Core Team

A team with a combined total of 100 years of China/UK experience

Theresa Booth - Joint CEO

Theresa first travelled in China in 1983, returning in 1985 and 1988 before living there permanently between 1992-97; first in Hubei province, where she taught English and French and from 1994-97 in Beijing where she set up her own business. She has a legal background, having trained and practised as a corporate finance lawyer in London and Hong Kong. In 1994 she set up the first sandwich business in Beijing. This gave her a grass roots insight into how business is done in China and how to make a profit. In the process her self-taught Mandarin improved markedly. Her focus within the Club is supporting UK & Chinese Companies with their business development as well as providing these companies with Mandarin speaking staff. She is a Trustee of the Mulan Awards for Chinese female achievement in the UK 


HJ Colston - Joint CEO

A mandarin speaker and fascinated by China since her first visit there in 1985, H-J has been at the forefront of the China-UK space for over 20 years and is committed to the building of bi-lateral relations. H-J spent 4 ½ years in China first studying at Renmin Daxue 人民大学 and then working for the global household brand, Chubb, at the start of China's meteoric rise in the mid-1990s. As the only female ‘foreigner’ working on the mainland in one of the firm’s joint ventures, she experienced at first-hand different workings styles and the importance of cultural understanding. She is an excellent communicator and effectively uses her China knowledge to devise and deliver specialist cross-cultural training. She has recently designed and delivered an undergraduate International China Business course for Pearson College in London. She enjoys working with Chinese and UK organisations to build confidence, profile and business opportunities in the UK-China space.


Xu Ziqing - China Project Co-ordinator

Xu studied English Language and Media at Lancaster University and her Masters in Translation Studies at Aston University in 2008. In 2009 she returned to Beijing to work for the Xinhua News Agency, where she helped journalists to edit and write the programme plan for the ambassador interview series. In 2011 Xu worked for the British Council’s Beijing office before returning to London for further studies. She has worked in a leading education consultancy in London communicating with various UK universities’ international offices, and advising hundreds of Chinese and Middle Eastern students on applying to study here.


Laura Mitchelson - Head of Training Team

Based in China between 1994 and 2012, Laura has worked in government, companies, small businesses and charities. Her work involved improving organisations in China by supporting them and providing leadership. This deepened her understanding of the market and developing China teams. In 2005, Laura co-founded Amber, an independent supplier of research-based market intelligence and strategic consulting with clients in the industrial manufacturing and professional services sectors. Prior to 2005, she was Deputy Director at the China-Britain Business Council.


Tong Yan - Trainer/Language Specialist

Tong has specialised in teaching mandarin Chinese and Cross-Cultural Communications to diplomats and professionals since 1990. Tong is passionate about bringing language learning alive. His teaching style makes him a firm favourite amongst senior executives and at the highest levels of government where language ability is critical. With long-standing experience in teaching English learners of Chinese, he is well respected in European academic and language provider circles. His publications include a range of research areas and his textbook series, “Confidence Chinese,” have been used by thousands of learners.