As much as I learned about the Chinese people and their culture, I also gleaned a great deal from the Americans who journeyed in my tour group: most notably the two women in their 70s who were traveling solo.
China, for me, remains a contrast between the old and new. With so much growth so fast -- it reminded me of Chicago 50 years ago, but on steroids.
Since 2009, China has attempted to block dozens of sites that might harbor dissent. Recent visitors had told me to expect Internet restrictions. As a First Amendment researcher, I would see the access restrictions as a bit of a one-way street.