Thursday, March 1, 2012

Zhung Tse Tong and The Shanghai Communique

The Shanghai Communique, issued 40 years ago, was the official public announcement of US China relations. However, there were several events that paved the way for this historic change in US foreign policy. Ping Pong Diplomacy enthralls all.

In Beijing, after a careful study of the reports from Nagoya, the Foreign Ministry held that in inviting Americans to China, first consideration should be given to influential journalists and politicians. In a report written jointly by the Foreign Ministry and the State Commission for Physical Culture and Sports on April 4, it was suggested that the Chinese table tennis delegation in Nagoya tell the American team that the time was not yet ripe for it to visit China. The report was sent to Zhou and Mao.

By then the Chinese and American table tennis players had come into contact on more than one occasion and exchanged souvenirs, which had made a sensation in the world press. The American players had expressed their wish to visit China.

Mao was well informed of what had happened in Nagoya. He decided to invite the American players immediately. On April 7, the Chinese delegation received a directive from home: "considering that the American team has made the request many times with friendly enthusiasm, it has been approved to invite it, including its leaders, to visit our country."

Upon receiving the invitation, Steenhoven immediately reported to the American ambassador to Japan. After reading the cable from Tokyo, Nixon decided at once that the American team should go to China, taking the invitation for the beginning of a long-awaited major diplomatic action.

On April 14, Zhou received the guest teams from the United States, Canada, Colombia and Nigeria at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. When talking with the American players, he said, "The Chinese and American people used to have frequent exchanges. Then came a long period of severance. Your visit has opened the door to friendship between the peoples of the two countries."

Richard Nixon's visit to China in February 1972 changed the course of history — reshaping the global balance of power and opening the door to the establishment of relations between the People's Republic and the United States.
1972年2月理查德•尼克松对中国的访问改变了历史的轨迹 - 它重新调整了全球势力的均衡,为中华人民共和国和美国两国间关系的建立打开了大门。

It was also a milestone in the history of journalism. Since the Communist revolution of 1949, a suspicious regime in Beijing had barred virtually all U.S. reporters from China. For the Nixon trip, however, the Chinese agreed to accept nearly 100 journalists, and to allow the most dramatic events — Nixon's arrival in Beijing, Zhou Enlai'swelcoming banquet, visits to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City — to be televised live.
这次访问同时也是新闻史上的一个里程碑。自1949年共产革命以来,对外界充满怀疑的北京政府将所有美国新闻记者拒之门外。然而为了尼克松中国之行,中方同意并接纳了10­0名新闻记者,并且允许电视现场直播尼克松中国之行中发生的重大事件 - 例如尼克松抵京,周恩来总理欢迎晚宴,总统参观长城和故宫。

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The coverage was arguably as important as the details of the diplomacy. It profoundly transformed American and international perceptions of a long-isolated China, generated the public support Nixon needed to change U.S. policy, and laid the groundwork for Beijing's gradual move to open China to greater international media coverage.

While the outlines of the Nixon trip are familiar, the behind-the-scenes story of how that momentous event was covered is much less well-known. This segment of Assignment: China focuses on journalists who went with Nixon and includes interviews with those officials who sought to shape the coverage. The Week that Changed the World contains previously unreleased footage of the Nixon visit, as well as interviews with journalistic luminaries such as Dan Rather and Bernard Kalb of CBS, Ted Koppel and Tom Jarriel of ABC, Barbara Walters of NBC, Max Frankel of the New York Times, Stanley Karnow of the Washington Post, and many others.

Reported and narrated by U.S.-China Institute Senior Fellow Mike Chinoy, formerly CNN's Senior Asia Correspondent and Beijing Bureau Chief, and edited by USCI Multimedia Editor Craig Stubing, the film offers a fascinating and previously untold perspective on one of the most important historical moments of the 20th century. Clayton Dube conceived of the Assignment: China project and supervises it.

Friendship First, Competition Second


1 comment:

Anon said...

Interesting history.

- Aangirfan