Charles F. Freeman, chief U.S. Interpreter during the Peking talks between President Nixon and Chou-en-Lai, said last night. "I watched the Chief Imperialist of the world toast the murderous mastermind of the Maoist bandits."
Speaking at the Law School Forum, Freedman said that the famous banquets reminded him of Alice in Wonderland: the Chinese band played "Turkey in the Straw" while President Nixon sat down with "the devil's turkey."
Moving between anecdotes and the more serious aspects of the trip, Freeman stated that his arrival in Peking was a "very strange beginning to a very strange trip."
Except for the army, no Chinese were in sight and not a sound could be heard at the airport, he said, other than "the birds and the trees." "During the negotiations, the Chinese said very little we didn't expect. I don't think we said much that they didn't expect either."
Freeman stressed that despite grave differences in principle and policy, a common ground was established between the two nations.
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