Croft Visiting Speaker: China in 1973 and Today
Wednesday, April 2 - Joseph C. Bancroft Conference Room (Croft 107) - 7 p.m.
Ambassador Nicolas Platt
Former Ambassador to Zambia, the Philippines, and Pakistan; Accompanied Richard Nixon to China in 1972; President Emeritus of the Asia Society
Nicholas Platt, long-time China specialist, three-time U.S. Ambassador (Pakistan, Zambia and the Philippines), and author of the published memoir China Boys, will share his experiences and insights gained from a long and distinguished career in the diplomatic service and as President of the Asia Society in New York for 12 years.
As a young diplomatic officer in the early 1960s, when Communist China was firmly closed to the west, Platt took the unusual step of studying Mandarin. This put him in a key position when U.S. relations to China suddenly opened. Platt was one of the State Department officials chosen to accompany President Nixon on his historic visit to China in 1972. The following year he and his family were stationed in Beijing with the opening of a U.S. Liaison Office, the forerunner of the U.S. Embassy in the PRC.
Showing some of his 'home movie' footage of the Nixon trip, and film of family and diplomatic events, and reading from his memoir, Platt will talk about life in China in 1973. As a former president of the Asia society, which oversees numerous contacts and exchanges with China, and a frequent visitor and lecturer in the PRC, Platt is in a unique position to compare those early days of diplomatic contact to relations with the West today, as China now emerges as a major player on the world stage and an economic power house.