China Calls: Paving the Way for Nixon's Historic Journey to China

Overview

In 1971 the United States had no diplomatic relations, and no established route of communication with China. Despite that, in a stunning act of diplomacy, President Richard Nixon announced that he would travel to China to meet with its leaders. Ron Walker, director of the White House Advance Office, was chosen to make it all happen. This is the story of Walker and his team. China Calls is based on the actual transcripts of telephone calls between the advance team in Peking and the White House in Washington. ...
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Overview

In 1971 the United States had no diplomatic relations, and no established route of communication with China. Despite that, in a stunning act of diplomacy, President Richard Nixon announced that he would travel to China to meet with its leaders. Ron Walker, director of the White House Advance Office, was chosen to make it all happen. This is the story of Walker and his team. China Calls is based on the actual transcripts of telephone calls between the advance team in Peking and the White House in Washington. Because the tapes had never before been transcribed, the specific details of the historic event have been unknown. Now, for the first time, all of the behind-the-scenes activities and drama that led up to Nixon's historic journey in February 1972 are here in China Calls. For example, imagine the President's surprise when the Chinese government requested a protocol order of the entire 390 member American party. How do you rank Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw, and James Michener? Much is known about Nixon's actual visit, but the story of how it all came together has never been told until now. The advance team conquered a monumental task. Welcome to a rare glimpse of the guarded intricacies and exacting details of White House travel.

Based on actual transcripts of conversations between the Presidential advance team in China and the White House, this package is a fascinating look at how that great mission was made to work. 2 cassettes.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When President Richard Nixon announced that he would visit the People's Republic of China, he sent 34-year-old Ron Walker, chief of the White House advance office, to prepare the way. Accompanied by a large staff, Walker arrived in Peking on February 1, 1972, and set to work checking out motorcade routes, reserving banquet halls, planning the President's tour of the Great Wall and coordinating security arrangements. Every evening Walker reported to the White House via radio satellite. Transcripts of these conversations--mostly between Walker and presidential staffer Dwight Chapin--form the core of this book written by Walker's wife. The conversations capture the growing excitement as plans were laid for the historic presidential visit, and include many interesting examples of communication difficulties between the Americans and the Chinese. Advance man Walker was stunned to learn that his Chinese counterparts assumed he was a CIA agent whose satellite equipment was intended for espionage. By the time President Nixon arrived on February 21, the hosts had become less suspicious and more cooperative. Dec.
Library Journal
This first book published by The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace is a small monument to a giant ego. Constructed from the taped naturally telephone talks between the White House Advance Office in China headed by Ron Walker code-named Roadrunner and staffers back in Washington, it minutely details the preparations for Nixon's ``week that changed the world.'' At the same time endlessly boring and endlessly fascinating, it reveals a group of hardworking but sophomoric and culture-bound Americans concerned above all with photo opportunities and media coverage. China, it seems, could more easily have coped with a U.S. military invasion than with the Byzantine logistics of an American presidential visit. At times the dialog has the flavor of conversations between NASA's Mission Control and astronauts in outer space. For Nixon fanatics and other exotic tastes only.-- Steven I. Levine, Boulder Run Research, Hillsborough, N.C.
Richard Nixon
Ron Walker’s work directly increased the prospects for a successful Presidential visit. . . I am so pleased that the Richard Nixon Library. . . is publishing this insider account of one of modern history’s last true expeditions into the unknown.
Hugh Sidey
Richard Nixon’s journey to China in 1972 was one of [the twentieth]century’s most important and dramatic events in the big power game.China Calls is an absolutely unique and fascinating look at how that great permission was put together, and made to work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578151417
  • Publisher: Media Books, L. L. C.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged, 2 Cassettes
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne Collins Walker is the wife of Ron Walker. She is a blogger and writer who is active in politics, parks, and community service. Anne and Ron now divide their time between Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and Tucson, Arizona.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Acknowledgements
Ch. I Destination: China, July 15, 1971 3
Ch. II White House Briefing, January 25, 1972 7
Ch. III Survival Suitcase, January 26, 1972 21
Ch. IV Red Carpet Arrival, February 1, 1972 25
Ch. V An Unforgettable Sound, February 2, 1972 31
Ch. VI Rattan Furniture and the Red Detachment of Women, February 3, 1972 37
Ch. VII Eyeball to Eyeball with the Red Chinese, February 4, 1972 57
Ch. VIII Colonel Coffey is Still in the Hospital, February 5, 1972 83
Ch. IX Fire!, February 6, 1972 93
Ch. X Ice Cubes and Baboon Syndrome, February 7, 1972 115
Ch. XI Bye-Bye, Miss America Pie, February 8, 1972 137
Ch. XII A Communist Plot, February 9, 1972 159
Ch. XIII A Gymnasium with Waiters, February 10, 1972 183
Ch. XIV The Strangest Imaginable Sort of People, February 11, 1972 217
Ch. XV 750 Pounds Looking for a Forklift, February 12, 1972 229
Ch. XVI Ancient Chinese Herbal Medicine, February 13, 1972 251
Ch. XVII No Room for Valentines, February 14, 1972 255
Ch. XVIII Dateline: Peking, February 15, 1972 279
Ch. XIX You Lost General Redman? February 16, 1972 313
Ch. XX We Came in Peace, February 17, 1972 343
Ch. XXI Massaging Egos in Hawaii, February 18, 1972 351
Ch. XXII Flexibility, Centralization, and Points of Principle, February 19, 1972 371
Ch. XXIII See You Tomorrow, February 20, 1972 375
Ch. XXIV "The Week that Changed the World," February 21, 1972 387
Epilogue 409
Appendix: Order of Precedence 411
Index 421
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