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It's important that you know all the actors who will influence you in your teaching English in China career and the specialized terms you'll hear used in discussions of your stay in China.

PSB - The Ministry of Public Security and its local security units are collectively known as the "PSB." This is the office which your school applies to for your Z Visa. Also, the PSB is responsible for public security throughout China, including political security, economic security and the security of information and communications networks; they manage border issues such as exit/entry questions; the presence of aliens in China border control. They are in charge of household registration issuance of permits questions of citizenship, enforcement of penalties directing Neighborhood Security Committees, regulation of public gatherings, crime control, fire control, firearms & explosives regulation, traffic control and maintenance of social order. It reports directly to the State Council and co-administers the People’s Armed Police (PAP) with the Central Military Commission.

Waiban - the person at your school in charge of all the foreign teachers, your interface to the school. The giver and taker of all opportunities and conduit through which all state services flow. Cultivate a respectful relationship of follow-through; a friendship with your waiban could be invaluable. After the contract is signed, you could try relying on him or her for cultural advice while sharing your own culture.

FAO - the same as the waiban, although it technically means Foriegn Affairs Office

Green Book - colloquial name for the standard Resident Permit for foreign teachers, non-Expert Status; document that allows you to reside and work in China. See also Visas

Red Book - colloquial name for the special Resident Permit issued to foreign teachers holding advanced degrees; also known as Foreign Expert document. Confers the same rights as the Green Book, but entitles one to certain specific discounts throughout China, although in practice the value or application of these discounts is questionable.

Danwei - the danwei, or work unit, is a major factor in organizing Chinese society. The danwei manages a wide range of personal issues, from the marriage permits to changes of residence, for its members. You join your school's Danwei by default when you get your job.  Your interface to the Danwei is through your waiban.

ddd

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