journal has published many scientific papers from China over the past twenty years, I'd been invited by the Chinese Academy of Science to visit various institutions in Beijing, Nanjing and Xian; to meet scientists, and to give lectures about being a scientific editor. I'd also get a chance to go into the countryside to view various fossil localities.
My relationship with China has been rather special, you see. As the editor into whose bailiwick falls palaeontology, I'd seen Chinese palaeontology go from almost nothing to world-beating, while entirely on my watch as editor. Many scientists I'd known as graduates are now distinguished authorities in their subjects. Therefore it came to many as a surprise that I had never been to China before - none more so than me.