Professor Mike Wingfield, Founding Director of FABI and Prof. Brenda Wingfield (NRF SARCHi Chair in Fungal Genetics) had the honour of being invited by His Excellency Mr Lin Songtian, the Chinese Ambassador to South Africa, to attend a celebration of the 2020 Lunar New Year. The gala event was held on Saturday 18 January at the magnificent Chinese Embassy in Pretoria, where guests were entertained to a wide variety of cultural events.  During the day, Mike and Brenda had the opportunity to engage with many Chinese friends including having a chance to meet the new Chinese Minister/Counselor for Science and Technology.  This provided time to also briefly discuss the growing China Eucalypt Research Center (CERC-an Institute of the Chinese Academy of Forestry)/FABI Tree Protection Programme (CFTPP), which has already facilitated the completion and publication of a substantial volume of collaborative research and student education.  Overall, a wonderful start to the Chinese Year of the Rat and an opportunity to wish our Chinese collaborators and friends a HAPPY NEW YEAR.