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Old China Hands Archive Who is an "Old China Hand" and what is the "Old China Hand Experience?" According to A Concise Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, edited by Paul Beale, (Macmillan, 1989), this term has been in use since approximately 1910 and is applied to "One who has spent many years in China in the commercial or civil service, or as a missionary." The dictionary's definition leaves out some important categories of people, particulary the waves of refugees from the conflicts of Europe and elsewhere who found temporary shelter in China, as well as people who served in the military of many nations. It must also be expanded to point out that implicit in the term is the notion of contact between Chinese and non-Chinese cultures.

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