A Letter From The Publisher: Dec. 1, 1961

COVERING Communist China is the toughest problem in journalism today. It is foolish to ignore one-fourth of the world's peoples; but it is impossible to report the news out of China with any of the accustomed safeguards of trained eyewitnesses, seeing for themselves and able to verify what they are told. Peking allows only two permanent Western correspondents (Reuters and Agence France Presse), and it shuns their requests and restricts their travel.

So the burden falls on Hong Kong. There, TIME Bureau Chief Stan Karnow presides over a tedious and essential operation akin to wartime intelligence gathering. He and Correspondents Jerry Schecter...

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