ABSTRACT

When U.S. Ambassador Leonard Woodcock asked Vice-Premier Teng Hsiao-p'ing what he would like to see on his pathbreaking January 1979 trip to the United States, Teng's reply was immediate and unqualified: "Space and your advanced technology." 1 During the course of his visit, Teng spent some time engaging in diplomatic activities, such as the acceptance of a pair of silver spurs from the mayor of Houston and a good deal of time digging those spurs into Soviet flanks. However, true to his word, most of his time was spent in the likes of Ford Motor Company's Atlanta plant, marveling at the way windshields are installed on Ford LTDs; in Houston, "playing astronaut" in the space shuttle flight simulator at the Johnson Space Center; and at Seattle's Boeing 747 plant, inspecting the landing gear on the jumbo jets that will soon be delivered to China. As one U.S. official traveling with Teng commented, "They [the Chinese] perceive us as the most advanced society, and they idealize us and look for magic coming out of their new [U.S.] connection." 2