"China" is the tenth episode of the seventh season of The Office and the 136th episode overall. The episode was directed by Charles McDougall and was written by Halsted Sullivan & Warren Lieberstein. It first aired on December 2, 2010. It was viewed by 7.31 million people.


After reading a magazine article about the rise of China's economy, Michael gets frightened that the United States will fall victim to an evil ploy by the Chinese government due to its immense size. In an announcement, Michael asks for the staff for ideas on how to boost the American economy and states a figure about how many cities China has that have over a million people. Oscar tries to correct him, but Ryan and Stanley research it which proves Michael correct.

The entire staff jokes with Oscar for the rest of the day about being less intelligent than Michael, so Oscar invites Michael to coffee to one-up him in another conversation about China. Jim and Andy try to coach him, but Michael fumbles the conversation and Oscar nearly walks away victorious and smug from the debate. Michael, at the last minute, rebutts with an argument about friendship and conversation which has no relevance to the conversation but is delivered so passionately that the audience of Erin, Kelly, Ryan, Jim and Andy all applaud and congratulate him.

As the new building owner, Dwight has made financial cutbacks, including installing motion-activated light sensors and half-ply toilet paper. Pam starts to argue against these changes, and as the new office administrator decides to find a new building to move into. Pam finds a new space for the office in a plush building. Dwight begins to get worried, but finds out she made up the office as leverage. He starts to put pressure on her, and she confides in Jim that she doesn't want to be a failure as office administrator.

Dwight overhears and sets up a ploy for Pam to find out about tennant rights, which she uses against Dwight. He makes the changes and confides in the camera that it was because he is not a compassionate person, although a candid smile may reveal otherwise.

Darryl confronts Andy about sending stupid SMS text messages, which Andy doesn't not heed and continues to send him messages. Darryl draws the line and gives Andy one more do-or-be-blocked message. Andy texts him about pigeons in the parking lot, and Darryl reluctantly goes but ends up enjoying the birds eating ice cream.

Cultural references

  • Michael is initially worked up about China after reading an article in Newsweek, an American weekly news magazine.
  • Michael notes that he was forced to read Newsweek in the waiting room at his dentist's office because some "kid had the magazine I wanted to read", hinting that the magazine Michael wanted to read was the children's magazine Highlights for Children.
  • Dognapping is the kidnapping or stealing of a dog owned by someone else, with the intention of demanding a ransom. According to Nate, Dwight is being questioned by the police in connection with a string of dognappings.
  • Jim played a game called Zombie Soccer for two hours.
  • Andy sends Darryl a text that only reads "Megan Fox?", a reference to the American actress and model.
  • Michael does an impression of the then-governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • Creed notes that he understands, but cannot speak Pirate slang.
  • Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas.
  • Mao Zedong was a Chinese communist revolutionary, dictator, political theorist and politician.
  • Andy attempts to motivate Michael with a pep talk taken from the 1979 movie Rocky II.

Connections to previous episodes

  •  During Michael and Oscar's discussion in the lobby of the office building, a copy of Call of Duty can be seen behind the counter (The Coup).

Amusing details

  • A box for the game "Call of Duty" is tucked away in the security desk in the lobby, visible during Oscar and Michael's debate.[1] The video game "Call of Duty" made appearances in earlier episodses The Coup and Email Surveillance.


Main cast

Supported cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast

  • Sarah Zimmerman as "Other Pam"
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