Turkey with All Trimmings

It looked like a scene from The King and I, in which a proper English governess frantically coaches Oriental courtiers in the rudiments of Occidental custom. All week, for five hours a day, 140 uniformed Chinese waiters and waitresses marched in stiff single file through an empty hotel banquet hall, placed plates on cloth-covered tables and then returned to remove them. The drills were but one of many painstaking preparations for the "reciprocal banquet" President Reagan hosted in Peking last Saturday night.

The state dinner for 600 Chinese and American guests was one of...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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