A Banquet Aglow With Good Cheer

Dublin Core


A Banquet Aglow With Good Cheer


Nixon, Chou, Peking, Banquet, Chinese--Food


Newspaper article about the banquet Nixon attended while in China


International Herald Tribune Historical Archive, 1887-2013


International Herald Tribune (European Edition)










GALE|CSQHTF377834650 [Gale document number]


United States

Text Item Type Metadata


MÈ- tk United Press International. PART OF THE RITUAL—President Nixon and Premier Chou En-lai, followed by an interpreter, inspecting People's Army honor guard yesterday at the airport in Peking. A Banquet Aglow With Good Cheer
PEKING, Feb. 21 (UPI).—Pat and Richard Nixon wielded chop¬ sticks with dexterity tonight at a banquet given by Chou En-lai. The American guests ate with obvious gusto, and the trim Chi¬ nese waiters and waitresses were hard-pressed to keep the wine goblets filled, so vigorously and frequently did the Nixons toast their hosts. The dinner—attended by 700— lasted almost three hours. The supping was leisurely, the sipping unrestrained. An ebullient President Nixon, after formally toasting Premier Chou from the platform at the front of the immense Great Hall of the People, stepped down and meandered from table to table among lesser officials, lifting his glass, clinking it to another, tak¬ ing a nip, nodding his head and moving on to the next guest. He appeared to miss no one. Such circulation by the guest of honor is a custom in China. The menu was lavish for a Chinese dinner, and included shark’s fin—considered a sign of high esteem for the principal guests. A Table for 20 Mr. Chou was an exemplary host, apparently conversing at times in English with his Ameri¬ can guests at the main table, arranged for 20 persons. Once, Mr. Chou served Mrs. Nixon a bit of food from a dish. Another time the short, slender Chinese premier rose and reached far across the table-to spear with
his chopsticks what appeared to be a shrimp. Aside from the serious formal toasts by Mr. Chou and Mr. Nixon; an air of joviality marked the meal. The Nixons enjoyed the food and seemed to relish the company. All at the main table chatted with animation. Mr. Chou, 73, several times al¬ lowed a look of enjoyment to lighten his normally severe mien as he sat ramrod-straight in his leather chair. He sat with an interpreter be-
tween the Nixons at the main table, which was huge and round. A bower of flowers, several feet in diameter, dominated the table. Below them in the Great Hall of the People, round tables about half the size of the leader’s were ranged in neat rows. Music opened the dinner, with renditions by a large Chinese orchestra of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and then the Chinese anthem, “March of the Volun¬ teers,” as the President and the premier stood before huge flags of their nations. During the dinner the orchestra played first what the Chinese called “revolutionary themes” and then several American tunes— “Home on the Range,” “Turkey in the Straw” and “America, the Beautiful.” At one point while Mr. Nixon and Mr. Chou were dining, Henry A. Kissinger, the President’s na¬ tional security adviser, leaned over to talk with both men. Mr. Chou and Mr. Kissinger appeared to exchange light-heart¬ ed humor. [“Any minute now they’ll start passing papers for us to sign,” said Mr. Kissinger as the “gom- bay”—bottoms up—toasts drunk in Mao Tai, the potent sorghum- based Chinese whiskey, followed in dangerous profusion, AP re¬ ported.] Mft Nixon is scheduled to give ft banquet late* this week for Premie# Chou,

Original Format



“A Banquet Aglow With Good Cheer,” Intro to Digital Humanities Fall 2018, accessed July 25, 2021, https://www.newbookdigitaltexts.org/dh-fall2018/items/show/441.

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