She was tall and beautiful, with large round eyes, and she was at the office door. She looked vaguely familiar, but I had no idea who she was. 'I am glad you had time to meet me,' she said. We walked into the conference room and she launched into her speech - and then I remembered. She was a journalism student at the Communications University of China where I had taught a class. She had been sending me a flood of e-mails asking for help in journalism. At one point, she must have mentioned that she would drop by. Soon, I found myself agreeing to help her with freelance story ideas. The following Monday, she called again and we met for coffee. As I walked into Starbucks, I was greeted by her - and her cameraman and producer. 'What is this?' I asked. 'It's for CCTV,' she replied. She was in line to become a broadcaster for one of the national television channels and was filming a 'reality show' as part of the selection process. I was the foreigner brought in to illustrate how she handles her day. We got down to the business of discussing her story ideas, which were not bad; after all, she was following my advice. She was not the only one. Last month, I walked into one of the many financial conferences I cover. At the registration table, a young journalist jumped up and called out: 'Hi, I haven't seen you since this conference last year.' Then, despite calling me by a different name, we chatted. I gave her a ride home in the company car, and the next day she e-mailed asking for a ride back to the conference, an hour out of town. With her breezy good looks, excellent English and chatty but oddly distant behaviour, she was fetching. She had also learned the art of flattery, asking my advice on covering the conference, who the speakers were, what issues were topical. Soon, I was getting e-mails asking to meet for coffee. I was not the only journalist on her hit list, either. These women on the make are perhaps not that unusual around the world. But I would argue that they are recent arrivals in China. They represent a new breed of aggressive, self-motivated, confidant, newly minted college graduates. They are also often spoiled. A few years ago, an aggressive woman would have been completely out of place in China; a male-dominated country. That is changing. And it is a good thing. These women are going to help reshape the country, run companies, make policy and become real players. That is, unless they run into the brick wall of male opposition. Or, their self-absorption sinks them. But they also hark back to an earlier age - using their English to meet foreigners to get ahead or to look sophisticated. Meanwhile, I do not mind the free coffee.