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Zhang Ham Zhi, Interpreter, Chinese Foreign Ministry, on:
General Haig’s meeting with Premier Chou En-lai

Zhang Ham Zh Premier Chou En-lai met General Haig [on] the evening of January sixth. I remember that date so clearly because, unfortunately, it just happened to be the night that Marshall Chan Lee passed away. And while Chou En-lai was talking with General Haig, actually news came that Marshall Chan Lee passed away. But Premier Chou's secretary decided and we also agreed that we would not tell Premier Chou En-lai immediately. But even under those circumstances, Premier Chou En-lai still spent so much time with General Haig. They were discussing the principles of the Shanghai communiqué. I guess General Haig used a word of our ability, something like in the context of, "the U.S. government is concerned about the viability of China." And I translated. And Chou En-lai didn't really make immediate comment on that, but I could see he frowned. I was a little nervous because Chou En-lai's English, at least in listening, was very good. He was able to hear the very small difference of translations. He had very sharp ears to translations. So I saw him frowning a little. Then after Haig left, he asked us to bring him all dictionaries Webster, Oxford and he said he wanted us to look for the exact meaning, the Chinese meaning of this word. And then he said he would meet General Haig and would really make a point to remind General Haig that we would not accept wording like that. The Chinese do not want the United States to use the word to show that they're interested in the viability of China, which means that they put China under their umbrella, and China is in no way under U.S. nuclear umbrella. No so this is not the word to use in China.

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