The flying gusts that characterized U.S.-China diplomatic relations last year could be calmed by taking a few cues from the experiences of a seasoned observer
Recently, President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States repaired the setbacks of a year of ups and downs. Experts wonder, why are there so many problems with U.S.-China relations? What is the basis for long-term harmony between these two nations?
This is an old question that people in the U.S. have long been considering. Some have even ended their diplomatic prospects for it.
Among the guests at the state banquet for President Hu was Winston Lord, former ambassador to China. As an assistant, Lord in July 1971 accompanied then-U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger on a secret visit to China, opening a door to U.S.-China relations that had been closed for 20 years. As the plane from Pakistan was crossing over the Himalayas, Lord made an excuse about giving a report to Kissinger and moved to the front of the cabin, standing a little forward of the head diplomat. He later joked that besides the pilot, he was the first American diplomat to enter China in 20 years, just a little earlier than Kissinger.
Wu Li is a scholar living in America.
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