The minivan labors up a dirt road in the hills west of the Chinese port city of Xiamen, around hairpin turns, past stands of tall eucalyptus and tamarisk trees. Now and then, we come upon clusters of houses, with the delicate, curved, flaring roofs typical of Fujian province. It is late April, and the air is moist and pleasantly cool, the sky soft gray. Terraced paddies, vibrant with the luminescent light green shoots of young rice, cover the slopes above and below us. As we climb higher, these gradually give way to plantings of dry-field rice, then finally to fields of tea bushes, dense with shiny, dark green, almond-shaped leaves.