It is the bane of the business traveler in an unfamiliar culture: making a comment or gesture that is meant to be friendly but instead offends or embarrasses the hosts. Happily, such cross-cultural faux pas are no longer deal killers. Globalization has narrowed the cultural divide, and these days the Chinese are experienced enough in dealing with foreigners to shrug off such indiscretions. Even stabbing chopsticks into a bowl of rice and leaving them there (an act of hostility among Chinese because it signifies death) would be laughed off (albeit nervously) by locals. What truly matters is a friendly attitude and a patient manner. Below is a list of 9 things to avoid.