Yes, one of our friends works for a mining company.
As I write, Buuuuurrrt is trying to get on a flight from Seattle to Beijing but is getting hassled by Delta for not having a Chinese visa. We ran into the same problem in Tokyo. The airlines get fined if they fly people into China with no visa. However, if you have a confirmed flight out of china on the same day, you don't need a visa. They will issue you a "Stay Permit" for one day. Seems like Delta is not aware of this.
Meanwhile, we are waiting for our Mongolian friend to show up who's going with us to look at what is supposed to be the best enduro China has to offer!!!!