China is traditionally called Zhōngguó in Mandarin Chinese, the term translates as “The Center of Civilization”; an apt description of a bustling country pivotal to world economies and whose ties to its past are just as strong as its commitment to a successful future.
Keeper of the world’s oldest continuous civilization, China is a historic banquet at every turn. But beyond its endless historical monuments and sights, China is also a hotbed of development that has left its coastline glittering with some of the worlds’ most modern and forward thinking cities.
Living and working in China is much simpler than it once was, although the visa registration process remains tedious and filled with red tape, so start months early, and it’s recommended to use a lawyer or travel advisor to make this move. To stay long term in China, you’ll have to be connected to an organization (the company you work for or the school you attend). There are several steps and many required documents when entering China; much of it must be done in person at a consulate or embassy. It’s also important to note that China is very serious about its laws, staying past your visa expiration or working without the appropriate visa is punishable by law.
Outside of Beijing and Shanghai, China is filled with contemporary cities rife with business and leisure activities and all with modern neighbourhoods and amenities. It’s important to note that China has over fifty cities with populations exceeding a million people, many of these exceeding ten million. Cities such as Chengdu, the capitol of Sichuan province and the main inland access city to Tibet, abound with their own cuisines, shopping and tea houses. Whatever you seek; foods from all corners of the globe, from soufflés to sushi, Western-style villas with gardens, modern cinemas, subway and transportation systems, private schools with famous names (Harrow and Dulwich College, two upper-class British schools, have offshoots in Beijing) can all be accessed easily in most of China’s major centers. So, China is quite livable and delving into the culture, history, architecture and food makes it even more so.
A challenging element for western expats is the unbelievable traffic, getting across a city can take hours. Of course, to de-stress there’s always an inexpensive 按摩 (Massage / ànmó) at about 100 Yuan, and a cup of 下午 (tea / xiàwǔ chá) to relax!