Gerald Beroud’s connection with China began in 1972, when the then 15-year-old gave a class presentation in his native Switzerland about then US president Richard Nixon’s first visit to the country. More than 40 years later, he is one of his homeland’s foremost experts on China and makes a living helping outsiders understand the country. Mr. Beroud runs SinOptic, a company offering information and services focused on relations between Switzerland and China. When he launched the company in 1998, it was the only one of its kind in Switzerland.
While Beroud’s first contact with China was as a boy, his actual relationship with the country did not begin until he was 29. After graduating with a degree in sociology, Beroud took a job researching substance-abuse problems. In 1986, he received a call from his sister, asking him if he’d like to attend the International Esperanto Conference in Beijing. Beroud accepted and, afterward, traveled
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