Day 1 - off to Beijing (Andrew Mallison)
Arrive Beijing international airport mid morning Monday after overnight flight from London. Strangely quiet – no queue for immigration or taxis. Have I arrive on the wrong day? Fish out my prepared “Take Me To This Hotel” card in Chinese language for the taxi driver and on the way into Beijing. Catch up on emails before early dinner with IFFO Beijing team. Back at hotel call home, then watch FBI director James Comey testimony in front of Senate committee on CNN about Trump, Russians and wiretaps before falling asleep.
Jetlag bites when alarm goes off and body clock says 1:30am. By time I have first coffee, feeling bit more human and manage smile for photo cutting a ribbon to open new IFFO office. Team in Beijing have organised move from the old office (same building, 8 floors below) without a hitch and enjoying more natural light on the higher floor.
Time for quick sandwich for lunch before driving to AQSIQ, the Chinese government inspection agency who check imports of fishmeal into China. We wander around a warren of corridors that even my Chinese colleagues find confusing and eventually find the meeting room. The huge meeting room table has been set with teacups and silk flowers and we take our places several feet of mahogany table top away from our hosts. Tea is served followed by a friendly meeting – I am struck by good relationship between AQSIQ staff and IFFO, despite that AQSIQ officially only deal government to government. They seem to appreciate the information on world trade we provide and I give an update on Ethoxyquin, IUU fishing controls and clarify position on various producing factory licence approvals.
Meeting over, back in car to airport for 3hr flight to Chengdu. Room service in room at hotel in Chengdu before calling it a day.