidies on agricultural products and will cap domestic
    agricultural subsidies at 8.5% of gross output value.

China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation in December 2001 was a key milestone in
its quarter-century long process of integrating more closely with the global system. In 1998,
China was the tenth largest trading nation. By 2002, China ranked as the world's sixth largest
exporter of goods and services. In 2002, China was also overtook the United States as the
most popular global destination for foreign investment and China holds the second largest
foreign exchange reserves after Japan.


Entry / Visas
Visa Required. Foreign visitors can obtain individual or group visas from Chinese
embassies and consulates in their country of departure, or China Travel Service offices in
Hong Kong, usually within a day or two. For individual travellers, single-entry visas are
valid for entry within three months. You can also purchase a double or multiple entry
Visa. To apply for multiple entry visa, you are required to have an official invitation
written in Chinese with a company chop to be attached to your application.
Special Entry Permit. This is needed if you wish to visit Tibet or it's capital city Lhasa.

Visitors should carry their passports while in China as they are needed to check into hotels,
make plane or train reservations, exchange money or establish the holder's identity.

Mandatory precautions
A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travellers coming from infected areas.

Advisable precautions
Take precautions against AIDS and malaria (generally confined to the southern part of China
near the border with Myanmar and Vietnam, although in the summer months, the Yangtze
River basin is also affected). Rabies is endemic and bilharzia is present in southern and
eastern parts of the country. Vaccinations should be taken against hepatitis 'A' and 'B',
diphtheria, tuberculosis, Japanese 'B' encephalitis, polio, tetanus and typhoid. Drink only
bottled water, avoid unpeeled fruit and salads and try to ensure all food has been thoroughly
cooked. It is advisable to have emergency medical insurance; in Beijing two companies -
Asia Emergency Assistance (AEA) and International SOS Assistance - offer evacuation

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Airports – International
Beijing Airport - Capital (PEK) Capital International Airport
The airport is 17 Miles(28 km) North East of City. Travel time is 40-60 minutes. The airport:
the airport has a business centre with Internet access, fax and computer facilities. Business
services are also available in the VIP lounges. There are metered taxis at the airport taxi
stand. They cost about 150 yuan for one-way trip. The Airport-City Shuttle Bus departs every
30 minutes and usually stops at major hotels. Alternatively, use limousine from VIP lounge
on arrival level near gates 7 & 8, cost - 220 yuan.

Shanghai Airport - Hong Qiao International Airport (SHA)
The airport is located 8 miles(13 km) South West of Shanghai. Travel time is 25-40 minutes.
24-hour business facilities include meeting rooms, telephone, fax, photocopying and telex
facilities, and catering services. There are metered taxis at the airport. They cost about 50-70
yuan for one-way trip. Taxi queue depends on the distance of the journey. There are also
shuttle buses from most major hotels at the airport.

Shanghai Airport - Pudong International Airport (PVG)
The airport is 19 miles(30 km) from Shanghai and 25 miles(40 km) from Hong Qiao
International Airport. Pudong Airport Hotel offers 24-hour business facilities, including
meeting rooms, telephone, fax, photocopying and telex facilities, and catering services.
Metered taxis are available. Airport buses offers two routes: Route 1 connects Pudong
International Airport with Hong Qiao International Airport, and Route 2 runs to Shanghai
Exhibition Centre.

The new Baiyun International Airport will be open in October 2003

Location of International Airports
Beijing - Capital International Central, Chengdu, Chongqing,
Dalian - Zhoushuizi,
Fuzhou - Yixu,
Gaoqi - Xiamen,
Guangzhou, Guilin Haikou, Hangzhou, Harbin, Kunming, Nanjing, Nanning,
Qingdao - Liuting,
Shanghai - Hongqiao, Shenyang, Shenzhen,
Tianjin - Zhangguizhuang, Urumqi Wuhan, Xi'an, Zhanjiang, Zhengzhou

Domestic Air travel is much easier than in the past, with several regional airlines providing
interlocking networks. However there are still not enough flights to meet the demand, so
make reservations as early as possible. Domestic flights are plentiful and you can book seats
quite easily through the hotel's concierge. The domestic rates are controlled by central
government, so there are little discount variation to warrant too much time shopping for
lowest fares. Hence, book your domestic flight tickets more conveniently at your hotel of stay
- through hotel concierge - 1 to 2 days advance booking is sufficient.

ECU staff should note; it is advisable to travel the equivalent of Business Class on domestic
China flights. The extra costs far outweigh the inconvenience and hassle of economy travel.
The check in and security lane for business class are efficient and convenient.

Note: Alcohol must be checked in with main luggage as it is not allowed in hand luggage.

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The national carrier is the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) or Air China.
Dragon Air is also under CAAC. It has a joint venture with Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific.
Other airlines include China Eastern, China Southern, China Northern, Great Wall, Yunnan
Airlines and several others. Websites for airlines: China Airlines, China Southern Airlines,
China Eastern Airlines.

Getting Around in China
Taxis are plentiful in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing etc. In smaller cities, you need to
arrange taxis through the hotel as taxi are on-call basis. Fares vary and meters are not always
used, however all drivers will give receipts - insist on the receipt.

Take care to aboard only authorised taxi with driver's license displayed prominently at front
dashboard - this is especially so in smaller cities where "proaching" at airport or railway
station is rampant. In major cities like Shanghai and Beijing, there are designated taxi queues,
hence such problem is rare.

Few cabbies speak English so you should have addresses written in Chinese. In China, the
taxis are not so spacious. So avoid big luggage. You can purchase most items cheaply in

Subways are available in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Throughout the country there
are also plenty of bus and trolley services, however they are invariably crowded during peak
office hours.

Train ride offers an insight into the country and its people. Train ride has been improving in
China and there are now some excellent new services. Among them are double-deck
expresses between Beijing and Tianjin, and from Shanghai to Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi and
Nanjing. Long-distance trains tend to be slow and unpunctual however soft-seat class is quite
comfortable (and inexpensive). Example of rate :- a soft-seat class from Shanghai to Suzhou
costs US$ 4 (about 100 km ride).

Train tickets cannot be reserved in advance. It is sold at train counter (just like cinema
tickets). In large stations, there are some special queues for foreigners to purchase tickets, but
it saves a lot of time and confusion to have the hotel's concierge make the purchase for you.
The service charge is well worth it.

International and regional rail and road access is available at certain border points. The
most convenient is the express train service between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. There are
four round-trips a day, and the journey takes about two hours. There is also regular bus
service between the two cities, via the new Super Highway. They take three and a half hours.
Hong Kong's rail system has commuter service to the border at Lowu, where passengers walk
across the bridge to Shenzhen. The train takes 40 minutes but the volume of traffic often
mean a long wait at immigration on both sides.

For the adventurous, there are trains to Beijing from Moscow, via Mongolia and from
Kazakhstan via Urumqi. The very adventurous, who don't mind delays and discomfort, can
also take buses from Nepal into Tibet, from Pakistan into Xinjiang and from Vietnam into

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China has an extremely diverse climate, with tropical areas in the south contrasting with the
subarctic north and mountainous Tibet. Most of China, especially coastal areas, has a
relatively temperate climate. The average temperature there in summer is 20 degrees Celsius
(C). However, in the interior a number of cities are known as 'freezing hells in winter,
furnaces in summer'. In winter, the average temperature in southern and central China is
about 4 degrees C. Most rain falls in summer, the season when typhoons often hit the south-
east coast.

Foreign businessmen generally wear suits and ties to negotiating sessions with Chinese
counterparts, who have abandoned the Mao suit for Western dress. Less formal attire is
acceptable outside the main cities.

Fashion-consciousness is growing among some younger urban Chinese, but attire is not as
important as it is in the West. However, foreigners need a supply of more formal clothes for
business and social occasions with other members of the foreign community.

The principal language is Putonghua, based on Northern Chinese. The Chinese written
language is the same for all dialects. Other languages spoken include Tibetan, Uygur (a
Turkic language) and Mongolian.

English is not widely spoken, especially outside the main cities, although there will usually
be someone who can speak a little in hotels, restaurants and taxi stations.

The official language is Mandarin, the Beijing dialect of Putonghua.

Ethnic make-up
The largest ethnic group is the Han, constituting 93.3 per cent of the population, which is
largely concentrated around the basins of the main rivers (the Yellow River, the Yangtse and
the Pearl River) and along the coast. Of the 55 other ethnic groups, 15 number over a million
people, including the Zhuang (Guangxi province), Hui (Muslims), Uygurs (in Xinjiang),
Manchus, Tibetans, Mongolians and Koreans. The rest vary in size from several hundred
thousand down to a few hundred.

All Chinese people are generally friendly to visitors and most are keen to learn from
foreigners. Many students and young people study English or other foreign languages (there
are daily television language classes), however few have a chance to practice speaking them.
This means that visitors might be approached for impromptu lessons on foreign languages.
In major cities like Shanghai, it is quite easy to move around with a map and some help from
friendly locals.

China is officially atheist, but religion is tolerated to the extent that it does not challenge the
state. Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism all have followings. The
formerly dominant belief system, Confucianism, continues to influence habits throughout
society. Old temples, mosques and churches are being reopened and new ones built, but
numbers are still far short of pre-revolutionary days.

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In late 1999, the government launched a crackdown on the Falun Gong religious movement,
which it considers subversive. The cult is reputed to have more members than the Communist
Party and, while the parliament introduced anti-cult legislation in October 1999, members
held silent vigils in Tiananmen Square, with many arrested.

In December 2000, 450 underground churches were closed and 210 were demolished.

Although tipping is officially discouraged, it is now more common in places such as the
Special Economic Zones (SEZs), although even there it is still optional. However, it is
courteous to thank hotel and restaurant staff for their services.

Time Zones
All of China observes Beijing Time, GMT+8 hours that is adjusted to daylight saving time
during the summer.

When it's 12 noon in Beijing, it's 12 noon in Perth.

Money & Banking Chinese currency is the renminbi (RMB) or Chinese yuan - which is
divided into fen. There are Y100, Y50, Y10, Y5, Y2, Y1, 50 fen, 20 fen and 10 fen
banknotes. The smaller denominations are being replaced with coins, valued at 10 fen, 20 fen,
50 fen, and 1. Traveller's cheques and money can be exchanged in all major hotels and banks.
American Express offices will provide such services as Emergency Card Replacement and
Global Assist. Emergency Cheque Cashing and Travellers Cheque Replacement services are
offered by local banks in all major destinations.

Most ATMs in china are able to dispense RMB cash through money links like plus, cirrus,
maestro or major credit cards etc. In addition, most hotels in china will accept international
credit cards (visa, amex, mastercard) for payment. Hence, you should bring sufficient cash
for miscellaneous expenses.

Exchange Control. Do not bring too much RMB cash into China as there is a law that limits
the amount of cash you can bring into this country (currently equivalent of US$ 2000). Note
the limit may change over time - check with your local consular office to be sure).

The domestic supply is 200V AC, 50 Hz. No uniformity in plug design. However Australian
plug sockets are common in most hotels.

No restriction applies to the import of non-dutiable commercial samples. All samples of
dutiable commodities are subject to import duty. Import duties apply only to certain
hydrocarbon oils, liquor, tobacco, methyl alcohol and cosmetics. Similarly there are no
restrictions on the import of give-aways.

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Business Etiquette

Business Cards
 The exchange of business cards is common practice. Business cards should be presented
   and received with both hands.
 It is recommended that you have a large supply of business cards when first meeting a
   business counterpart. The Chinese business person will often feel awkward at not having
   the visitor’s name and company details in hand and will form an initial impression that
   the visitor is unprepared for business.

Establishing Contacts and Networks
 Exporters should send as much documented information about their companies, products
    and services as possible in advance of their visit. Business visitors must remember to
    follow up on their meetings in China when they return to Australia.
 Business introductions are vital. It is unusual for Chinese companies to buy anything
    from someone they do not know.
 The quality of your agent or representative’s contacts is crucial. It is vital to spend time
    in China with your representative to clearly explain the product, effectively negotiate
    terms of business and develop networks in the market.

Business Entertainment
 Dinner and lunches with local representatives and customers help to develop networks.
 Seating should be arranged so that the Australian host’s party is inter-spaced with the
   Chinese guests.
 Guests always sit down first, once shown to seat.
 Be prepared for toasts at banquets. Always tap glass lower than your host.

 Answer enquiries, proposals, correspondence and invitations as soon as possible. At the
   very least, immediately send an acknowledgement stating that an answer will follow
 Prompt responses in communicating with business associates indicate professionalism,
   commitment and an interest in the market.
 The full title of the People's Republic of China should be used for formal

 Avoid embarrassing Chinese in the presence of others. To avoid the person losing face,
   discuss any criticisms in private. In some cases, it may be helpful to use an intermediary
   to convey criticism, particularly with someone of high social status.

 Chinese place importance on punctuality and Australian visitors should do their best to
   avoid arriving late at appointments.
 Itineraries should take this into consideration and allow adequate time to move from one
   appointment to the next.

 The exchange of gifts is not widely practised in business in China.

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Forms of Address
 Many business people will have an English first name, used with a Chinese family name.
   eg. Peter Chan. In this case, the family name is used last, as in Australia. Normally when
   a Chinese name is written, the family name comes first, with the given name following
   e.g. Mr Chan Tai-Man would be addressed as Mr Chan.
 When addressing business correspondence, all names should be written in full, with titles

A 10% service charge and 5% tax is added to all hotel bills.

The following hotels are listed on the National University Travel Consortium web site
(www.nutc.com.au). University rates have been negotiated with these hotels and are
inclusive of all charges and taxes.

           Name                    Rating         $       Min room      Approx                     Location
                                                            rate         $AU
Holiday Inn                           4        CNY         642.00       117.80        Xichengqu District NW
                                                                                      Beijing 5 mins from subway
Novotel Peace                         4        US           64.00         96.97       Wangfujing District,
                                                                                      upmarket and shopping
Radisson SAS                          4        US           98.75        149.62       Chaoyang District NE Beijing
                                                                                      near Exhibition centre
Rosedale Hotel                        4        US           66.50        100.76       Chaoyand District NE Beijing
                                                                                      opp Gardens
Palace Hotel                          5        US          133.00        201.52       Wangfujing District upmarket
                                                                                      and shopping
Presidential Plaza                    5        US           75.00        113.64       Xichand District NW Beijing
                                                                                      close to University
Prime Hotel                           5        US           71.00        107.58       Wangfujing District upmarket
                                                                                      and shopping
FCHS I & C staff stay at the Beijing International, 9 Jiannei Dajie, East District (Tel: 8610 65126688 / Fax:
8610 65129972) (Rates on Exec Floor are negotiated through Jenny Han - Aceleader).

           Name                    Rating         $       Min room      Approx                     Location
                                                            rate         $AU
City Hotel                            4        US          104.55       104.55        Downtown Shanghai next to
                                                                                      Exhibition Centre
Equatorial Hotel *                    4        US          125.76        125.76       As above
Holiday Inn                           4        US          128.79        128.79       Pudong district close to
Novotel Atlantis                      4        US          133.33        133.33       Pudong close to commercial
Radisson SAS Lanshen                  4        US           75.76         75.76       NE of city close to Shanghai
Shanghai Park                         4        US          113.64        113.64       Central Shanghai near river
*FCHS I&C staff stay at the Equatorial on the Club Floor (The exec club includes breakfast and evening drinks
and eats, eliminating the need for dinner).

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Government offices, most European firms and the larger Chinese business houses open from:
Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with an hour for lunch; Saturday 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Many Chinese businesses open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm or later, Monday to Saturday.
Major department stores: Monday to Sunday, 10:30 am to 10:00 pm. Many Chinese shops
keep extended hours, opening from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.

The majority of banks are open from 9.00am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday; Saturday 9.00am
to 1.00pm. Major Australian banks with representatives in Hong Kong are:


Embassy of Australia, Beijing
21 Dongzhimenwai Dajie
Beijing 100600
People's Republic of China
Tel: (010) 6532 2331 / Fax: (010) 6532 4605

Australian Consulate-General, Guangzhou
Room 1509, Main Building, GITIC Plaza
339 Huanshi Dong Lu
People's Republic of China
Tel: (020) 8335 0909 /Fax: (020) 8335 0718
Website: www.austcon-guangzhou.org

Australian Consulate-General, Shanghai
Level 22, CITIC Square
1168 Nanjing Xi Lu
Shanghai, 200041
Tel: 5292 5500 / Fax: 5292 5511
Website: www.aus-in-shanghai.com

Reference:         Austrade Web Online - www.austrade.gov.au
                   Aust. Dept of Foreign Affairs - www.dfat.gov.au

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