The term "old China hand" dates from the early 20th c. According to A Concise Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, edited by Paul Beale, (Macmillan, 1989), this term refers to "One who has spent many years in China in the commercial or civil service, or as a missionary." When this term was coined, the Chinese Empire was in steep decline and China's people were about to face decades of war and revolutionary upheaval.
Now in the early 21st c., China has re-emerged as a world power politically, economically, militarily, and in the arts. We are lucky then that Nancy Murphy, who certainly is not that old herself, but who nonetheless qualifies as "an old China hand" when it comes to arts issues, has decided to share some of her extensive knowledge with us in the new "China Art Law Newsletter." It can be found at http://www.chinaartlaw.com/
"Cultural Property Observer" wishes "China Art Law Newsletter" much success in the coming [Western] New Year and beyond.