Premier Chou En-lai was electric, Premier Chou En-lai was electric, quick, taut, deft, humorous. In the 19 months since we had come to know each other, he and I had developed an easy camaraderie not untinged with affection. During my visit in February 1973, I said to him: "I think that the Premier notices that I am especially inhibited in his presence right now."

"Why?" asked Chou.

"Because," I responded, "I read his remark to the press that I am the only man who can talk to him for half an hour without saying anything."

Replied Chou: "I think I said one hour...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!