A Letter From The Publisher, Sep. 20, 1976

On the fourth day of his China tour, former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger was watching a demonstration of Chinese army marksmanship at a base 60 miles northeast of Peking. Diplomatic Editor Jerrold Schecter, traveling with him, started when he heard the strains of the Internationale break out on camp loudspeakers—in China, a sign that something important was to be announced. Before leaving, Schlesinger leaned over to Schecter and whispered the news of Mao Tse-tung's death. Reports Schecter: "I couldn't believe it. Then I looked at Schlesinger's face, and I knew it was true."

Schecter, who has visited China six times in the...

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