AMERICAN NOTES: Ping Pong and Reality

O China, O China, How restlessly you tremble and stand astounded . . . —Ping, in Puccini's Turandot

A letter writer to a British newspaper last week enthusiastically observed that Giacomo Puccini showed uncanny foresight when he named two characters in his opera Ping and Pong. Perhaps so. The China of the opera was a place gilded with unreality; but what excited Americans last week about the astounding venture in Ping Pong diplomacy was that China was becoming real.

After more than two decades of frozen mutual hostility, the U.S. and China were beginning to talk and thus in a sense...

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