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

Overview

In 1971 the United States had no diplomatic relations or established route of communications 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 ...

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

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Overview

In 1971 the United States had no diplomatic relations or established route of communications 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. Much is known about Nixon’s actual visit, but the story of how it all came together has never been told until China Calls. This 40th Anniversary Edition has an updated epilogue and additional photos.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568332659
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/15/2012
  • Edition description: Updated 40th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 40
  • Pages: 522
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.30 (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 ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgements xiii

Chapter 1 Destination: China 1

July 15, 1971

Chapter 2 White House Briefing 5

January 25, 1972

Chapter 3 Survival Suitcase 21

January 26, 1972

Chapter 4 Red Carpet Arrival 25

February 1, 1972

Chapters An Unforgettable Sound 31

February 2, 1972

Chapter 6 Rattan Furniture and the Red Detachment of Women 37

February 3, 1972

Chapter 7 Eyeball to Eyeball with the Red Chinese 63

February 4, 1972

Chapter 8 Colonel Coffey is Still in the Hospital 95

February 5, 1972

Chapter 9 Fire! 109

February 6, 1972

Chapter 10 Ice Cubes an& Baboon Syndrome 137

February 7, 1972

Chapter 11 Bye-Bye, Miss American Pie 167

February 8, 1972

Chapter 12 A Communist Plot 195

February 9, 1972

Chapter 13 A Gymnasium with Waiters 225

February 10, 1972

Chapter 14 The Strangest Imaginable Sort of People 267

February 11, 1972

Chapter 15 750 Pounds Looking for a Forklift 281

February 12, 1972

Chapter 16 Ancient Chinese Herbal Medicine 307

February 13, 1972

Chapter 17 No Room for Valentines 311

February 14, 1972

Chapter 18 Dateline: Peking 341

February 15, 1972

Chapter 19 You Lost General Redman? 385

February 16, 1972

Chapter 20 We Came in Peace 423

February 17, 1972

Chapter 21 Massaging Egos in Hawaii 433

February 18, 1972

Chapter 22 Flexibility, Centralization, and Points of Principle 459

February 19, 1972

Chapter 23 See You Tomorrow 463

February 20, 1972

Chapter 24 "The Week that Changed the World" 479

February 21, 1972

Epilogue 501

And Another Epilogue 502

Appendix Order of Precedence 505

Index 517

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