Why did you choose to work in China?
My family was originally from Mainland China, and although I was born in Taiwan, educated and lived for many years in Australia, choosing to come back and to the mainland seem to be a natural choice from my family back ground. Then of course, I find that China is also a place full of excitement and it was worth it to come and take the adventure.
How did you prepare for the move?
I first came to study PhD in Peking University; therefore I was staying in student residences and the move itself was very smooth from Australia to Beijing. The move was nothing much, it was the culture adjustment that I found quite interesting.
Taiwan and Mainland China share the same historical and cultural heritage, thus both places use Mandarin to communicate. Although communicating with Beijingness would be no difficulties at all, but the accent of the language in many regards is different from the one used in Taiwan and this sometimes creates small misunderstandings. Beside this, the way of doing things can be Beijing quite different to the way of doing things in Australia or Taiwan. This is especially true if you need to go to a shop or deal with a company that is owned by the Chinese state owned enterprises.
What sort of work were you engaged in?
I was originally coming to Beijing to study for my PhD in Peking University, even though I had an S.J.D already from Bond University in Australia. After graduating with the degree here in Beijing, as I said previously, because my family was originally from China and also I found China to be a very interesting place, I decided to stay and work here. That was the time that I started with my teaching career.
I was originally teaching in Peking University, Tsinghua University and now in China University of Political Science and Law.
What about the Chinese students?
I find the Chinese students now days are very hungry for knowledge and eager to learn new things, especially knowledge from other legal systems, such as the Common Law system. It is my personal experience that compared to the students of Taiwan and Mainland China, the mainland Chinese students are more enthusiastic, and this is something very good. Besides this, of course, the Chinese students generally are very polite towards their teachers.
Advice to others who may be coming to work in China
My advice is firstly, you need to know exactly what you want to do or what you want to achieve. China is developing very fast and China today is very different to the country we saw ten years ago. During those time, China was like a sponge and those foreign experts came to work here was like water drops, that means no matter the quality of those experts or number of them, as long as you were willing to come and work, you would have a place and be provided with a decent compensation. Nowadays, the situation is very different, as China has been advancing. The Chinese government and people are very discrete on what kind of foreign experts they wish to invite. Therefore, today only people with high levels of expertise and who wish to stay in China for a longer period of time would be introduced by China into the country. In other words, if you wish to come and work in China, you should see your move as one of your major career developments instead of a temporary career adventure.