A Letter From The Publisher, Feb. 3, 1975

This week's cover story on China's durable Premier Chou En-lai and the course he is charting for his nation challenged the China watching expertise of TIME staffers in Hong Kong, New York and Washington. The story was written by Richard Bernstein, who studied Chinese culture and language at Harvard and on Taiwan, and spent five weeks touring the mainland in 1972. Bernstein was a guest in peasants' homes on a North China commune and slept in a coed factory dorm in Shenyang. Though he found the political control "sobering," he was impressed by the people's "hopefulness, dedication and lack of cynicism."...

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