I first decided I wanted to come to China when we studied Chinese history at O level. Everyone else did the traditional WW2 gig, for some reason our teacher decided on an alternative path. We hurtled through the dynasties, paused for breath at the Boxer rebellion and rolled on to Mao Zedong (or Mao Tse-Tung before he changed his name) and Jiong Jieshi (the politician formerly known as Chiang KaiShek) before grinding to an abrupt halt at 2nd December 1949. It was if nothing of interest happened after that as far as the Oxford Examination Board was concerned. We still had time left so we padded out our knowledge with British parliamentary reform in the 20th century. I think our class must have had the most warped perspective of any examination candidates that year.