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My First Trip

12.31.2012

After Ping Pong, Before Kissinger

Robert Keatley
My first trip to China apparently began in Montreal.

My First Trip

12.03.2012

A China Frontier: Once the Border of Borders

Orville Schell
In 1961, when I first arrived in Hong Kong as an aspiring young China scholar, there was something deeply seductive about the way this small British enclave of capitalism clung like a barnacle to the enormity of China’s socialist...

My First Trip

10.24.2012

Struggling with Antonioni

Isabel Hilton
My first sight of Beijing was puzzling. It was October 1973, at the end of a very long flight, and the city seemed so dark I could hardly believe we had arrived.

My First Trip

09.24.2012

Witnessing the Cultural Revolution at its Dawn

John Hawkins
To this day, I am not sure why the Chinese government approved my request to visit the PRC in the summer of 1966.

My First Trip

07.09.2012

Busman’s Holiday

Arthur Waldron
The train from the old Kowloon station rumbled as it passed the Chinese border fence on its way to Canton and came to a lurching halt. It was a late summer day in 1981; I was thirty-two years old and now, as I reflected with deep...

My First Trip

01.19.2012

Looking Back from Age Ninety

Sidney Rittenberg
May 1944: Based on a language aptitude test, I was taken out of the infantry, training in the Oregon snows, and shipped down to sunny Stanford, to be trained in Japanese. I opted for Chinese instead, thinking this would bring me home...

My First Trip

01.03.2012

The Alternative Route

Karen Smith
Twenty-one years after the fact, my efforts to reconstruct my first trip to China produce a confusion of impressions in which multiple images are fused together and refuse to be unraveled or separated. Having lived in China for nineteen of...

My First Trip

11.26.2011

The Opening Stage of China

Robert A. Scalapino
At the outset of the 1960s, the newly installed Kennedy administration attempted an opening to Beijing. In early 1961, with Secretary of State Dean Rusk in command, an offer was made to exchange journalists, as I had proposed. I had talked...

My First Trip

11.05.2011

My First Return Trip to China

Wei Peh T’i
Thomas Wolfe's admonition that “you can't go home again” notwithstanding, I returned to the land of my birth after an absence of 33 years. I was born in Nanjing and spent a good part of my childhood in Chongqing. In November 1937, Japanese...

My First Trip

09.30.2011

With Nixon in China

Chas W. Freeman
On a chill, gray Monday morning, on February 21, 1972, I stood on the steps of the old Hongqiao Airport terminal. I had arrived in Shanghai twenty minutes in advance of President Nixon. I was on the backup plane, which arrived first, so I...

My First Trip

09.24.2011

An Australian Gets to Beijing, 1964

Ross Terrill
In the early 1960s, few Westerners set foot in the People’s Republic of China. Australians needed permission from their own government to go there. Some got a green light, but Beijing guarded visas for people from non-Communist countries...

My First Trip

09.17.2011

Coming Home to a New Place Each Time

Liu Heung Shing
As a Hong Kong-born Chinese who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, it’s hard to pinpoint my first trip to China; at least, one that I remember clearly, for my real first trip was as a toddler, in 1953 in the arms of my mother who carried me to...

My First Trip

09.10.2011

Deng's Heyday

Ian Johnson
When I began thinking about writing this piece, my first trip to China in 1984 had seemed like a disappointment. Unlike today, this was the China of Great Events: the launch of bold reforms and an era of intellectual ferment unlike any...

My First Trip

09.03.2011

The Missionary Spirit Dies Hard

Jerome A. Cohen
I started studying the Chinese language August 15, 1960 at 9 am. Confucius said "Establish yourself at thirty," and, having just celebrated my thirtieth birthday, I decided he was right. I would not be allowed to visit China, however,...

My First Trip

07.30.2011

My Long March from Mao to Now

Jan Wong
In my third year at McGill University in Montreal, a much older, married classmate suggested the two of us go to China during our summer vacation. I was 19; she was probably all of 25. When we applied for visas, she, a white Australian,...

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