When greeting a group of Chinese nationals, it is traditional form to acknowledge the eldest first. Never bow to a person or greet with a kiss, but do shake hands. 

Always remove your shoes prior to entering a temple or home in China. Also be aware that it is considered rude to show the bottom of your feet toward your host, which can most easily be accomplished by sitting cross-legged.  

Never point at a person, or touch their heads. In general Chinese people are not used to being touched by strangers, so tapping, hugging or putting your arm around someone is likely to regarded as a violation and cause unintended offence.  

If you need to attract attention, motion with the palm of your hand. It is a common gesture in many societies to affectionately ruffle the hair of children, but the head is considered sacred in Chinese society and such gestures may well not have the intended effect. 

Avoid political comment and criticism. There are many issues, though by no means exclusive to China, such as media control, political freedom, pollution and animal rights, among a host of others, that visitors may often feel justifiably motivated to raise regarding life in China, that a considerate and polite person will avoid confronting their hosts with. 

Aside from the fact that most Chinese people are quite properly proud of their country and may feel offended, they are also perfectly well aware of the issues within their own society. A thoughtful person will also recognise that even invited political discussion may endanger their host in what is often a habitually intrusive authoritarian society. 

Visitors to China should be aware that it is highly likely that they will witness attitudes towards animals, which may cause distress, and prepare themselves in advance to deal with these matters with calm and sometimes considerable restraint.

Overt public displays of affection between couples are frowned upon, particularly in traditional areas, and shows disrespect to the native culture. 

Tipping for services in China is unnecessary, and the practise is not observed in China. Taxi drivers, restaurant and hotel staff do not expect to be tipped and can be offended by offers of money. The only exception to this general rule is with tour guides and drivers, who are routinely tipped by foreign visitors around the world. 

When dining, Chopsticks should be used only for eating and never employed as a means of gesturing, drumming or placing in your hair.  

When you have finished your meal place the implements together level across the top rather than leaning into the bowl, and on no account leave the chopsticks pointing straight up as this is traditionally interpreted as a curse or omen of death. 

If you are dining as the guest of a Chinese host, the host will normally order the food, and may not consult you on your preferences.  

In china, the host always pays for the dinner and offers to pay, or contribute towards payment, however well intentioned, will cause embarrassment. 

Unless circumstances make it unavoidable, discussion of death is widely considered taboo in Chinese society. 

Colour is an important feature of Chinese life. If you want to present your host with a gift, avoid wrapping the item in dark colours, seen as unlucky, and especially white, commonly associated with death. Yellow and red or pink are safe choices. 

Traditionally gifts are offered and received using both hands at once.

 

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