The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a Global President

The China Diary of George H. W. Bush: The Making of a Global President

Jeffrey A. Engel, George H. W. Bush

Language: English

Pages: 576

ISBN: 069113006X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Available in print for the first time, this day-by-day diary of George H. W. Bush's life in China opens a fascinating window into one of the most formative periods of his career. As head of the United States Liaison Office in Beijing from 1974 to 1975, Bush witnessed high-level policy deliberations and daily social interactions between the two Cold War superpowers. The China Diary of George H. W. Bush offers an intimate look at this fundamental period of international history, marks a monumental contribution to our understanding of U.S.-China relations, and sheds light on the ideals of a global president in the making.

In compelling words, Bush reveals a thoughtful and pragmatic realism that would guide him for decades to come. He considers the crisis of Vietnam, the difficulties of détente, and tensions in the Middle East, while lamenting the global decline in American power. He formulates views on the importance of international alliances and personal diplomacy, as he struggles to form meaningful relationships with China's top leaders. With a critical eye for detail, he depicts key political figures, including Gerald Ford, Donald Rumsfeld, Deng Xiaoping, and the ever-difficult Henry Kissinger. Throughout, Bush offers impressions of China and its people, describing his explorations of Beijing by bicycle, and his experiences with Chinese food, language lessons, and Ping-Pong.

Complete with a preface by George H. W. Bush, and an introduction and essay by Jeffrey Engel that place Bush's China experience in the broad context of his public career, The China Diary of George H. W. Bush offers an unmediated perspective on American diplomatic history, and explores a crucial period's impact on a future commander in chief.

















22 cycles, 10 more bicycles, 3 trucks, line of trucks with students near stadium, motorcycles, bikes, trucks, 1 car, thousands of bicycles. As you go by the stadium they are having an athletic event and trucks pour in from the countryside bearing literally hundreds and thousands of students, young people, soldiers. You see the soldiers jumping out carrying bright red pom-poms. They don’t look self-conscious about it at all. You see squads of soldiers and students lined up—nobody seeming to keep

ambassadors told me that they feel that the groups that come to China are assiduously kept away from the embassies, emphasizing the people-to-people thing. If one starts comparing it to what their ambassador is allowed to do in our capital, the differences are overwhelming. I must guard against the increasing frustrations of always running into stone walls. Sometimes politely, sometimes firmly, but sometimes rather acidly, but nevertheless always there. Petersmeyer got his [visa] extension, but

newspaper, the Overseas Chinese Daily, at the time of her birth, a fact Kissinger could not easily ignore during his first trip to Beijing in 1971. She could become president of the United States, he informed Tang—something his own foreign birth precluded. Either’s appeal to voters, of course, was another matter. 68Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev led the Soviet Union, in various official capacities, from 1964 until his death in 1982. Sino-Soviet divisions constituted one of the crucial geopolitical

The big fascination is what is happening with Chairman Mao who did not attend.8 There is a lot of discussion about this all the time. Thursday night we went to the Russian Embassy where Tolstikov showed a movie of the defense of Stalingrad. Not too bad although the acoustics were impossible. The translation was almost unintelligible. I bought two beautiful old mandarin coats for Johnny and Ray Siller, thanking them for Alfalfa.9 One hundred dollars apiece. The most fantastic stitching work you

around here and certainly at the UN. Went to lunch with the Ambassador of Ghana and Akwei; a very nice but tremendously heavy luncheon of great Ghanaian and African food. Corn meal—many dishes etc. [Sunday, February 16, 1975]. On Sunday we went to church— a little church service with about 10 people in the audience plus three or four Chinese. Communion service every day. They seem genuinely glad to see us back. It is good that we are permitted this worship here. At tennis mixed doubles the

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