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Overflowing with admiration for the Chinese people, George Wald. Higgins Professor of Biology, returned to Harvard last night, wrapping up a six-week trip through North Vietnam and China.
Talking with reporters at Logan Airport just after his arrival, Wald said that there are no unidentified prisoners-of-war in North Vietnam. He termed continuation of the belief that unidentified prisoners do remain in that country "subtle cruelty."
Wald said that the North Vietnamese are "not reacting at all" to President Nixon's trip to China, and reported that the trip had not been announced to the public. The Chinese reaction, on the other hand was extremely courteous, Wald said. He spent five weeks of his travels in China.
"There has always been a big distinction in the mind of the Chinese between the American government and corporate interests, and the American people," he said. "They have tried to cultivate a strong friendship with the American people."
In China Wald spoke with several ranking officials, including Chou En-lai, who discussed notable Harvard personalities. His comment on Presidential advisor Henry A. Kissinger '50, as reported by Wald was, "as a man, he's good to argue with."
Chinese officials extended through Wald an invitation to John K. Fairbank, Higginson Professor of History, to visit the country with a scholarly delegation. Wald has communicated that invitation already, he said.
He took note of two surgical advances he observed in China: acupuncture--"it's for real", he said--and the reattachment of severed limbs, which he said has become a routine operation. Wald plans to do an in-depth report on acupuncture, which he gave careful consideration.
The thing that impressed him most, however, was the quality and abundance of consumer goods. Sporting an eight-dollar pair of brown-suede, fur-lined shoes he bought in China, he praised the excellence of Chinese ships and electronic goods.
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