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 founding and operating Director & Trustee of Engage with China (www.engagewithchina,org), building China literacy in UK schools and a Trustee of the Mulan Foundation Trust, recognising the achievements of Chinese women 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. She is also a founding and operating Director and Trustee of Engage with China (, building China literacy in UK schools. 


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.