The World: China: A View from the Center of the Earth

DURING China's long years of isolation, her diplomats and officials raised inscrutability to an art, hardly ever wavering from the approved line of Maoist rhetoric and propaganda. Even in today's more relaxed and affable atmosphere, China's leaders seldom give outsiders any real insight into how they look at their world and that of the West. Some unusual glimpses, however, were recently accorded TIME's Canadian National Correspondent James Wilde, who accompanied a trade and diplomatic delegation from Ottawa on a ten-day tour of China. During an evening of conversation at a restaurant overlooking Peking's Shi Cha Hai lake, a high-ranking official and...

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