Ambassador Max Baucus broke the ice at last night's US Embassy and Business Community Social by sharing his dislike of initials and acronyms. Indeed, to the uninitiated, it's easy to get lost in the FIEs, FTAs and WFOEs of business discussions in Beijing. Ambassador Baucus said he decided to declare no-abbreviation days. All those who still used the shorthand on no-abbreviation days were fined 10 kuai. He quickly collected more than RMB 100 – of which 20 came from his own infractions!
Addressing an audience of 200-plus AmCham China members and US Embassy representatives, Ambassador Baucus then issued an earnest appeal: don't just mingle, do business. He pointed out that real work comes from meeting others directly involved in the same field, comparing notes, and finding new solutions together. After these remarks, the crowd was eager to oblige, gathering around the tables designated to government sections such as the Department of Energy and the Energy, Science, Technology and Health Section (see photo above with AmCham China member Timothy Small of Camfi engaging with this section). The wine and name cards flowed, and all abbreviations were kept to a minimum.