Ed Karrens: Almost four years after the first visit of a U.S. President to China, Gerald Ford became the second President to make the historic journey.
The Chinese seized the opportunity to remind the President and the United States they were not too happy with the U.S.-Soviet Union dï؟½tente program. Chinese Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping lectured on the subject at a banquet. Here are his remarks, spoken by a woman translator ï؟½
Translator: "'The basic contradictions in the world are startling daily. The fact is, for both revolution and war are clearly increasing. Countries want independence, nations want liberation; and the people want revolution. This torrential tide of our times is nonsense. In particular, the Third World has emerged and grown in strength and has become a force that is playing an important role in the international arena, a force that must not be neglected."
Ed Karrens: The subject of dï؟½tente was such a touchy one with the Chinese that the traditional Joint Communiquï؟½ issued during a trip like this was dropped. The Chinese and the Americans couldn't come up with the right wording.
On his way back, President Ford stopped at Honolulu, Hawaii and had this assessment of the oriental trip ï؟½
President Gerald Ford: "There were, as expected, differences of perspective. Our societies, our philosophies, our very positions in the world give us differing perceptions of our respective national interests. But we did find a common ground. We reaffirmed that we share very important areas of concern and agreement."
Ed Karrens: Before the trip, many China watchers predicted nothing new or important would happen. But the fact that Ford visited with Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung for almost two hours may have been the most significant aspect of the trip ï؟½