China has been the world’s fastest growing country for the past 30 years. Even during the financial crisis, China’s economic growth has maintained a level of 8%, a pace unthinkable in other countries. Its GDP recently surpassed Japan’s to become the world’s second largest economy after the United States. The world’s top 500 companies all do business in China, with many choosing to base their Asia-Pacific headquarters in the bustling Chinese cities of Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. Employers around the world make it clear that people who can speak Chinese and have firsthand experience of living in China are going to have a great advantage in terms of employment.