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May 17 "Trip Orientation" with Gene Martin, former DCM - U.S. Embassy, Beijing, and Frederick W. Crook, USCPF and coordinator for Seminar and Guide in China.

The two speakers this week discussed what the Congressional staffers could expect while visiting China this August. Mr. Martin gave general advice on how to interact with Chinese officials and the public. He urged the group to keep in mind the tremendous changes which have occurred in China recently. Some people will be willing to have open and frank discussions with foreigners, he said, while others will be more cautious. Nonetheless, controversial topics need not be avoided, as long as they are addressed in a polite and courteous manner. Specific topics such as how to hand out business cards, exchange gifts, take group photographs, and general protocol during meetings were also discussed. Dr. Crook suggested various approaches to improve the group's interaction with its Chinese hosts and addressed concerns as to health and traveling concerns. He suggested that the Congressional staffers seek out personal connections as a way to form bonds with the Chinese they come into contact with. Finally, the group discussed movies and books which could be of use in helping the staffers better prepare themselves for their trip.
 
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