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About Bridges to China

Bridges to China has been operating since 2006 when we welcomed our first martial arts student to Beijing. We now offer programs to study a wide range of traditional Chinese culture and martial arts in the wider Beijing area.

Our aim here at Bridges to China is to promote greater global cultural understanding and to make Chinese culture more accessible to the world. We believe the best way to learn about Chinese culture is by having a great time and learning something fun about China.

Liam Bates

Liam Bates is originally from Switzerland and now spends his time moving between Vancouver, Canada and China. Having learned both Chinese language and martial arts since age 15, he has studied at the University of British Columbia, Beijing's Capital Institute of Physical Education, and Shanghai Jiaotong University.

When not out exploring the Chinese wilderness by foot, bicycle and horse, Liam manages the international sector of Bridges to China.

Get in touch with Liam at

Hunter Bi

Hunter (Chinese name Bi Zhi Yong) is a graduate of Beijing's Capital Institute of Physical Education, which he attended on martial arts scholarship. A national wushu competitor and 1997 all-round champion of Hebei province, Hunter grew up in Hebei, where he spent several years on the competitive martial arts team.

Hunter now works with students in China and manages the Beijing-based sector of Bridges to China.

Contact Hunter at

Summer Zhan

Summer Zhan (Zhan Lian Xiao) was born in Guang Xi province of Southern China and is from the Zhuang minority group, the largest ethnic minority in the country.

Summer studied pedagogy in Beijing's Central University for Nationalities, exposing her to a wide range of cultures from all across China. She now works as program consultant for Bridges to China, working out the logistics for some of those great trips around the country.

Summer also teaches traditional minority dances, so if that's your thing, make sure to let her know!

Esmeralda Xu

Esmeralda Xu (Xu Yan) comes from Chong Qing, home to some of China's tastiest food. After growing up in Si Chuan she moved to Beijing, where she attended university on scholarship.

Esmeralda works with new students in China to arrange language and culture training, travel and to put on interesting social activities together. A sports and games lover, she enjoys playing a number of traditional and modern Chinese games.

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