16 August 2007

Omnipresent Eye

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A review of Margaret Macmillan’s Seize the Hour: when Nixon Met Mao. Published in the London Review of Books, Vol. 29, No. 16, 16 August 2007, pp. 19-20.

It is a cold, clear morning, and the soldiers gathered at the airfield are singing ‘The Three Main Rules of Discipline’ as an American jet labelled ‘The Spirit of 76’ lands and taxis over to its appointed resting place. A hatch opens to reveal President Nixon. The former Red-baiter blinks before launching himself down the ramp slightly ahead of his wife, who is wearing a scarlet coat. China’s prime minister, Zhou Enlai, begins to clap as the Americans descend. After pausing to reciprocate, Nixon steps onto the tarmac and walks towards his welcoming host for the first of many carefully held handshakes.

That, as Margaret MacMillan confirms, is more or less what took place at Beijing airport on Monday, 21 February 1972 . . .

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This entry was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2007 at 12:00 am and is filed under Articles General, Potemkinism and Camouflage, War & peace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.