Business Travel In China – UPDATE

By now all China watchers know the zero-covid policy in the PRC was lifted in January.  For the interim (until last week), those entering China were required to apply for a single-entry visa.  In the midst of our visas being processed we
learned that you will now receive a multiple entry visa once again (if you had
one previously).  So, ours were delayed by a week for policy changes, but they were processed.

There does not seem to be any health restrictions except common sense. If we are sick, we should stay home to get well.

It appears that foreigners are expected to have some letter of invitation from the business colleagues they will be working/talking with.  The expectation seems a bit arduous compared to 2019 pre-pandemic.  However, as long as you fill it out accurately, it should not pose a problem.  

They did ask us about our education and family members, for example.  I do not remember that from years/decades gone by, but it has been a very long time for me, so I may have forgotten.  Our counsel is to be truthful and forthright.  In today’s world, there is truly little hidden anyway.

I was astounded to see how reasonably priced hotels are.  I have not yet seen prices on the bullet trains and taxis and will let you know what we find.

Our hosting group is warm and helpful.  They wish to be more involved in our travel than in previous decades, but I am accepting this through three lenses: 

1) Genuine famous hospitality. 

2) A reset inside China, which may have some fresh policies.  That is one reason we are eager to return. We want to know what these changes entail. 

3) After three years of absence there will be many new leaders, or leaders in new positions.  This means getting reacquainted with good old friends.  Keep in mind that our Chinese counterparts may be as eager to hear how we have been during the past three years, and what changes have taken place in our personal and corporate lives.

Our first priority in the next weeks of travel to China will be to work hard to listen.

In recent days the geopolitical tensions of Sino-American relations has seemingly ratcheted upward.  Since none of us can be in all places at all times, we are to some degree informed by what we read and hear in the media.  Therefore, we could approach old relationships through that bias.  

I am eager for my friends in China to know my thoughts and hear my words, as well as sit face to face again and hear from them.  In the end I remain optimistic genuine friendships and guanxi will remain a powerful force, as we open the doors to both our countries.

Travel safely,

Gene

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