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Zhang Ham Zhi, Interpreter, Chinese Foreign Ministry, on:
dinner with the Shanghai leaders
The dinner itself was not really a very warm dinner, and because General Haig didn't return the toast, it became even cooler. And after the dinner, the Shanghai leaders rush into our office and really protested and said, General Haig was insulting the Shanghai leaders because Tsu Tin Chan proposed the toast and he didn't return. And then the staff from the foreign office tried to explain to the Shanghai people that there must be a misunderstanding. We said China and America had been separated for so long and the Americans probably didn't understand what they should do. But they wouldn't accept our explanation, and they insisted that it was really with intention that General Haig didn't return the toast. |
We argued and they said they would really like to make General Haig apologize, and we said: "You cannot really do that considering that opening up the relationship between China and the U.S. was the major strategy of Mao Tse-tung. You couldn't really now do anything now to destroy this relationship which was so delicate; it was really at the very beginning stage and you couldn't really destroy that because of this little incident of not returning the toast." But they insisted that General Haig was insulting the Shanghai leaders. So we didn't really come to agreement that night.
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