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Zhang Ham Zhi, Interpreter, Chinese Foreign Ministry, on:
the Gang of Shanghai
In those days, Shanghai leadership was basically the radical group which was known later on as the Gang of Four, but at that time they were referred to as the Gang of Shanghai. And these people -- led by Tsang Chin, wife of Mao Tse-tung -- I have the suspicion probably at the very beginning didn't really quite agree to the policy to invite President Nixon to visit China. But, of course, since it was the decision of Chairman Mao, they wouldn't be able to say anything. So from the moment we arrived in Shanghai with General Haig, I somehow felt the atmosphere was different from Beijing. I could feel that even before the unfortunate incident happened. |
I felt that they were rather cool and rather reserved on the whole U.S. - China relations thing. And that very evening, one of the Shanghai leaders, probably number three, Tsu Tin Chan, hosted a dinner in what they called the friendship palace, and that was also a rather cool dinner from the very beginning. They didn't invite too many people so there were only a few tables, and Tsu Tin Chan, all the time as host, didn't really talk too much. But he made an official toasting, which was very official, you know. I was sitting next to General Haig and I felt he also felt the atmosphere was not the same as Beijing. I could feel he was getting a little uneasy, you know, didn't know what was happening. And I think he was even feeling a little nervous. And so the whole dinner went on in a rather strange atmosphere. The host and guests didn't really seem to have much to talk about. And then I was waiting for General Haig to return the toast but he didn't, and I was wondering why he didn't. Actually I was thinking whether I should remind him. To remind him probably was the right thing to do but, on the other hand, what if General Haig didn't want a response. Why should I remind him? Would I be doing something that he purposely didn't want to do? So I wasn't really too sure what he wanted to do and of course the chance was lost and the dinner was over.
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