Transcript: Margaret MacMillan | Nov 25, 2006

[Theme music plays]

The opening sequence rolls. The logo of "Big Ideas" featuring a lit lamp bulb appears against an animated orange slate.
Then, Andrew Moodie appears in the studio. The walls are decorated with screens featuring lit lamp bulbs, and two signs read "Big Ideas."
Andrew is in his early forties, clean-shaven, with short curly black hair. He's wearing a burgundy blazer over a black sweater.

He says HELLO, AND
WELCOME TO
BIG IDEAS.
MY NAME IS ANDREW MOODIE, AND
TODAY, WE HAVE A LECTURE ABOUT
ONE OF THE GREATEST HISTORICAL
EVENTS OF THE LAST 50 YEARS.
THE YEAR WAS 1972, AND RICHARD
NIXON, THE PRESIDENT REVILED BY
ALL THOSE WHO THOUGHT OF
THEMSELVES AS PROGRESSIVES,
WENT TO CHINA TO MEET WITH MAO
ZEDONG, WHO FOR SOME, EMBODIED
THE IDEA OF PROGRESS.
YOUR GUIDE ON THIS PATH BACK IN
TIME IS MARGARET MacMILLAN, THE
AUTHOR OF THE RECENTLY
PUBLISHED,
NIXON IN CHINA.
SHE TEACHES HISTORY AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.
ONE COULD SAY THAT HISTORY CAME
TO HER NATURALLY.
SHE IS ACTUALLY THE GREAT
GRANDDAUGHTER OF THE PRIME
MINISTER OF ENGLAND, DAVID
LLOYD GEORGE, AND THAT'S WHERE
SHE'S GOING NEXT.
STARTING NEXT YEAR, SHE WILL BE
THE WARDEN OF ST. ANTHONY
COLLEGE, AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY.
BUT AS FOR RIGHT NOW, SHE IS
STILL OURS.
HERE IS MARGARET MacMILLAN.

A clip plays in which says Margaret MacMillan stands on a small stage, behind a wooden lectern, and addresses an audience. A banner next to her reads "U of T Book Store."
Margaret is in her late fifties, with blond hair in a short bob and bangs. She's wearing a flowery silk blouse over a black dress, and golden necklaces.
THANK
YOU SO MUCH FOR COMING OUT ON
AN EVENING IN TORONTO, AND
THANK YOU TO THE U OF T
BOOKSTORE FOR ARRANGING THIS
EVENT.
I'M DELIGHTED TO BE HERE.
I ALWAYS FEEL PARTICULAR
PLEASURE WHEN I SPEAK AT HART
HOUSE, BECAUSE WHEN I WAS A
STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO, AS A WOMAN STUDENT, I
WASN'T ALLOWED TO OPEN MY MOUTH
HERE.
THINGS HAVE CHANGED, AND SO NOW...

[Applause]

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Margaret MacMillan. Author, 'Nixon in China: The Week that changed the world.' Hart House. October 16, 2006."

Margaret continues YES,
GOOD.
SO NOW I OPEN MY MOUTH PROBABLY
TOO MUCH.
BUT ANYWAY, TONIGHT I'M GOING
TO OPEN IT ABOUT MY NEW BOOK.
I'M NOT GOING TO READ FROM IT,
BECAUSE I ALWAYS FIND IT RATHER
DIFFICULT TO READ FROM A
HISTORY BOOK, BECAUSE YOU HAVE
TO STOP SO OFTEN AND SAY WHO
EVERYONE WAS AND WHAT THE
CONTEXT WAS.
SO IF
YOU WILL BEAR WITH ME, I'M
GOING TO TELL YOU WHY I WAS
INTERESTED IN THIS SUBJECT AND
WHAT THE MAIN THEMES OF THE
BOOK ARE.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN INTERESTED
IN HISTORY.
IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
WHAT I CAN ROUGHLY CALL THE
CURRENTS OF HISTORY, THE WAYS
IN WHICH CHANGES HAPPEN, OFTEN
IMPERCEPTIBLE TO US AT THE
TIMES, SOMETIMES UNDER THE
SURFACE, BUT NEVERTHELESS VERY
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES.
I THINK SOMETIMES AGAIN,
THINKING BACK TO MY OWN TIME AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, IN
THE MID-1960s, WHEN THERE
WASN'T A WOMEN'S MOVEMENT, WHEN
IT WASN'T EXPECTED THAT MOST
WOMEN WOULD GO ON TO HAVE
CAREERS, AND THEN SOMEHOW, TEN
YEARS LATER, THAT HAD ALL
CHANGED.
AND WHEN YOU LIVE THROUGH THESE
MOMENTS, YOU'RE NOT ALWAYS
AWARE THAT THE CHANGE IS
HAPPENING UNTIL SUDDENLY YOU
LOOK BACK AND SAY, MY GOODNESS,
IT WAS SO DIFFERENT TEN YEARS
AGO.
AND I THINK OFTEN IN HISTORY,
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS.
FORCES COME TOGETHER, FORCES
WE'RE NOT REALLY AWARE OF AT
THE TIME, ECONOMIC FORCES,
CULTURAL FORCES, SOCIAL FORCES,
RELIGIOUS FORCES, POLITICAL
FORCES, AND CHANGE DOES TAKE
PLACE.
BUT WHAT ALSO HAPPENS, AT
LEAST, I THINK, IN THE SORT OF
HISTORY I FIND INTERESTING, IS
THAT SOMETIMES AS THE WORLD IS
CHANGING AND AS THESE FORCES
ARE BEGINNING TO MOVE IN A
CERTAIN DIRECTION, YOU DO GET
INDIVIDUALS IN PARTICULAR
POSITIONS, MAKING DECISIONS.
SO I'VE ALWAYS BEEN FASCINATED
BY THAT INTERSECTION OF THE
GRADUAL, SLOW, AND SOMETIMES
IMPERCEPTIBLE CHANGES IN
HISTORY AND THE MOMENTS AT
WHICH YOU CAN SEE THAT SOMEONE
HAS MADE A DECISION WHICH
REALLY HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE.
AND IN MY FIRST BOOK, OR MY
LAST BOOK, THE PARIS PEACE
CONFERENCE, I THINK I WAS
PARTLY INTERESTED IN THAT, THE
WAYS IN WHICH THE PEOPLE AT THE
CENTRE OF GREAT EVENTS WERE
MAKING DECISIONS.
THEY COULD NOT, OF COURSE, MAKE
THEM WITHOUT PAYING ATTENTION
TO THE WORLD IN WHICH THEY
LIVED.
I THINK ONE OF THE VERY WRONG
THINGS WE DO SOMETIMES, IS TO
LOOK BACK TO THE PAST AND SAY,
THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE DONE IT, I
NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE IT, NOT...
WHEN WE DON'T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT
THE CONSTRAINTS THEY HAD ON
THEM.
IT'S NOT TO EXCUSE PEOPLE IN
THE PAST, BUT I THINK WE HAVE
TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD AND THE
CONTEXT IN WHICH THEY WERE
OPERATING.
I'M FASCINATED BY CHARACTERS AS
WELL.
I THINK A LOT OF US GO INTO
HISTORY BECAUSE WE'RE DRIVEN BY
CURIOSITY, WE'RE DRIVEN BY
CURIOSITY ABOUT, WHAT WAS IT
LIKE THEN?
WHAT DID PEOPLE EAT THEN?
WHAT DID THEY WEAR THEN?
HOW DID THEY AMUSE THEMSELVES?
WHAT WERE THE THINGS THEY FELT
VERY STRONGLY ABOUT?
HOW DID THEY GET MARRIED?
HOW DID THEY DIE?
HOW DID THEY BRING UP THEIR
CHILDREN?
I MEAN, SUCH QUESTIONS ARE
ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING.
IT SEEMS TO ME THEY'RE PART OF
THE TEXTURE OF HUMAN LIFE, AND
PART OF WHAT MAKES THE PAST SO
FASCINATING.
BUT I THINK WHAT ALSO MAKES THE
PAST FASCINATING IS, WHY IT
TURNED OUT ONE WAY AND NOT
ANOTHER?
WHY DID EUROPE GO INTO THE
FIRST WORLD WAR?
NEED IT HAVE DONE?
WHAT COMBINATION OF EVENTS, AND
WHAT FATAL DECISIONS PRODUCED
THE FIRST WORLD WAR?
WHY DID EUROPE SLIDE TOWARDS
THE SECOND WORLD WAR?
AGAIN, I THINK, A FASCINATING
QUESTION.
AND I THINK ANOTHER QUESTION,
WHICH IS TIED TO THOSE FIRST
TWO QUESTIONS, IS, WHO WERE
THOSE PEOPLE WHO WERE MAKING
THE DECISIONS?
WHAT WERE THEY LIKE, WHY DID
THEY MAKE THOSE DECISIONS.
AND SO I THINK WHAT DRAWS US
ALL TO HISTORY, HAS ALWAYS
DRAWN ME TO HISTORY, IS PARTLY
THAT FASCINATION ABOUT THE
TEXTURE OF THE PAST, BUT ALSO
THE FASCINATION ABOUT THE
PEOPLE, INDIVIDUALS.
WE WILL NEVER KNOW EXACTLY WHAT
THE PAST WAS LIKE, AND WE WILL
NEVER KNOW WHAT THOSE
INDIVIDUALS WERE LIKE, BUT OF
COURSE, IT DOESN'T STOP US
TRYING AND IT DOESN'T STOP US
FROM BEING FASCINATED BY IT.
BECAUSE OF, I THINK, THESE
QUESTIONS, WHICH I'VE ALWAYS
FOUND FASCINATING IN HISTORY, I
BECAME FASCINATED BY THE NIXON
TRIP TO CHINA.
IT SEEMED TO ME, ONE OF THOSE
MOMENTS IN HISTORY WHERE YOU
COULD SEE THIS COMBINATION OF
GRADUAL CHANGE TAKING PLACE,
AND THEN PEOPLE PUSHING THAT
CHANGE IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.
I DON'T THINK IT WAS
NECESSARILY GOING TO HAPPEN,
THAT THE UNITED STATES AND
CHINA DECIDED, AFTER A LONG
PERIOD OF NON-RECOGNITION, TO
RECOGNISE EACH OTHER.
IT NEEDN'T HAVE HAPPENED.
AND I THINK PART OF THE
FASCINATION THAT I FIND IN THE
STORY IS, WHY DID IT HAPPEN?
BUT BEFORE I GO INTO WHY IT
HAPPENED, PERHAPS I SHOULD GO
BACK AND JUST LOOK AT WHY THEY
WEREN'T TALKING TO EACH OTHER
FOR SO LONG, WHY, FROM 1949, TO
THE BEGINNING OF THE '70s, THE
UNITED STATES AND THE PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA, MAINLAND
CHINA, RED CHINA, IT'S CALLED A
NUMBER OF THINGS, BUT WHY THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND
THE UNITED STATES DID NOT HAVE
A NORMAL RELATIONSHIP, WHY
THERE WAS NO TRADE BETWEEN
THEM, WHY THERE WERE NO
CULTURAL EXCHANGES, WHY THERE
WAS NO TOURISM, WHY THERE WERE
NO EXCHANGES OF AMBASSADORS.
WHAT WAS IT THAT LEFT THOSE TWO
COUNTRIES IN THAT CURIOUS
SITUATION?
TWO OF THE BIGGEST COUNTRIES IN
THE WORLD, THE UNITED STATES IN
TERMS OF POWER, OF RESOURCES,
AND CHINA, IN TERMS OF ITS
POPULATION.
BOTH IN THEIR OWN
NEIGHBOURHOODS, GREAT POWERS,
AND THE UNITED STATES, OF
COURSE, ALSO A GREAT WORLD
POWER.
HOW ABSURD, I THINK IT SEEMS TO
US NOW, AS WE LOOK BACK, THAT
THEY WEREN'T TALKING TO EACH
OTHER, THAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE
RELATIONSHIPS.
I MEAN I WAS FASCINATED, JUST
TO GIVE YOU AN IDEA OF THE
ABSURDITY OF THIS, I WAS
FASCINATED BY WHAT HAPPENED IN
HONG KONG.
HONG KONG WAS A BRITISH COLONY,
AND HONG KONG COULD THEREFORE
TRADE WITH THE PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA.
AND TRADE FROM HONG KONG COULD
GO TO THE UNITED STATES, AND SO
FOR THAT LONG-- THOSE LONG
DECADES WHEN THE UNITED STATES
AND CHINA WERE NOT ACCEPTING
THE EXISTENCE, NOT RECOGNISING
THE EXISTENCE OF THE OTHER, THE
AMERICANS HAD A HUGE CONSULATE
IN HONG KONG, WHOSE PURPOSE IT
WAS TO TRY AND FIGURE OUT WHAT
ON EARTH WAS GOING ON IN CHINA,
EVEN THOUGH THE UNITED STATES
DIDN'T RECOGNISE CHINA, IT
STILL WAS QUITE INTERESTED IN
WHAT WAS HAPPENING THERE, BUT
WHOSE PURPOSE ALSO WAS TO MAKE
SURE THAT GOODS FROM COMMUNIST
CHINA WEREN'T RE-EXPORTED TO
THE UNITED STATES.
AND SO YOU GOT ABSOLUTELY
ARCANE AND COMPLICATED
DISCUSSIONS ABOUT CHICKENS AND
EGGS.
IF A CHICKEN, A LIVE CHICKEN
CAME ACROSS THE BORDER FROM
MAINLAND CHINA, THAT WAS
CLEARLY A COMMUNIST CHICKEN.
AND EVEN IF IT DIED IN HONG
KONG, IT COULDN'T GO TO THE
UNITED STATES.
IF, HOWEVER, THAT LIVE CHICKEN
CAME ACROSS THE BORDER FROM
COMMUNIST CHINA INTO HONG KONG,
AND IT LAID AN EGG, WAS THE EGG
COMMUNIST OR NOT?

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues NOW THIS REMINDS ME OF THE
DISPUTES YOU HAD IN THE MIDDLE
AGES, WHICH WE'VE ALL HEARD
ABOUT, HOW MANY ANGELS CAN
DANCE ON THE HEAD OF A PIN?
IS THE EGG COMMUNIST OR NOT?
AND THIS HAD TO BE REFERRED
BACK TO WASHINGTON.
THE OTHER ONE I LOVE, WHICH
CAUSED GREAT DEBATE, AGAIN IN
HONG KONG, AND AGAIN HAD TO BE
REFERRED BACK, BY THE AMERICANS
IN HONG KONG, TO WASHINGTON,
WAS THE EXPORT OF AMERICAN
CONDOMS THROUGH HONG KONG, INTO
MAINLAND CHINA.
NOW INITIALLY, THE AMERICAN
CONSULATE IN HONG KONG REFERRED
BACK TO WASHINGTON AND SAID, I
THINK WE SHOULD STOP THE EXPORT
OF CONDOMS FROM HONG KONG.
THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY GOING
IN.
DO WE REALLY WANT TO ENCOURAGE
THE CHINESE IN FAMILY PLANNING?
THEN THE WORD CAME BACK THAT
THE CHINESE WERE NOT IMPORTING
CONDOMS FROM HONG KONG FOR
FAMILY PLANNING AT ALL.
IN FACT MAO DIDN'T THINK FAMILY
PLANNING WAS GOOD, BUT THE RED
ARMY, THE PEOPLE'S LIBERATION
ARMY, WERE USING THE CONDOMS TO
KEEP THE MUZZLES OF THEIR
RIFLES DRY.

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues THIS
THEN CAUSED FURTHER DEBATE.
I MEAN I'VE ACTUALLY READ THE
RECORDS, THEY'RE FASCINATING.
THERE WAS A GREAT DEBATE, AND
THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAID, NO,
NO, WE MUST NOT EXPORT THE
CONDOMS BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT
THE MUZZLES OF THE RIFLES TO BE
KEPT DRY.

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues FINALLY,
HOWEVER, THE PENTAGON
INTERVENED, AND THEY SAID, WE
HAVE DISCOVERED THROUGH BITTER
EXPERIENCE, THAT IF YOU PUT
CONDOMS ON THE MUZZLES OF YOUR
RIFLES, THE RIFLES RUST,
BECAUSE IT KEEPS THE MOISTURE
IN.
AND SO IMMEDIATELY IT BECAME
OKAY TO EXPORT CONDOMS TO THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA.
I MEAN, THIS IS...
YOU KNOW, I MEAN YOU HAVE TO
LAUGH AT IT.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY ABSURD, BUT
WHY ON EARTH WERE THEY IN THIS
IDIOTIC SITUATION WHERE THEY
WEREN'T TALKING TO EACH OTHER.
I THINK IT'S PARTLY TO DO WITH
HISTORY.
IT'S TO DO WITH THE LONG AND
VERY COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP,
A RELATIONSHIP WHICH OF COURSE
IS STILL GOING ON, AND IT'S
STILL COMPLICATED TODAY,
BETWEEN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC
OF CHINA, CHINA BEFORE THAT,
AND THE UNITED STATES.
THE CONTEXT BETWEEN THE UNITED
STATES AND CHINA STARTED
SOMETIME AT THE END OF THE 18th
CENTURY, WHEN AMERICAN TRADERS
BEGAN COMING OUT TO CHINA TO
JOIN IN THE EXPORT OF OPIUM TO
THE CHINESE POPULATION, AND TO
BUY THE SILKS AND THE TEAS AND
THE PORCELAINS THAT CHINA
PRODUCED.
THERE ARE SOME VERY RESPECTABLE
FAMILIES IN BOSTON TODAY, THE
BOSTON BRAHMINS, WHO REALLY
DON'T LIKE YOU TO LOOK TOO MUCH
AT THE ORIGINS OF THE FAMILY
FORTUNE, BECAUSE THEY ARE IN
THIS PERIOD.
INITIALLY, FROM THE CHINESE
PERSPECTIVE, THE AMERICANS WERE
JUST PART OF THE RATHER
UNDIFFERENTIATED MASS OF
OUTSIDERS, BARBARIANS, AS THE
CHINESE OFTEN CALLED THEM, WHO
WERE CAUSING TROUBLE FOR THE
CHINESE, AND WHO THE CHINESE
FIRMLY AND DEVOUTLY WISHED
WOULD GO AWAY.
IN THE COURSE OF THE 19th
CENTURY, THE OUTSIDE PRESENCE
HOWEVER, DID NOT GO AWAY, IT
GREW.
THE CHINESE HAD AN APPALLING
19th CENTURY.
IN CHINESE HISTORY, THE CHINESE
BELIEVE, IN TRADITIONAL
CLASSICAL CHINA, THAT THERE WAS
A CYCLE.
YOU WOULD HAVE A RULING FAMILY,
WHICH, IN ITS EARLY STAGES
WOULD BE GOOD, USUALLY BECAUSE
THE FOUNDER HAD HAD TO WIN THE
THRONE ON HIS OWN, AND THAT
FOUNDING FAMILY WOULD PROVIDE
GOOD GOVERNMENT.
BUT GRADUALLY, WHAT WOULD
HAPPEN TO THE DYNASTY IS, IT
WOULD BECOME MORE CORRUPT, IT
WOULD BECOME LESS COMPETENT,
THE WEIGHT OF TAXATION WOULD
WEIGH TOO HEAVILY ON THE
CHINESE PEOPLE, AND THEY WOULD
BE GETTING PRECIOUS LITTLE IN
RETURN FOR IT, BECAUSE OF
CORRUPTION AND BECAUSE THE
MONEY WAS BEING SPENT ON
LUXURIES INSTEAD OF THINGS LIKE
REPAIRING THE GREAT WALL OR
KEEPING THE CANALS OPEN.
AND SO, AS A DYNASTY DECAYED,
YOU WOULD GET INTERNAL PEASANT
REBELLIONS, AS PEASANTS, THE
GREAT MAJORITY OF THE
POPULATION OF CHINA, THE SMALL
FARMERS, COULD NO LONGER BEAR
THE BURDENS, AND YOU WOULD GET
INCURSIONS BY BOLD BARBARIANS
FROM OUTSIDE.
DOWN FROM... COMING DOWN FROM
NORTH THE GREAT WALL, COMING IN
FROM CENTRAL ASIA, SOMETIMES
COMING BY SEA.
AND SO THE DYNASTY WOULD SLIDE
TOWARDS ITS END, AND ANOTHER
DYNASTY WOULD BE BORN, AND
ANOTHER DYNASTY WOULD START.
AND THIS WAS CALLED THE
DYNASTIC CYCLE.
AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT FOR THE
CHINESE IN THE 19th CENTURY,
THE LAST RULING DYNASTY OF
CHINA, THE CHING DYNASTY, IT
WAS A FAMILY WHO HAD COME FROM
MANCHURIA, FROM NORTH OF THE
GREAT WALL, WAS ON THE DOWNWARD
SLOPE, VERY MUCH ON THE
DOWNWARD SLOPE OF THE DYNASTIC
CYCLE.
AND SO THE CHINESE FOUND
THEMSELVES TORN BY MASSIVE
INTERNAL REBELLIONS AT
PRECISELY THE TIME WHEN THEY
NEEDED STRONG GOVERNMENT, AND
THAT'S WHAT THEY DIDN'T HAVE.
BECAUSE AS CHINA WAS FALLING TO
PIECES, AND AS CHINA WAS
TEARING ITSELF TO PIECES, AND
AS THE DYNASTY WAS SLIDING
TOWARDS ITS INEVITABLE END, THE
FOREIGNERS WERE GETTING
STRONGER AND STRONGER.
BECAUSE WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN
THE OUTSIDE WORLD, WHILE CHINA
WAS GOING THROUGH THIS LONG
TRAVAIL IN THE 19th CENTURY,
WAS THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION,
AND WESTERN SCIENCE, WESTERN
TECHNOLOGY, WESTERN GUNS,
WESTERN GUNBOATS WERE MUCH
BETTER THAN ANYTHING THE
CHINESE HAD.
AND SO AS THE CHINESE STRUGGLED
TO COPE WITH THEIR INTERNAL
PROBLEMS, THEY FOUND THEMSELVES
PREYED BY OUTSIDERS.
BY THE END OF THE 19th CENTURY,
MANY CHINESE THOUGHT CHINA
WOULD CEASE TO EXIST AS A
COUNTRY, THAT THE FOREIGNERS
WOULD SIMPLY GOBBLE IT UP, AND
THE AMERICANS WERE PART OF
THAT.
THE AMERICANS WERE SEEN MY MANY
CHINESE, AS SIMPLY PART OF THE
OUTSIDERS WHO WERE COMING IN,
FORCING UNEQUAL TREATIES ON THE
CHINESE, FORCING THEM INTO
INCREASING HUMILIATION.
THERE WAS, HOWEVER ANOTHER VIEW
IN CHINA OF THE UNITED STATES,
AND THAT ALWAYS HAS MADE IT SO
COMPLICATED.
AND THE OTHER VIEW WAS THAT THE
UNITED STATES REPRESENTED,
AMONG ALL THE FOREIGN NATIONS
WHO WERE PREYING ON CHINA,
PERHAPS THE BEST HOPE.
IT HAD A REPUBLICAN FORM OF
GOVERNMENT, IT SEEMED TO BE
LESS RAPACIOUS, LESS AVARICIOUS
THAN SOME OF THE OTHER POWERS.
THE AMERICANS TALKED ABOUT
MAINTAINING THE SOVEREIGNTY OF
THE CHINESE STATE.
THEY TALKED ABOUT NOT
DISMEMBERING CHINA, THEY TALKED
ABOUT KEEPING CHINA, IN SOME
WAY, AS A WHOLE STATE.
WHEN FOREIGNERS EXACTED
PENALTIES FROM THE CHINESE,
AFTER THE BOXER REBELLION AT
THE END OF THE 19th CENTURY,
THE AMERICANS ACTUALLY TURNED
THEIR MONIES BACK AND USED THEM
TO SET UP SCHOLARSHIPS FOR THE
CHINESE.
AND SO A COMPLICATED
RELATIONSHIP.
I MEAN PARTLY THE CHINESE SAW
THE AMERICANS AS PART OF THE
WESTERN BARBARIANS WHO WERE
CAUSING SO MUCH TROUBLE, BUT
THEY PARTLY SAW THEM AS
POSSIBLY PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BE
SYMPATHETIC AND MIGHT HELP
THEM.
AND YOU HAVE PRECISELY THE SAME
COMPLICATED AND THE SAME
COMPLEX ATTITUDE ON THE PART OF
THE CHINESE-- ON THE PART OF
THE AMERICANS TOWARD THE
CHINESE.
YOU'VE GOT BOTH A FEAR AND AN
ADMIRATION.
THE FEAR COMES, I THINK, FROM
THE OLD FEARS OF THE YELLOW
PERIL, VERY, VERY POPULAR IN
THE POPULAR LITERATURE AT THE
END OF THE 19th CENTURY, AND
POPULARISED IN THE HEARST
PRESS, ONE OF THE BIG POPULAR
PRESSES OF THE UNITED STATES.
ANY OF YOU, YOU PROBABLY...
YOU'RE ALL TOO YOUNG TO
REMEMBER THE OLD DR. FU MAN CHU
MOVIES, BUT THE FU MAN CHU
STORIES AND THE FU MAN CHU
MOVIES PORTRAY A CHINA THAT IS
THE REPOSITORY OF ANCIENT
WISDOM, MOST OF IT RATHER EVIL,
AND NONE OF IT PARTICULARLY
FRIENDLY TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD.
DR. FU MAN CHU HIMSELF IS A
RATHER STRANGE MAN WHO KNOWS
ALL THESE ARCANE SECRETS AND HE
HAS A DAUGHTER, A PRINCESS, WHO
IS, OF COURSE, VERY BEAUTIFUL
AND VERY EVIL.
SHE WAS ALWAYS PLAYED,
INCIDENTALLY IN HOLLYWOOD
MOVIES, BY A NICE CAUCASIAN
GIRL MADE UP TO LOOK VERY
CHINESE.
AND SO YOU HAVE THE FEELING IN
THE UNITED STATES... THAT WAS
PARTLY IT, A FEAR.
WHAT ARE THOSE PEOPLE DOING?
THERE ARE TOO MANY OF THEM.
DO THEY KNOW THINGS WE DON'T?
ON THE OTHER HAND, YOU HAD, IN
TUE UNITED STATES, A FEELING
THAT THAT'S NOT THE REAL CHINA.
THE REAL CHINA IS THE HELPLESS,
RATHER TRAGIC PEASANTS WHO ARE
PUSHED AROUND BY EVERYONE, THAT
CHINA IS A GIANT, A GIANT, BUT
A HELPLESS GIANT.
AND MANY, MANY AMERICAN
MISSIONARIES WORKED IN CHINA IN
THE 19th CENTURY, AND THE 20th
CENTURY, AND THEY HELPED TO
CREATE AN ATTITUDE TOWARDS
CHINA, IN THE UNITED STATES,
WHICH WAS VERY MUCH MORE
SYMPATHETIC, WHICH DID NOT SEE
CHINA AS SOMETHING TO BE
FEARED, BUT SAW CHINA AS
SOMETHING TO BE PITIED, AND
SOMETHING TO BE HELPED.
AND SO IN THIS RELATIONSHIP
BETWEEN CHINA AND THE UNITED
STATES, YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER
THERE ARE THESE DIFFERENT
STRANDS.
AND BOTH FEAR AND ADMIRATION.
IN 1911, CHINA HAD A
REVOLUTION.
THE DYNASTY WAS ON ITS LAST
LEGS, IT CLEARLY COULD NO
LONGER GO ON.
AND A NUMBER OF CHINESE
RADICALS THOUGHT, WE DON'T NEED
MORE DYNASTIES.
THE ONLY THING THAT IS GOING TO
SAVE OUR COUNTRY IS SOMETHING
COMPLETELY NEW.
AND SO THEY SET UP, WITHOUT
REALLY UNDERSTANDING IT, A
REPUBLIC.
THE REPUBLIC WAS MEANT TO SOLVE
CHINA'S PROBLEMS, IT WAS MEANT
TO BRING THE CHINESE TOGETHER.
IT WAS MEANT TO CREATE A WHOLE
COUNTRY WHERE PEOPLE WOULD WORK
TOGETHER.
AND IT WAS, AT LEAST IN ITS
EARLY STAGES, A DISASTER.
THE MAN WHO BECAME FIRST
PRESIDENT OF CHINA, WHO SWORE
TO UPHOLD THE REPUBLIC, TWO
YEARS LATER, TRIED TO MAKE
HIMSELF AN EMPEROR.
AND SO
THE REPUBLIC COLLAPSED, REALLY,
IN CONFUSION, AND WHAT YOU GOT
IN CHINA FROM ABOUT 1916 TO
1927, WAS THE WARLORD ERA,
WHERE YOU HAD STRONGMEN IN THE
PROVINCES WITH THEIR OWN
ARMIES, WHO FOUGHT WITH EACH
OTHER, WHO EXACTED TRIBUTE AND
TAXES FROM THE UNFORTUNATE
PEOPLE UNDER THEIR CONTROL, AND
WHO MADE CHINA A MISERY.
AND OF
COURSE, THE MORE CHINA WAS
DIVIDED, THE MORE FOREIGNERS,
JAPAN, FOR EXAMPLE, COULD MOVE
IN AND TRY AND SNATCH AWAY
PIECES OF CHINA AND TRY AND
EXTEND ITS INFLUENCE INTO
CHINA.
TO CUT WHAT IS A COMPLICATED
AND LONG STORY RELATIVELY
SHORT, IN 1927, CHIANG KAI-SHEK
AND THE NATIONALISTS, THE KUO
MIN TANG, AS THEY'RE OFTEN
CALLED, MANAGED TO FORM A
GOVERNMENT OF CHINA, AND IT
LOOKED AS THOUGH CHINA'S
GHASTLY PERIOD, WHICH HAD
REALLY ENDURED FOR MOST OF THE
19th CENTURY, AND INTO THE 20th
CENTURY, WAS FINALLY OVER.
A GREAT DEAL OF HOPE IN 1927.
THE KUO MIN TANG, THE
NATIONALISTS, THE PEOPLE WHO
THEN MOVED TO TAIWAN, IN FACT
THEN DID BEGIN TO PROVIDE GOOD
GOVERNMENT, DID BEGIN TO BRING
CHINA TOGETHER.
THE MIGHT HAVE DONE A LOT.
THEY MIGHT HAVE PROVIDED A
DECENT INFRASTRUCTURE, THEY
MIGHT HAVE BEGUN TO PROVIDE A
MODICUM OF DEMOCRACY, THEY
MIGHT HAVE BEGUN TO BUILD A
PROPER LEGAL SYSTEM, THEY MIGHT
HAVE BEGUN TO ALLOW CHINA'S
INDUSTRIES TO DEVELOP, AND THEY
ONLY HAD TEN YEARS, AND THEY
COULDN'T DO IT.
AND IN 1937, THAT BRIEF PERIOD,
THAT BRIEF DAWN, THAT FALSE,
DAWN IN CHINESE HISTORY CAME TO
AN END WHEN JAPAN INVADED
CHINA.
FROM 1937 TO 1945, A HUGE CHUNK
OF CHINA WAS UNDER JAPANESE
OCCUPATION.
AND IT WAS DURING THAT PERIOD
THAT THE KUO MIN TANG BEGAN TO
FALL TO PIECES AND THE CHINESE
COMMUNISTS BEGAN TO RISE.
THE KUO MIN TANG, FOR A NUMBER
OF REASONS, WAS INCAPABLE OF
DEALING WITH CHINA'S PROBLEMS,
TRIED TO DEAL WITH THE JAPANESE
INVASION, BUT IT WAS MORE, I
THINK THAN IT COULD DEAL WITH,
AND THAT GAVE AN OPENING TO THE
COMMUNISTS.
THE COMMUNISTS MIGHT WELL HAVE
BEEN DESTROYED HAD IT NOT BEEN
FOR THE JAPANESE INVASION IN
1937, BUT AS IT WAS, THE
JAPANESE INVASION GAVE THE
COMMUNISTS THE CHANCE, AND BY
1945, THE COMMUNISTS WERE VERY
MUCH STRONGER, AND THE KUO MIN
TANG WAS VERY MUCH WEAKER.
THE UNITED STATES IS INVOLVED
IN THIS STORY, BECAUSE
INCREASINGLY THE AMERICAN
GOVERNMENT GOT WORRIED ABOUT
WHAT JAPAN WAS DOING IN THE
PACIFIC.
GRADUALLY, AND IT TOOK A LOT OF
PERSUASION, BECAUSE THE
AMERICAN PEOPLE WERE NOT IN THE
MOOD TO GET INVOLVED IN OUTSIDE
ADVENTURES, THE UNITED STATES
BEGAN TO GET INVOLVED IN
CHINESE AFFAIRS, BEGAN TO SEND
AID TO THE KUO MIN TANG IN ITS
STRUGGLE AGAINST THE JAPANESE,
AND BY THE TIME THE SECOND
WORLD WAR BROKE OUT, WAS AN
ALLY TO THE KUO MIN TANG.
THEN, OF COURSE THE JAPANESE
ATTACKED THE UNITED STATES, AT
PEARL HARBOUR, AND THE UNITED
STATES ENTERED THE WAR IN THE
PACIFIC.
THE UNITED STATES GAVE MOST OF
ITS AID TO THE KUO MIN TANG,
BUT IT DID FUNNEL SOME TO THE
COMMUNISTS AS WELL.
THE AMERICANS SUPPORTED, REALLY
ANYONE WHO WAS FIGHTING AGAINST
JAPAN, AND YOU HAD A SMALL
AMERICAN MISSIONARY TO THE
COMMUNISTS UP IN THE HILLS OF
NORTHWEST CHINA.
THE MISSION DIDN'T DO ALL THAT
MUCH.
IT TAUGHT THE CHINESE
COMMUNISTS HOW TO DO A CONGA
LINE.

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues IT SHOWED THEM SOME MOVIES THAT
WERE FLOWN IN ON AMERICAN
PLANES, WHICH MAY HAVE LEFT THE
WRONG IMPRESSION.
MAO ZEDONG BY NOW, THE
UNDISPUTED LEADER OF THE
CHINESE COMMUNISTS, DIDN'T KNOW
MUCH ABOUT THE OUTSIDE WORLD,
AND DIDN'T REALLY LEARN MUCH
FROM WATCHING THESE HOLLYWOOD
MOVIES.
AND THERE'S A WONDERFUL STORY,
THAT HE WAS WATCHING ONE AND IT
WAS A TYPICAL HOLLYWOOD MOVIE,
AND IT WAS THE BATTLE OF SAN
JUAN HILL, WHEN TEDDY AND THE
ROUGHRIDERS WENT CHARGING UP IN
THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR.
AND IT WAS A HOLLYWOOD MOVIE,
SO EVERY SOLDIER RAN WITH A GUN
ABOVE HIS HEAD, STANDING UP IN
FULL SIGHT OF THE SPANISH
SOLDIERS, AND MIRACULOUSLY NONE
GOT SHOT.
AND MAO APPARENTLY LOOKED AT IT
AND SAID, "THE AMERICANS DON'T
KNOW HOW TO FIGHT."
AND THE AMERICAN WHO WAS
SHOWING THE MOVIE SAID, "WELL
IT'S NOT REAL."
AND MAO SAID, "CLEARLY," HE
SAID, "THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO
FIGHT."
IT MAY HAVE HAD AN IMPACT ON
HOW HE FELT LATER ON.
WHAT HAD MUCH MORE OF AN IMPACT
WAS THAT, AFTER 1945, AS THE
COMMUNISTS AND THE KUO MIN
TANG, SLID TOWARDS CIVIL WAR
OVER WHO WOULD CONTROL CHINA,
THE UNITED STATES ITSELF SLID
FROM BACKING THE KUO MIN TANG
AGAINST THE JAPANESE, TO
BACKING IT AGAINST THE
COMMUNISTS.
AND SO IN 1949, WHEN THE
COMMUNISTS WON, AND THE KUO MIN
TANG REMNANTS FLED TO THE
OFFSHORE ISLAND OF TAIWAN, THE
UNITED STATES WAS SEEN BY THE
COMMUNISTS, NOT AS A FRIEND,
BUT AS THE CAPITALIST ENEMY, AS
THE COUNTRY WHICH HAD SUPPORTED
THEIR ENEMY, THE KUO MIN TANG.
AND I THINK IN 1949, THERE WAS
VERY LITTLE WILLINGNESS OR VERY
LITTLE DISPOSITION ON THE PART
OF MAO AND THE CHINESE
COMMUNISTS TO TALK TO THE
AMERICANS.
THERE WERE SOME FEELERS PUT
OUT, BUT I THINK THE GULF
BETWEEN THEM WAS TOO GREAT, AND
MAO IN A VERY FAMOUS SPEECH AT
THE END OF 1949, SAID, CHINA IS
LEANING TO ONE SIDE.
THIS, OF COURSE WAS THE STAGE
OF THE COLD WAR WHERE, AND
WHERE THE CHINESE WERE LEANING
WAS TOWARD THE SOVIET UNION,
AND NOT TOWARD THE UNITED
STATES.
IN THE UNITED STATES AS WELL, I
THINK THERE WAS NOT MUCH
DISPOSITION TO TALK TO THE
CHINESE COMMUNISTS.
THERE WAS A STRONG LOBBY IN THE
UNITED STATES, IT CAME TO BE
KNOWN AS THE CHINA LOBBY, AND
THEY SAID, WE MUST SUPPORT
CHIANG KAI-SHEK AND THE KUO MIN
TANG.
WE MUST NOT DEAL WITH THE
COMMUNISTS, AND THIS WAS THE
PERIOD AT WHICH THE WHOLE
McCARTHYITE SCARE WAS
BEGINNING.
COMMUNISTS EVERYWHERE,
COMMUNISTS AT HOME, COMMUNISTS
AROUND THE WORLD, THE
COMMUNISTS ARE GETTING TOO
STRONG.
AND THERE WERE REASONS FOR THIS
FEAR.
AND SO IN THE UNITED STATES,
AND IN CHINA, THERE WAS VERY
LITTLE WILLINGNESS TO HAVE THE
TWO COUNTRIES TALK TO EACH
OTHER.
IF THERE HAD BEEN ANY HOPE THEY
WOULD TALK TO EACH OTHER, IT
WAS DASHED IN JUNE, 1950, WHEN
NORTH KOREA, COMMUNIST NORTH
KOREA ATTACKED THE NON-
COMMUNIST SOUTH KOREA.
AND THE UNITED STATES, OF
COURSE, INTERVENED WITH U.N.
FORCES, BUT IT REALLY WAS
PREDOMINANTLY U.S. FORCE TO
DEFEND THE SOUTH, AND THE
CHINESE EVENTUALLY INTERVENED
TO DEFEND THE NORTH.
AND FROM THE END OF 1950 UNTIL
1953, WHEN A TRUCE WAS FINALLY
AGREED UPON, CHINESE TROOPS AND
AMERICAN TROOPS FOUGHT AND
AFTER THAT, THERE WAS VERY
LITTLE HOPE THAT THE TWO SIDES
WOULD TALK TO EACH OTHER.
BOTH SIDES PORTRAYED THE OTHER
AS DEEPLY EVIL.
IN CHINA, LITTLE CHILDREN IN
THEIR SCHOOLS USED TO PLAY A
GAME WITH BEANBAGS, WHERE YOU
THROW A BEANBAG AND TRY TO GET
IT IN A HOLE.
IN THIS CASE, THE HOLE WAS THE
MOUTH OF UNCLE SAM, AND IT WAS
SURROUNDED BY TEETH DRIPPING
WITH BLOOD.
AND SO THE IMAGE OF THE UNITED
STATES IN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC
OF CHINA, WAS ONE OF EVIL
RAPACIOUSNESS, PEOPLE WANTING
TO FEED ON THE BODY OF CHINA.
AND IN THE UNITED STATES, THE
IMAGE WAS OF A STRANGE AND
DREADFUL COUNTRY.
TIME MAGAZINE HAD ARTICLES WITH
HEADLINES LIKE, "THE RED ANTS
ARE ON THE MOVE."
HUMAN RELATIONS ARE COMPLETELY
BLOTTED OUT IN CHINA.
NO ONE IS HUMAN THERE ANY MORE,
DREADFUL THINGS ARE GOING ON.
NEITHER SIDE KNEW THE OTHER.
THEY HAD NO DIRECT CONTACTS BY
THIS POINT.
AND GIVEN THE FEELINGS ON BOTH
SIDES, AND GIVEN THE FORCE OF
THE COLD WAR ITSELF, IT WAS
UNLIKELY THAT THE TWO WERE
GOING TO TALK TO EACH OTHER.
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 1960s,
THERE WAS A BRIEF PERIOD WHERE
IT LOOKED LIKE THINGS MIGHT BE
EASING UP.
THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA,
COMMUNIST CHINA, AND THE SOVIET
UNION, WHO IN 1950, HAD SWORN
UNDYING FRIENDSHIP, BY 1961,
WAS SAYING EXTREMELY RUDE
THINGS ABOUT EACH OTHER.
THE COMMUNISTS WERE ACCUSING
THE SOVIETS OF BEING BAD
COMMUNISTS AND THE SOVIETS WERE
CALLING THE CHINESE COMMUNISTS
THINGS LIKE MEGALOMANIAC WAR
MONGERS.
AND SO THERE WAS A SPLIT
BETWEEN THE SOVIET UNION AND
THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA,
HUGE SPLIT IN THE COMMUNIST
CAMP, WHICH, IF THE TIMES HAD
BEEN DIFFERENT, THE UNITED
STATES MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF.
IT WAS
NOT ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF
IT, BECAUSE INCREASINGLY, THE
UNITED STATES WAS GETTING DRAWN
INTO VIETNAM.
AND AS LONG AS THERE WAS A
STRONG AMERICAN PRESENCE IN
VIETNAM, IT WAS VERY, VERY
DIFFICULT, IN FACT, PROBABLY
UNLIKELY FOR THE PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA TO
CONTEMPLATE DEALING WITH THE
UNITED STATES.
WHAT IS
MORE, IN 1966, MAO ZEDONG
DECIDED, AS HE WAS ABLE TO DO
BECAUSE HE HAD SUCH ENORMOUS
POWER, THAT CHINA WAS NOT
PROPERLY SOCIALIST.
AND WHAT HE DECIDED WAS THE
OBSTACLE IN THE WAY OF MAKING
CHINA PROPERLY SOCIALIST WAS
THE CHINESE PEOPLE THEMSELVES,
THEIR THOUGHTS, THEIR
ATTITUDES, THEIR CULTURE, THEIR
LEARNING, EVERYTHING THAT KEPT
THEM IN THE GRIP OF THE PAST
AND IN THE GRIP OF INCORRECT
ATTITUDES.
AND SO IN 1966, HE LAUNCHED THE
GREAT PROLETARIAN CULTURAL
REVOLUTION, WHICH WAS A MAD AND
DREADFUL ATTEMPT TO BASICALLY
REMAKE THE THOUGHTS OF THE
CHINESE PEOPLE AND TURN THEM
INTO A VERY DIFFERENT RACE OF
PEOPLE ALTOGETHER.
I REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST STARTED
TEACHING AT RYERSON, WHEN THE
CULTURAL REVOLUTION WAS STILL
IN FORCE, I MEAN THE WORST
PERIOD WAS FROM '66 TO '69, BUT
ITS POLICIES REALLY LASTED FROM
1966 TO '76, AND I STARTED
TEACHING THE YEAR MAO DIED.
AND I REMEMBER SAYING TO MY
STUDENTS, "I THINK CULTURAL
REVOLUTIONS ARE VERY GOOD
THINGS.
I THINK IT WOULD BE VERY GOOD
FOR YOU TO CRITICISE ME."
I WAS HORRIFIED, OF COURSE,
WHEN THEY DID, BUT I SAID, I
SAID, I THINK THEY'RE VERY GOOD
THINGS, WE NEED MORE FREEDOM
LIKE THIS.
IT WAS ONLY LATER I FOUND OUT
THAT WHAT THE CULTURAL
REVOLUTION MEANT FOR TEACHERS
IN CHINA WAS NOT MILD
CRITICISM, NOT GRUMBLES ABOUT,
MY MARKS ARE NOT HIGH ENOUGH,
OR THIS ESSAY IS WORTH MORE
THAN YOU'VE GIVEN IT.
WHAT THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION
MEANT FOR TEACHERS IN CHINA WAS
BEATING THEM UP, BREAKING THEIR
LEGS, THROWING THEM OUT OF
WINDOWS, KILLING THEM.
IT WAS AN AWFUL PERIOD IN
CHINESE HISTORY.
THE CHINESE THEMSELVES NOW
REFER TO IT AS TEN YEARS OF
CATASTROPHE.
WHAT IT DID FOR CHINA, WAS MAKE
CHINA NOT ONLY A DEEPLY UNHAPPY
AND DIVIDED COUNTRY, IT MADE IT
VERY MUCH WEAKER.
ONE OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE
CULTURAL REVOLUTION WAS TO
CLOSE DOWN CHINA'S SCHOOLS AND
UNIVERSITIES, AND SO THE
CHINESE WERE NOT ABLE TO
PRODUCE YOUNGER GENERATIONS
WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT WAS
NEEDED TO BUILD A NEW AND
STRONG CHINA.
IT ALSO FORCED THE ARMY, THE
PEOPLE'S LIBERATION ARMY TO
BECOME A PROTECTOR OF LAW AND
ORDER.
AND SO SOLDIERS WERE BROUGHT
INTO THE CITIES TO TRY AND KEEP
THINGS UNDER CONTROL, WHICH
MEANT THERE WAS LESS AVAILABLE
FOR THE DEFENCE OF CHINA.
THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION ALSO
BASICALLY CLOSED DOWN MOST OF
CHINA'S RELATIONS WITH THE
WORLD.
VIRTUALLY EVERY EMBASSY WAS
CLOSED, BECAUSE CHINESE
AMBASSADORS AND DIPLOMATS
ABROAD WERE BROUGHT HOME, TO
HAVE THEIR THOUGHTS REFORMED.
LIVING AMONG CAPITALISTS, AND
LIVING AMONG FOREIGNERS, IT WAS
FELT, HAD PROBABLY DONE
SOMETHING DREADFUL TO THEM, AND
SO THEY WERE BROUGHT HOME, SENT
OUT TO FARMS SO THEIR THOUGHTS
COULD BE PURIFIED.
BY THE END OF THE 1960s, CHINA
HAD VERY FEW FRIENDS IN THE
WORLD.
IT HAD NORTH KOREA, NOT ALWAYS
A RELIABLE FRIEND, AS WE KNOW.
IT HAD NORTH VIETNAM, AND WE
NOW KNOW THAT IT WAS FINDING
NORTH VIETNAM VERY DIFFICULT.
THE NORTH VIETNAMESE WERE VERY
STUBBORN AND WOULD NOT DO WHAT
THEY WERE TOLD, AND IT HAD
ALBANIA.
ALBANIA WAS A VERY GREAT FRIEND
TO CHINA, BUT ALBANIA, A
BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY, BEAUTIFUL
MOUNTAINS, WONDERFUL
MEDITERRANEAN COASTLINE...
ADRIATIC COASTLINE, IS NOT A
WORLD POWER.
AND CHINA HAD FEW FRIENDS AND A
GREAT MANY ENEMIES.
THE UNITED STATES, OF COURSE,
JAPAN, CERTAINLY OR MOST
PROBABLY, INDIA, WITH WHICH IT
HAD FOUGHT A WAR IN 1962, AND
IN 1969, IT WAS VERY CLEAR THAT
THE SOVIET UNION WAS AN ENEMY.
THE SOVIETS WERE MASSING TROOPS
ALONG THE COMMON BORDER BETWEEN
THEMSELVES AND CHINA.
THEY WERE STATIONING AIRCRAFT
OUT IN THE FAR EAST, CAPABLE OF
CARRYING NUCLEAR BOMBS, AND
REPORTS WERE COMING IN THAT ON
SOVIET BASES IN THE FAR EAST,
THEIR BOMBERS WERE MAKING
PRACTICE RUNS OVER MOCK-UPS OF
CHINESE TARGETS.
THE SOVIET DIPLOMATS AROUND THE
WORLD WERE GOING AROUND AT
PARTIES, AT EVENINGS, SAYING IN
OFFHAND WAYS TO AMERICAN
DIPLOMATS, FOR EXAMPLE, UM,
WE'RE THINKING, JUST
HYPOTHETICALLY, WHAT WOULD YOU
SAY, JUST YOU KNOW, IT'S A
JOKE, REALLY, BUT WHAT WOULD
YOU SAY IF WE WERE TO DROP A
FEW NUCLEAR BOMBS ON CHINA?
AND THIS WAS WORRYING FOR THE
CHINESE, BECAUSE THESE WEREN'T
HYPOTHETICAL QUESTIONS.
THERE WERE THOSE IN THE SOVIET
UNION WHO SAID, LET'S BOMB THEM
ONCE AND FOR ALL, BEFORE THEY
CAN BE A MENACE TO US.
AND IN 1969, THE TENSION
REACHED SUCH A POINT THAT THERE
WERE IN FACT, ARMED CLASHES,
BIGGER, I THINK, THAN WE
REALISED AT THE TIME, OR MOST
PEOPLE REALISED AT THE TIME,
BETWEEN SOVIET SOLDIERS AND
CHINESE SOLDIERS.
AND THIS SEEMS TO HAVE FINALLY
MADE MAO REALISE THAT ALL HIS
TALK ABOUT, WE DON'T CAR ABOUT
NUCLEAR BOMBS, WE DON'T CARE
ABOUT A WORLD WAR.
WE CAN GO UP TO THE HILLS AND
FIGHT AGAIN, THAT IN FACT,
CHINA WAS IN A VERY PERILOUS
POSITION.
AND SO WHAT YOU'VE GOT BY THE
END OF THE 1960s, WAS CHINA
BEGINNING TO RETHINK ITS ROLE
IN THE WORLD, AND BEGINNING TO
THINK ABOUT WAYS IN WHICH IT
COULD BREAK OUT OF THE BOX INTO
WHICH IT HAD GOT ITSELF.
AND BEGAN TO THINK THE
UNTHINKABLE, WHICH OF COURSE,
WAS EASIER FOR HIM THAN ANYONE
ELSE IN CHINA, AND BEGAN TO
WONDER IF PERHAPS THE UNITED
STATES MIGHT NOT BE A
COUNTERWEIGHT TO THE SOVIET
UNION, AND A POSSIBLE, IF NOT
FRIEND, AT LEAST A POSSIBLE
ACQUAINTANCE FOR CHINA.
THE CHINESE HAVE VERY, VERY
LONG HISTORICAL MEMORIES, AND
THE CHINESE COMMUNISTS WERE
CERTAINLY NO EXCEPTION TO THIS,
AND MAO QUOTED TO A NUMBER OF
HIS TOP ADVISORS.
HE SAID, REMEMBER IN THE 3rd
CENTURY AD, WHEN THERE WERE
FIGHTS AMONG WARRING STATES AND
THE FAMOUS STATESMAN-- ONE OF
THE FAMOUS STATESMEN AT THE
TIME SAID, IF YOU HAVE TO DEAL
WITH BARBARIANS, IT'S OFTEN
BETTER TO MAKE AN ALLIANCE WITH
THE ONE FURTHER AWAY.
BECAUSE IF YOU MAKE AN ALLIANCE
WITH THE ONE CLOSE AT HAND,
THEY ARE LIKELY TO TRY AND
GOBBLE YOU UP.
SO MAO WAS BEGINNING TO THINK
ABOUT AN OPENING TO THE UNITED
STATES, AND BEGINNING TO
CONTEMPLATE WHAT WOULD HAVE
BEEN UNTHINKABLE, EVEN FIVE
YEARS OR EVEN A YEAR BEFORE.
FORTUNATELY, PERHAPS, FOR THE
WORLD, THE UNITED STATES AND
ITS LEADER, RICHARD NIXON, WAS
BEGINNING TO THINK THE SAME
THING AT VERY MUCH THE SAME
TIME.
AND COINCIDENCE IS SO IMPORTANT
IN HISTORY.
YOU CAN HAVE A MOVEMENT ON ONE
SIDE AND NOT ON THE OTHER.
IN THIS CASE, YOU'VE GOT
MOVEMENT ON BOTH SIDES.
NIXON CAME INTO OFFICE IN
JANUARY 1969, AND HE WAS
ALREADY BEGINNING TO TALK ABOUT
THE NEED TO OPEN UP TO THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA.
HE HAD TALKED IN AN ARTICLE IN
1967, IN
FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
THE GREAT AMERICAN FOREIGN
POLICY JOURNAL, ABOUT THE NEED
ONE DAY TO BREAK THE ANGRY
ISOLATION IN WHICH CHINA FOUND
ITSELF.
THE NEED ONE DAY TO BRING CHINA
BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY OF
NATIONS.
AND IN HIS INAUGURAL SPEECH IN
1969, HE MADE AN INDIRECT
REFERENCE.
HE DIDN'T MENTION CHINA, BUT HE
DID SAY, "IT IS NOT GOOD FOR
ANY NATION TO BE IN ANGRY
ISOLATION."
AND IT WAS NOTICEABLE, AND THE
CHINESE NOTICED IT.
BUT AS THE YEARS WORE ON IN HIS
FIRST TERM OF THE PRESIDENCY,
HE DROPPED REFERENCES TO RED
CHINA, AND HE BEGAN TO TALK
ABOUT THANK YOU PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA.
AND SIMILAR SIGNALS BEGAN TO
COME BACK FROM CHINA.
THE CHINESE BEGAN TO DROP TERMS
LIKE BLOOD SUCKING, AND
CAPITALIST LACKEYS.

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues AND THEY
SIMPLY REFERRED TO THE UNITED
STATES.
AND SO YOU'VE GOT, IN NIXON,
SOMEONE WHO WAS PREPARED, LIKE
MAO WAS, PREPARED TO THINK
SOMETHING THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN
UNTHINKABLE TO MANY OTHER
PEOPLE.
AND HE HAD THE CREDENTIALS, OF
COURSE, BECAUSE HE WAS ONE OF
THE STRONGEST ANTI-COMMUNISTS
OF THEM ALL.
HE HAD
MADE HIS CAREER, HIS EARLY
CAREER BY RUNNING ON A STRONGLY
ANTI-COMMUNIST PROGRAM.
IN FACT, AND PERHAPS UNFAIRLY,
BY SMEARING SOME OF HIS MORE
LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC OPPONENTS AS
BEING SOFT ON COMMUNISM.
IT WAS NIXON WHO HAD HAD THE
FAMOUS KITCHEN DEBATE WITH
KHRUSHCHEV IN MOSCOW WHERE THE
TWO OF THEM HAD SHOUTED AT EACH
OTHER IN A MODEL AMERICAN
KITCHEN.
IT WAS NIXON WHO HAD WORKED
WITH McCARTHY TRYING TO ROOT
OUT ALLEGED COMMUNISTS SPIES IN
PLACES LIKE THE STATE
DEPARTMENT.
AND SO NO ONE COULD EVER ACCUSE
RICHARD NIXON OF BEING SOFT ON
COMMUNISM.
WHICH MADE IT, PARADOXICALLY,
MUCH EASIER FOR HIM TO TALK TO
THE COMMUNISTS.
WHAT NIXON ALSO REALISED, BY
THE END OF THE 1960s, WAS THAT
THE UNITED STATES, PERHAPS NOT
AS DESPERATELY AS CHINA, BUT
THE UNITED STATES, TOO NEEDED
FRIENDS.
THE UNITED STATES WAS NO LONGER
THE PREDOMINANT WORLD POWER, AS
IT HAD BEEN IN THE '40s, AND
FOR MUCH OF THE 1950s.
ITS POWER HAD SLIPPED, PARTLY
BECAUSE SOME OF THE OTHER
NATIONS OF THE WORLD WERE
REVIVING AND BEGINNING TO
ASSUME THEIR PLACE IN THE WORLD
AGAIN.
IT HAD SLIPPED ALSO, OF COURSE,
BECAUSE OF VIETNAM.
NIXON, LIKE MANY AMERICAN
LEADERS, WAS VERY, VERY
CONCERNED ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF
VIETNAM ON AMERICAN SOCIETY AND
ON THE POSITION OF THE UNITED
STATES IN THE WORLD.
NIXON, INDEED, HAD RUN ON A
PLATFORM OF, PEACE WITH HONOUR.
IT WAS ONE OF THOSE WONDERFUL
SLOGANS THAT MANAGED TO SATISFY
BOTH THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT.
PEACE SATISFIED THE RIGHT-- THE
LEFT, RATHER, WHO WANTED TO GET
OUT OF VIETNAM, AND HONOUR
SATISFIED THE RIGHT WHO THOUGHT
THAT NIXON WOULD NOT GET OUT
UNLESS THE UNITED STATES WON AT
LEAST SOME SORT OF VICTORY.
HE WAS DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT
THE EFFECTS OF VIETNAM, VERY,
VERY WORRIED ABOUT WHAT IT HAD
DONE TO THE UNITED STATES.
VERY WORRIED ALSO ABOUT THE WAY
IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES
SEEMED TO BE TEARING ITSELF TO
PIECES OVER THIS ISSUE AND
OTHER ISSUES DOMESTICALLY.
IN HIS FIRST YEAR IN THE WHITE
HOUSE, THE WHOLE CENTRE OF
WASHINGTON WAS CLOSED DOWN BY
MASSIVE PROTESTS, AND TEARGAS
WHICH THE POLICE HAD BEEN
USING, ACTUALLY DRIFTED INTO
THE WINDOWS OF THE WHITE HOUSE.
AND SO NIXON, IT THINK, HAD
REASON TO BE CONCERNED.
HE WAS ALSO, OF COURSE VERY,
VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE SOVIET
UNION, WHICH WAS A THREAT TO
THE UNITED STATES.
IT'S NUCLEAR ARMAMENTS WERE
GROWING, AND SO I THINK HE
THOUGHT THAT HE COULD USE CHINA
AS A COUNTERBALANCE TO THE
SOVIET UNION, JUST AS THE
CHINESE THOUGHT THEY COULD USE
THE UNITED STATES AS A
COUNTERBALANCE TO THE SOVIET
UNION.
AND SO WHAT YOU HAD AT THE END
OF THE 1960s, WAS THE TIME
BEING RIGHT, BUT YOU HAD, I
THINK, THE TWO MEN WHO WERE
PREPARED TO CARRY IT FORWARD.
AND WORKING FOR THEM, THEY BOTH
HAD VERY, VERY SKILFUL
DIPLOMATS.
ZHOU ENLAI, THE MAN WHO HAD
DONE SO MUCH TO LOOK AFTER
CHINESE FOREIGN RELATIONS, AND
OF COURSE, HENRY KISSINGER, IN
THE UNITED STATES, WHO WORKED
SO CLOSELY WITH NIXON.
BOTH MEN OF TREMENDOUS
CAPABILITY, TREMENDOUS CAPACITY
AND BOTH CAPABLE OF CARRYING
OUT THE WISHES OF THEIR BOSSES.
THE TROUBLE WAS, FOR ALL THE
GOOD WILL IN THE WORLD, IT WAS
ACTUALLY VERY DIFFICULT TO
ARRANGE.
WHEN THE UNITED STATES AND THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
HADN'T TALKED TO EACH OTHER FOR
SO LONG, THERE WAS AN AWFUL LOT
OF MUTUAL SUSPICION, AND AN
AWFUL LOT OF WORRY THAT THE
OTHER SIDE MIGHT BE PLAYING
GAMES.
AND SO THEY SENT OUT ALL THESE
INDIRECT SIGNALS AND THEY SENT
OUT ALL THESE VERY SORT OF
INDIRECT FEELERS, AND
OCCASIONALLY, ONE SIDE WOULD
TRY TO GET IN TOUCH WITH THE
OTHER DIRECTLY.
THERE'S A MARVELLOUS MOMENT IN
WARSAW, WHERE BOTH THE UNITED
STATES AND THE PEOPLE'S
REPUBLIC OF CHINA HAD AN
EMBASSY.
I THINK IT WAS IN 1970, WHERE
THE WHOLE DIPLOMATIC CORE WAS
AT A GALA EVENT... IT WAS A
YUGOSLAVIAN FASHION SHOW.
AND EVERYONE WAS AT THE
YUGOSLAVIAN FASHION SHOW.
AND AT THE END OF THE FASHION
SHOW, AS THE CHINESE AMBASSADOR
WAS LEAVING, AND AMERICAN
DIPLOMAT WHO SPOKE ENGLISH...
CHINESE, CAME UP TO HIM AND
SAID, "MY GOVERNMENT WANTS TO
TALK TO YOUR GOVERNMENT."
AND APPARENTLY THE CHINESE
AMBASSADOR WENT PALE, AND SAID,
"WE'LL SEE, WE'LL SEE, WE'LL
SEE," AND RUSHED OFF.
ZHOU ENLAI LATER ON SAID, IF
YOU WANT TO CAUSE CHINESE
DIPLOMATS HEART ATTACKS, TALK
TO THEM AT FASHION SHOWS.

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues BUT THE MESSAGE DID BEGIN TO
GET THROUGH TO CHINA, AND NIXON
BEGAN TO USE INTERMEDIARIES.
HE SAID TO DE GAUL, STILL AND
INFLUENTIAL FIGURE IN FRANCE,
WOULD YOU TALK TO THE CHINESE?
BUT THE INTERMEDIARY HE USED IN
THE END, WAS PAKISTAN.
BECAUSE PAKISTAN HAD GOOD
RELATIONS BOTH WITH THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, AND
THE UNITED STATES.
AND SO GRADUALLY, IN A VERY,
VERY DELICATE PROCESS, THE TWO
SIDES BEGAN TO EXCHANGE
MESSAGES THROUGH PAKISTAN.
THEY NEVER EXCHANGED ANY PIECE
OF PAPER DIRECTLY, SO IT WAS
ALWAYS DENIABLE.
BUT THE PAKISTANI FOREIGN
MINISTER WOULD RECEIVE THE
CHINESE AMBASSADOR IN
[unintelligible]
TAKE DOWN WHAT THE
CHINESE AMBASSADOR HAD TO SAY
IN HIS OWN, THE PAKISTAN
FOREIGN MINISTER'S HANDWRITING,
THAT WOULD THEN BE SENT TO
WASHINGTON.
NIXON WOULD THEN SEND A REPLY
BACK, BUT NOT IN HIS OWN
HANDWRITING.
AND THIS WAS DONE SO THAT IF
ANYTHING WENT WRONG, BOTH SIDES
COULD SAY, WELL IT'S NOT US,
IT'S JUST YOU KNOW, RUMOURS,
AND WE NEVER PUT ANYTHING DOWN
ON PAPER.
FINALLY, OF COURSE, IN 1970,
1971, YOU GOT THE FAMOUS SECRET
TRIP OF HENRY KISSINGER.
AN INVITATION CAME THROUGH TO
THE WHITE HOUSE, THROUGH THIS
INDIRECT CHANNEL, SAYING, IF
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES WOULD LIKE TO SEND AN
EMISSARY TO BEIJING, TO ARRANGE
FOR PRESIDENT NIXON TO VISIT
CHINA, HE WOULD BE WELCOMED.
AND SO HENRY KISSINGER WENT
OFF, HIGHLY SECRET TRIP.
HE WENT ON WHAT WAS APPARENTLY
A NORMAL TRIP THROUGH ASIA.
GOT TO PAKISTAN, SAID THAT HE
WASN'T FEELING WELL, THE
PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN SAID, MY
DEAR FELLOW, YOU MUST GO UP TO
THE HILLS WHERE YOU CAN REST,
AND SO KISSINGER OR SOMEBODY
WHO LOOKED LIKE KISSINGER, WENT
UP TO THE HILLS AND HENRY
KISSINGER HIMSELF, AT 3 IN THE
MORNING, DISGUISED FOR SOME
REASON, IN DARK GLASSES, AT
THAT ODD HOUR, AND A FLOPPY
HAT, DROVE OFF TO THE PINDI
AIRPORT AND GOT ON A PAKISTAN
CIVILIAN AIRPLANE WHICH FLEW TO
CHINA.
THERE WAS A STRINGER AT THE
AIRPORT FOR, I THINK IT WAS
REUTERS, AND HE SAW THIS ODD
FIGURE IN HIS FLOPPY HAT, AND
HE SAID TO A POLICEMAN, "WHO IS
THAT?"
AND THE POLICEMAN OBLIGINGLY
SAID, "HENRY KISSINGER, SIR,
HE'S GOING TO CHINA."

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues AND THE STRINGER RUSHED TO THE
TELEPHONE AND PHONED LONDON,
AND IN LONDON THEY SAID, "OH,
HE MUST BE DRUNK AGAIN."

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues ONE OF THE GREAT SCOOPS OF
HISTORY WAS MISSED.
AT ANY RATE, KISSINGER WENT OFF
TO CHINA IN THE SUMMER OF 1971,
NEGOTIATED WITH ZHOU ENLAI THAT
NIXON WOULD BE INVITED AND EVEN
THE WORDING OF THE INVITATION
WAS DIFFICULT, BECAUSE THE
CHINESE WANTED TO SAY,
"PRESIDENT NIXON BEGGED TO BE
ALLOWED TO COME TO CHINA."
AND OF COURSE, THE AMERICANS
WOULDN'T GO FOR THAT.
AND SO FINALLY, THE
FORMULATION, AND THESE TINGS
MATTER IN INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS.
THE FORMULATION WAS, "KNOWING
OF PRESIDENT NIXON'S OFTEN
EXPRESSED DESIRE TO COME TO
CHINA, THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT
HAD DECIDED TO INVITE HIM."

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues IT WAS ARRANGED.
THE NEWS, OF COURSE, WAS A
BOMBSHELL BACK IN THE UNITED
STATES, BUT CURIOUSLY, AND I
THINK IT SHOWS THAT SOME OF THE
OLD FEELINGS WERE DYING DOWN,
IT WAS NOT AS MUCH OF A
BOMBSHELL AS NIXON HAD FEARED,
AND MOST AMERICANS ACCEPTED
THAT THE TIME HAD COME TO MAKE
AN OPENING.
IT WAS ALSO A BOMBSHELL IN
CHINA, AND THE CHINESE AT FIRST
WERE ABSOLUTELY NONPLUSSED, BUT
AS IN ORWELL'S
1984,
THEY HAD BECOME USED TO SUDDEN
CHANGES OF GOVERNMENT POLICY,
AND IF
THEY FELT IT WAS ODD, THEY
CERTAINLY DIDN'T DARE SAY SO.
AND SO IN FEBRUARY 1972,
PRESIDENT NIXON PAID HIS FAMOUS
VISIT TO CHINA.
MOST OF WHAT HE SAID DURING
THAT VISIT IS PERHAPS NOT AS
IMPORTANT AS THE FACT OF THE
VISIT.
TO SEE
NIXON IN CHINA, I STILL
REMEMBER IT.
I'M SURE IT'S ONE OF THOSE
EVENTS, I THINK, THAT YOU
REMEMBER LIKE THE FIRST WALK ON
THE MOON.
AND I'M SURE MOST OF YOU
REMEMBER JUST HOW EXTRAORDINARY
IT WAS TO SEE AN AMERICAN
PRESIDENT STANDING IN THIS
COUNTRY, WHICH HAD BEEN,
CERTAINLY SINCE 1949, TERRA
INCOGNITA TO MOST AMERICANS, SO
MYSTERIOUS TO MOST AMERICANS.
TO SEE NIXON GOING UP TO THE
GREAT WALL, TO SEE NIXON
UTTERING THOSE DEATHLESS WORDS,
WHEN A JOURNALIST SAID, "WHAT
DO YOU THINK OF THE GREAT
WALL?"
AND HE PAUSED AND HE LOOKED AT
IT, AND HE SAID, "IT CERTAINLY
IS A GREAT WALL."

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues NOW HE DID THEN, TO BE FAIR, GO
ON AND SAY THAT ONLY A GREAT
PEOPLE COULD HAVE BUILT SUCH A
GREAT WALL, WHICH THE CHINESE
STILL QUOTE WITH GREAT
ENTHUSIASM.
TO SEE NIXON AND MRS. NIXON AT
ONE OF MAO'S WIFE'S
REVOLUTIONARY BALLETS,
APPLAUDING CHEERFULLY, I MEAN
ALL OF THIS WAS, IN A WAY,
ABSOLUTELY SURREAL.
THEY DID HAVE TALKS WHEN THEY
WERE THERE.
THEY DID TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES
BETWEEN THEM, AND THEY DIDN'T,
I THINK COME TO A GREAT MANY
DECISIONS.
TAIWAN WAS A MAJOR ISSUE.
IT WAS SOMETHING THE CHINESE
WANTED, AS THEY STILL DO TODAY,
IT'S STILL AN UNSETTLED ISSUE.
THEY WANTED IT BACK AS PART OF
CHINA, AND THE AMERICANS SAID
THEY WOULD PREFER THAT THE
CHINESE TOOK THEIR TIME ON THAT
ONE, BUT THEY WOULD GRADUALLY
WITHDRAW THEIR SUPPORT FROM
TAIWAN, WHICH THEY DID, BUT NOT
EVER ENTIRELY.
THEY TALKED ABOUT VIETNAM.
THE AMERICANS THOUGHT, WRONGLY,
THAT THE CHINESE WOULD PUT
PRESSURE ON THE NORTH
VIETNAMESE AND HELP THEM TO END
THE WAR.
THAT DIDN'T, IN FACT, HAPPEN.
THEY TALKED ABOUT JAPAN.
THEY BOTH EXPRESSED CONCERNS
ABOUT JAPAN BECOMING A MILITARY
POWER AGAIN.
THEY TALKED ABOUT THE SOVIET
UNION.
THE CHINESE WERE A BIT COY,
THEY SAID THE POLAR BEAR TO THE
NORTH, OUR FRIEND TO THE NORTH,
BUT I THINK BOTH SIDES REALISED
THE SOVIET UNION WAS
POTENTIALLY A THREAT TO THEM
AND THEY HAD AN AREA WHERE THEY
COULD WORK TOGETHER.
THEY TALKED ABOUT WHAT IT WAS
LIKE NOT TO HAVE TALKED TO EACH
OTHER FOR SO LONG.
THEY TALKED ABOUT PEKING DUCK,
THEY TALKED ABOUT A NUMBER OF
THINGS.
IN THE END, THEY DIDN'T PERHAPS
DECIDE ANYTHING ALL THAT MUCH,
BUT IT WAS QUITE CLEAR THAT
WHEN NIXON LEFT CHINA, THE
RELATIONSHIP WOULD NEVER BE
QUITE THE SAME AGAIN.
A DOOR HAD BEEN OPENED AND THAT
WAS A VERY, VERY IMPORTANT
DOOR.
THE OPENING OF THAT DOOR
PERHAPS DIDN'T MEAN ALL THAT
MUCH UNTIL MAO HAD DIED IN '76.
BUT AFTER MAO DIED IN '76, THAT
OPENED DOOR GREW WIDER AND
WIDER.
IT'S NEVER BEEN AN EASY
RELATIONSHIP, AND IT'S NOT AN
EASY RELATIONSHIP TODAY.
THERE IS TOO MUCH HISTORY
BETWEEN THE TWO GREAT PEOPLES.
EACH, I THINK, OF THE UNITED
STATES AND CHINA TENDS TO SEE
ITSELF AS A UNIQUE SOCIETY WITH
UNIQUE MORAL VALUES.
EACH, I THINK, SEES ITSELF AS A
MODEL FOR THE REST OF THE
WORLD.
AND THAT SORT OF ATTITUDE
DOESN'T ALWAYS MEAN THAT YOU'RE
GOING TO GET ON VERY WELL WITH
SOMEONE ELSE WHO THINKS EXACTLY
THE SAME THING ABOUT
THEMSELVES.
THEY STILL HAVE ISSUES WHICH
DIVIDE THEM.
PERHAPS MORE NOW, BECAUSE THERE
ARE NOW ECONOMIC ISSUES THAT
CERTAINLY WEREN'T THERE BEFORE.
BUT I THINK WHY I WANT TO KNOW
ABOUT IT, AND WHY I THINK IT'S
A SUBJECT WORTH KNOWING ABOUT
IS BECAUSE IT'S A RELATIONSHIP
THAT'S GOING TO MATTER.
IT HAS MATTERED, AND ITS GOING
TO MATTER AN AWFUL LOT IN THE
FUTURE.
AND PERHAPS HISTORY WON'T
EXPLAIN IT, BUT IT WILL HELP US
TO UNDERSTAND IT A BIT BETTER.
THANK YOU.

[Applause]

Now a black slate reads "Did Canada influence the U.S. in opening a dialogue with China?"

Margaret says CANADA
WAS GOING ITS OWN WAY.
AND I THINK QUITE RIGHTLY.
WE HAD ACTUALLY HAD TRADE
RELATIONS WITH CHINA SINCE THE
LATE 1950s.
THE CHINESE HAD COME TO CANADA,
THEY SENT A MISSION TO CANADA
AND I THINK IT WAS '59, IT WAS
UNDER THE DIEFENBAKER
GOVERNMENT, ASKING TO BUY
CANADIAN WHEAT.
AND TO THE DELIGHT OF THE
CANADIANS, IT OFFERED HARD
CURRENCY.
THERE WAS A VERY UNEDIFYING
CABINET DISCUSSION IN WHICH
SOMEONE SAID, YOU KNOW, WE
SHOULD GIVE IT TO THE CHINESE,
THEY SEEM TO BE STARVING, AND
SOMEONE ELSE SAID, WELL THEY'VE
GOT HARD CURRENCY, AND
ACTUALLY, IT WOULD PROBABLY BE
BETTER FOR THEM IF THEY PAID
FOR IT.
SO THEY PAID FOR IT, AND THEN
WE EXTENDED CREDIT.
THE AMERICANS HAD NOT MUCH
LIKED THAT, AND THEN WHEN
TRUDEAU, WHEN HE BECAME PRIME
MINISTER, LOOKED AGAIN AT
CANADIAN FOREIGN POLICY, AND
THING, I THINK RIGHTLY, THAT IT
WAS ABSURD FOR CANADA NOT TO
HAVE RELATIONS WITH THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC, AND BEGAN TO
MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION.
THE OFFICIAL AMERICAN REACTION
WAS, WE WISH YOU WOULDN'T DO
IT.
THE STATE DEPARTMENT AND DEAN
RUSK-- WILLIAM ROGERS, RATHER,
THE SECRETARY OF STATE, MADE IT
QUITE CLEAR THAT THEY WOULD
PREFER WE DIDN'T DO IT.
WHAT NOBODY IN THE STATE
DEPARTMENT KNEW WAS THAT NIXON
AND KISSINGER WERE THINKING OF
DOING EXACTLY THE SAME THING.
BECAUSE THEY KEPT IT SO SECRET.
AND NIXON CERTAINLY DID NOT
CONFIDE IN TRUDEAU, HE COULDN'T
STAND HIM.
AND HE DID NOT-- THE TWO MEN
DID NOT GET ON WELL, AND SO ON
THE ONE HAND, YOU'VE GOT THE
UNITED STATES REALLY DOING THE
EXACTLY THE SAME THING CANADA
WAS DOING.
ON THE OTHER HAND YOU'VE GOT
THE OFFICIAL AMERICAN REACTION,
BECAUSE IT WAS STILL OUT OF THE
LOOP WITH NIXON AND KISSINGER,
SAYING, WE WISH YOU WOULDN'T DO
IT.
A NUMBER OF OTHER COUNTRIES
WERE MOVING TO RECOGNISE CHINA
AT THE SAME TIME, AND I THINK
THE CUMULATIVE EFFECT MAY HAVE
HELPED PREPARE AMERICAN PUBLIC
OPINION FOR IT, AND I THINK THE
FACT THAT WE DID GET THERE
FIRST, IS SOMETHING IN THE WAY
OF A MATTER OF PRIDE.
I MUST JUST TELL YOU ONE STORY.
ONE OF THESE GREAT ISSUES IN
DIPLOMACY IS WHAT PRESENTS DO
YOU GIVE.
THE CHINESE, FOR EXAMPLE, GAVE
THE AMERICANS PANDAS, AND THE
AMERICANS GAVE THE CHINESE...
ONE OF THE PRESENTS WAS A PIECE
OF MOON ROCK THAT THE
ASTRONAUTS HAD BROUGHT BACK.
WE GAVE THE CHINESE A PAIR OF
BEAVER, AND THEY HAD TO BE
TAKEN IN A SPECIAL-- WELL THEY
WERE TAKEN IN AN AIR CANADA
PLANE, AND THE ONLY WAY THEY
COULD KEEP THEM HAPPY ON THE
LONG FLIGHT TO CHINA, WAS TO
PUT THEM IN THE WASHROOM.
AND APPARENTLY THE WHOLE WAY
ACROSS ON THE PLANE, YOU COULD
HEAR THESE LITTLE CHEWING
NOISES AND LOTS OF WATER
RUNNING, AND THEY WERE BUILDING
THEMSELVES A DAM.

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues I'M NOT SURE WHAT'S EVER
HAPPENED TO THEM.
BUT IT DID-- IT DID, I THINK...
I MEAN I THINK WE DIDN'T
INFLUENCE THE AMERICANS
DIRECTLY, TO ANSWER YOUR
QUESTION, BUT I THINK THERE WAS
A GRADUAL MOVEMENT IN THE
WORLD, THE FRENCH, THE BRITISH,
THE BELGIANS, AND SO ON, THE
ITALIANS, SO I THINK THAT
CERTAINLY AFFECTED AMERICAN
PUBLIC OPINION.

A black slate reads "How did the war in Vietnam influence the game of diplomacy between the U.S. and China?"

Margaret says THE CHINESE DENIED THAT THEY WERE
DELIVERING STUFF TO THE NORTH
VIETNAMESE, AND THEY SAID, ZHOU
ENLAI SAID, QUITE UNTRUTHFULLY,
THERE'S NOT A SINGLE CHINESE
SOLDIER THERE, WHERE THERE WAS
SOMETHING LIKE 30,000.
HE SAID THE ONLY CHINESE THERE
ARE BUILDING ROADS AND DOING
GOOD WORKS, WHICH WAS NOT TRUE.
THE CHINESE CONTINUED TO SUPPLY
NORTH VIETNAM, BUT THEY WERE
BECOMING RATHER COOL ABOUT
NORTH VIETNAM.
THE NORTH VIETNAMESE,
INCREASINGLY WERE TILTING
TOWARD THE SOVIET UNION, AND
REALLY WERE PROVING REALLY
INTRACTABLE, THEY WERE VERY
DIFFICULT PEOPLE TO DEAL WITH.
ON THE OTHER HAND, THE CHINESE
WERE NOT PREPARED TO ABANDON
THEM.
WHAT THEY DID SAY TO THE NORTH
VIETNAMESE WAS LOOK, MAKE SOME
SORT OF DEAL WITH THE
AMERICANS.
I MEAN ONE OF THE BIG ISSUES
WAS WHETHER OR NOT THE NORTH
VIETNAMESE COMMUNISTS WOULD
ALLOW THE POPULAR FRONT IN
SOUTH VIETNAM, WHETHER THEY
WOULD ALLOW THE
[unintelligible]
THE
EXISTING GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH
VIETNAM INTO A COALITION, AND
THE NORTH VIETNAMESE WERE
SAYING, NO COALITION, WE WANT
JUST OUR OWN NATIONAL
LIBERATION FRONT.
AND THE
CHINESE DID SAY TO THEM, MAO
SAID TO THE NORTH VIETNAMESE,
LOOK, FORM A COALITION
GOVERNMENT.
HE SAID, YOU'LL OVERTHROW THEM
ANYWAY IN TWO YEARS, WHICH IS
MORE OR LESS WHAT HAPPENED, OF
COURSE.
THE AMERICANS ASSUMED WRONGLY,
I THINK... NIXON AND KISSINGER
ALWAYS BELIEVED IN LINKAGE, AND
THEY BELIEVED THAT IF THE
CHINESE WANTED SOMETHING FROM
THE UNITED STATES ON THE GEO-
STRATEGIC LEVEL, IF THEY WANTED
THE UNITED STATES TO HELP THEM
AGAINST THE SOVIET UNION, FOR
EXAMPLE.
OR IF
THEY WANTED CONCESSIONS ON
TAIWAN, THAT THE CHINESE IN
TURN WOULD SEE THAT IT WAS TO
THEIR BENEFIT TO PUT PRESSURE
ON THE NORTH VIETNAMESE.
THE CHINESE NEVER DID THIS.
I MEAN THE AMERICANS NEVER GOT
OUT OF THE OPENING TO CHINA
WHAT THEY THOUGHT THEY WOULD
GET WITH VIETNAM, AND I THINK
THAT-- IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO ME
THAT THERE WAS A
MISAPPREHENSION, OFTEN IN
WASHINGTON AND OTHER WESTERN
CAPITALS ABOUT HOW THE
COMMUNISTS WORLD WORKED.
THEY TENDED TO ASSUME IT WAS
VERY HIERARCHICAL, AND THEY
TENDED TO ASSUME THE BIG
COMMUNISTS TOLD THE LITTLE
COMMUNISTS WHAT TO DO, SO THAT
CHINA AND THE SOVIET UNION PUT
TOGETHER COULD TELL NORTH
VIETNAM WHAT TO DO.
AND WE NOW KNOW FROM ALL THE
RECORDS THAT HAVE COME OUT THAT
THE NORTH VIETNAMESE WERE
EXTREMELY STUBBORN AND DIDN'T
TAKE ADVICE VERY WELL, AND
SIMPLY DID WHAT THEY WANTED.
SO HOW VIETNAM CAME IN, I THINK
IT PERSUADED THE AMERICANS THEY
NEEDED AN OPENING INTO CHINA,
BUT IN THE END, IT DIDN'T
PRODUCE WHAT THE AMERICANS
THOUGHT IT WOULD PRODUCE, AND
IN THE END, NIXON AND KISSINGER
WERE FORCED TO MAKE A PEACE IN
VIETNAM, WHICH REALLY ABANDONED
THE GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH
VIETNAM, IN SPITE OF ALL THEIR
PROMISES.
I MEAN REALLY BY '72, I THINK
AMERICAN PUBLIC OPINION, EVEN
ON THE RIGHT, WAS SO ANXIOUS TO
GET OUT OF VIETNAM, IT WOULD
HAVE SETTLED FOR ANYTHING THAT
DIDN'T LOOK LIKE A COMPLETE
DEFEAT.
YOU DO KNOW TODAY, IT'S VERY
INTERESTING, THERE'S BEEN
SOMETHING IN THE PRESS RECENTLY
THAT HENRY KISSINGER HAS BEEN
MAKING SECRET VISITS TO THE
WHITE HOUSE TO TALK TO
PRESIDENT BUSH.
AND I WONDER IF HE'S ADVISING
HIM ON HOW TO GET OUT OF
UNWINNABLE WARS, I DON'T KNOW.

[Audience laughter]

Margaret continues THAT SEEMS TO ME IT MIGHT BE A SUBJECT OF CONVERSATION.
SO VIETNAM IS INTERESTING, BUT
IT DOESN'T PRODUCE THE RESULTS
THE U.S. WANTS.

A black slate reads "Will the 'Sleeping Giant' China, awaken and become the dominant superpower?"

Margaret says I THINK
CHINA IS ALREADY MORE THAN HALF AWAKE.
IT'S ALREADY A LARGE ECONOMIC
POWER, IT'S A SIGNIFICANT
REGIONAL POWER, I THINK IT HAS
NOT YET WORKED OUT WHAT ITS
ROLE IN THE WORLD IS GOING TO
BE, AND I THINK WE SEE THIS IN
NORTH KOREA.
THE CHINESE FIND IT VERY
DIFFICULT STILL TO EXERCISE
THEIR ROLE AS A GREAT POWER.
IT'S NOT SOMETHING YET, AT
LEAST IN MY VIEW, THAT THEY'RE
ENTIRELY EASY WITH.
AND SO I THINK THE CHINESE ARE
STILL FEELING THEIR WAY IN THE
WORLD.
BUT I THINK CERTAINLY THE
THINKING IN A LOT OF CIRCLES IN
THE UNITED STATES IS THAT CHINA
IS A FUTURE OPPONENT OF THE
UNITED STATES.
NOW WHETHER THAT'S REASONABLE,
AND WHETHER TO THINK LIKE THAT
WILL ACTUALLY TURN CHINA INTO
AN OPPONENT IS A VERY GOOD
QUESTION.
BUT WHAT REALLY STRIKES ME, IF
YOU GO INTO BOOKSTORES THESE
DAYS... IN THE '90s WHEN JAPAN
WAS SO ECONOMICALLY POWERFUL,
IN THE 1990s, YOU GOT BOOKS
SAYING, JAPAN IS NUMBER 1, THE
COMING JAPANESE EMPIRE, WE GOT
HOLLYWOOD MOVIES ABOUT THE
WORLD IN WHICH THE JAPANESE
HAVE TAKEN OVER.
AND YOU GET VERY SIMILAR BOOKS
WITH VERY SIMILAR TITLES,
EXCEPT THEY'RE NOW ABOUT CHINA.
IT SEEMS TO ME THERE'S BEEN A
SPATE OF BOOKS RECENTLY ABOUT
HOW CHINA IS GROWING IN POWER.
I HOPE, AND I THINK WE SHOULD
ALL HOPE THAT THE UNITED STATES
AND CHINA, EVEN IF THEY DON'T
BECOME GREAT FRIENDS, WILL
CONTINUE TO WORK TOGETHER.
BECAUSE TOGETHER THEY'RE A REAL
FORCE FOR STABILITY, NOT JUST
IN THE PACIFIC, BUT IN THE
WIDER WORLD.
IT'S VERY, VERY IMPORTANT AND I
THINK NONE OF US WANT TO SEE
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE
PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND
THE UNITED STATES GETTING MUCH
WORSE.
THERE ARE TENSIONS IN IT AT THE
MOMENT, BUT IT'S NOT A BAD
RELATIONSHIP IT SEEMS TO ME.
THEY'RE STILL TALKING TO EACH
OTHER, AND THERE'S STILL A
GREAT DEAL OF BACK AND FORTH
BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES, AND
OF COURSE, THERE'S A HUGE
ECONOMIC LINKAGE NOW.
THE CHINESE HOLD HUGE AMOUNTS,
AND THEY HOLD I THINK IT'S
SOMETHING LIKE 90 percent OF U.S.
DEBT, I MEAN IT'S SOMETHING
ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS.
THAT MEANS THE U.S. HAS TO BE
NERVOUS ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IN
CHINA, BUT IT ALSO MEANS CHINA
HAS TO BE NERVOUS ABOUT WHAT
HAPPENS IN THE U.S.
I MEAN THEY'RE NOW LINKED
TOGETHER IN THIS ECONOMIC
LINKAGE WHICH MEANS THAT
REALLY, IN A WAY, THE PRESSURE
ON THEM TO GET ON WITH EACH
OTHER.
SO I THINK IT WILL BE REALLY
INTERESTING.
HOW POWERFUL CHINA WILL BECOME,
I THINK DEPENDS PARTLY ON WHAT
HAPPENS IN CHINA.
AND ALTHOUGH CHINA IS
ENORMOUSLY SUCCESSFUL
ECONOMICALLY, I THINK THERE ARE
REAL POLITICAL STRAINS THERE,
REAL ONES, AND THAT MAY WELL
POSE PROBLEMS IN THE FUTURE.
THEY'RE ALREADY BEGINNING TO
HAVE PROBLEMS WITH THE HUGE
DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN THE VERY
RICH PARTS OF CHINA AND THE
VERY POOR PARTS, AND THERE ARE
ALREADY CONSIDERABLE PROBLEMS
OVER SUCH THINGS AS CORRUPTION
AND LACK OF PARTICIPATION OF
PEOPLE IN THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT.
SO IT WILL BE AN INTERESTING 30
DECADES OR SO.
WON'T BE DULL.
OKAY.

A black slate reads "Democracy in China?"

Margaret says WHAT WILL BE INTERESTING TO SEE, I
THINK, IN THE NEXT 20 OR 30
YEARS IS WHETHER THE ECONOMIC
PROSPERITY OF CHINA AND THE
INDIVIDUALISM, IN MANY WAYS,
WHICH COMES ALONG WITH A MORE
CAPITALIST FORM OF SOCIETY WILL
PRODUCE GREATER PRESSURE.
I MEAN THERE'S SOME EVIDENCE
THAT IT MIGHT... GREATER
PRESSURE FOR MORE DEMOCRATIC
RIGHTS, A RULE OF LAW, WHICH A
LOT OF CHINESE TALK ABOUT, MORE
FREEDOM OF SPEECH, LESS
CENSORSHIP, MORE ABILITY TO
PARTICIPATE IN THEIR OWN
GOVERNMENT, CERTAINLY AT LEAST
IN THEIR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND
THEIR AREAS.
BUT I SUSPECT WHEN YOU HAVE AN
ANCIENT AND VERY LONG LASTING
CIVILISATION LIKE CHINA'S, I
MEAN THERE REALLY HAS BEEN A
CHINA SINCE 221 BC.
I SUSPECT THAT THE PULL OF THAT
CIVILISATION IS GOING TO BE
ABSOLUTELY ENORMOUS AND I DON'T
SEE CHINA CHANGING AND BECOMING
JUST LIKE THE UNITED STATES OR
CANADA.
POSSIBLY THE OTHER WAY AROUND,
WHO KNOWS?

The clip ends.

Back in the studio, Andrew says FASCINATING,
ISN'T IT?
I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A COMMUNIST
EGG WOULD TASTE LIKE, BUT I'M
CERTAIN THAT AMERICAN CONDOMS
HAVE NEVER HAD A MORE
INTERESTING USE THAN RUSTING
CHINESE RIFLES...
NIXON SAID ONCE THAT THE MARK
OF A GREAT LEADER IS WHETHER HE
CAN GIVE HISTORY A NUDGE, AND A
NUDGE HE GAVE, NO QUESTION
ABOUT IT.
IN 2002, HENRY KISSINGER
DECLARED THAT CHINA IS NOT A
COMMUNIST COUNTRY.
WELL IF IT'S TRUE, IT'S IN NO
SMALL PART DUE TO NIXON'S
GEOPOLITICAL WHEREWITHAL.
TO GET A MEASURE OF WHAT CHINA
IS LIKE TODAY, I INVITE YOU TO
JOIN US TOMORROW FOR A MOST
ILLUMINATING LECTURE ON
CONTEMPORARY CHINA.
HERE'S A SHORT SAMPLE OF THE
LECTURE BY MINXIN PEI, DIRECTOR
OF THE CHINA PROGRAM AT THE
CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT FOR
INTERNATIONAL PEACE IN WASHINGTON.

A clip plays with the title "Coming up, Minxin Pei."
In the clip, Minxin Pei addresses an unseen audience. He's in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short gray hair.

He says ABOUT 30 YEARS
AGO, WHEN CHINA BEGAN ITS
OPENING TO THE REST OF THE
WORLD, CHINA WAS, PRACTICALLY
SPEAKING, WHAT NORTH KOREA WAS
TODAY.
IT WAS JUST OUT OF... A TWO
DECADE NIGHTMARE OF RADICAL
COMMUNIST RULE.
IT WAS GOVERNED BY A
MEGALOMANIAC DICTATORIAL
LEADER, WHO'S SOLE INTEREST WAS
THE PERPETUATION OF HIS OWN
POWER, BUT TNO THE WELFARE OF
HIS PEOP.
BUT I THINK, THANKS TO THE
LEADERSHIP OF MR. DENG CHIO
PENG, AND HIS COLLEAGUES, CHINA
DECIDED TO GO IN A VERY
DIFFERENT DIRECTION, AND AFTER
30 YEARS, THE COUNTRY IS NOW
ALMOST COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED,
ESPECIALLY ECONOMICALLY.
AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE GENERAL
PATTERNS OF POLITICAL
EVOLUTION, I WOULD SAY ON THE
WHOLE, THE COUNTRY HAS MADE
ENORMOUS POSITIVE PROGRESS,
MEASURED PRACTICALLY IN ALL
DIMENSIONS.
IN TERMS OF PERSONAL FREEDOM,
TODAY THE CHINESE PEOPLE ENJOY
MORE PERSONAL FREEDOMS THAN
PROBABLY THEY HAVE EVER ENJOYED
IN MODERN MEMORY, RANGING FROM
ACCESS TO INFORMATION, THE
ABILITY TO TRAVEL AND THE
ABILITY TO FIND GAINFUL
EMPLOYMENT IN CHINA.
SOCIAL MOBILITY IN CHINA, AS A
RESULT OF ECONOMIC REFORM HAS
ALSO INCREASED A GREAT DEAL.
YESTERDAY I READ IN THE CHINESE
PRESS, THEY HAVE JUST COME OUT
WITH THE EQUIVALENT OF FORBES
400 RICHES PEOPLE IN CHINA, AND
TOP IN THE LIST IS SOMEBODY YOU
WOULD NEVER IMAGINE.
FIRST OF ALL, IT'S A LADY.
SHE... SO THE RICHES PERSON IN
CHINA IS A WOMAN, THEN IF YOU
FIND, IF YOU TRY TO FIND WHERE
SHE MADE HER FORTUNE, AN AREA
AGAIN, ANYBODY WOULD HAVE EVER
THOUGHT.
SHE MADE HER FORTUNE BY
LITERALLY PICKING THE GARBAGE,
BY GETTING IN TO THE WASTE
PAPER BUSINESS.

Another clip plays with the caption "Coming up on December 2, 2006; Bob Rae."

In the clip, Bob Rae, in his late forties, clean-shaven, with short white hair, addresses an unseen audience.

He says IT MEANS THAT
EVERYTHING WE DO IN TERMS OF
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION, IN TERMS
OF THE CARS WE DRIVE, HOW WE
BEHAVE, OUR CONSUMPTION
PATTERNS AS INDIVIDUALS, THE
KINDS OF REFRIGERATORS WE BUY,
THE SORTS OF THINGS WE DO, ALL
OF THOSE THINGS ARE AFFECTED,
ARE GOING TO HAVE AN EFFECT ON
THE ENVIRONMENT, AND IF WE
CHANGE COLLECTIVELY HOW WE DO
THINGS, TOGETHER WITH EVERYBODY
ELSE IN THE WORLD, WHO'S ALSO
GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT AND ALSO
WILL BE DOING IT, THEN WE CAN
SLOW DOWN THE PROCESS AND
PERHAPS MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND
SAY, IN FACT, WE HAVE SAVED
SOME THINGS THAT OTHERWISE
WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED OFF
BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT OF GLOBAL
WARMING.
THE TROUBLE IS, IT'S VERY HARD
TO GET POLITICIANS AND THE
PUBLIC REALLY ENGAGED IN
SOMETHING THAT'S GOING TO TAKE
A LONG TIME TO ACHIEVE.
YOU KNOW, I MEAN IT'S ONE THING
TO SAY, HERE'S A CHEQUE.
WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT, YOU
KNOW?
HERE'S YOUR REFUND, HERE'S YOUR
CHEQUE, HERE'S YOUR MONEY,
HERE'S YOUR POLICY, HERE'S YOUR
BRIDGE, YOU KNOW, THINGS
POLITICIANS LIKE TO DO, STAND
AT A BRIDGE... I BUILT THIS
BRIDGE.
WELL, ACTUALLY, NO SIR, YOU
DIDN'T REALLY BUILD IT, BUT...
WELL, I HELPED TO PAY FOR IT.
WELL NO, YOU JUST RAISED THE
TAXES TO PAY FOR IT, BUT
ANYWAY, TAKE CREDIT FOR IT IF
IT MAKES YOU FEEL A WHOLE LOT
BETTER.
SO THIS IS HARD.
THIS IS GOING TO BE A POLITICAL
CHALLENGE AND IT'S GOING TO BE
A TEST, I THINK FOR OUR
POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AS THE
EXTENT TO WHICH WE CAN MAKE
THIS AN ISSUE WHICH ACTUALLY
MEANS SOMETHING TO CANADIANS
AND ISN'T JUST A DIFFICULT
ABSTRACTION, IN WHICH WE'RE ALL
OF A SUDDEN REQUIRED TO DO
THINGS THAT WE DIDN'T THINK
WE'D HAVE TO DO.

Another clip plays that shows Michael Ignatieff as he addresses an audience. A caption reads "Coming up on December 2, 2006; Michael Ignatieff."
Ignatieff is in his forties, clean-shaven, with short black hair.

He says AN UNKNOWN PERCENTAGE OF 1 MILLION
CANADIANS OF ABORIGINAL ORIGIN,
BELIEVE A DIFFERENT VERSION OF
THE NATIONAL STORY THAN MANY,
BUT NOT ALL, NONABORIGINAL
CANADIANS DO.
IN PLACE OF A STORY OF
SETTLEMENT, A STORY OF
CONQUEST, IN PLACE OF A STORY
OF PROGRESS, A STORY OF
DISPOSSESSION AND CATASTROPHE.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT
DEVELOPMENTS IN MY LIFETIME AS
A CITIZEN IN THIS COUNTRY IS,
OVER THE 4YEARS SINCE I WAS A
YOUNG UNDERGRADUATE IN THIS
PLACE, THE ABORIGINAL TRUTH,
THE MINORITY TRUTH HAS SIMPLY
TRANSFORMED THE NATIONAL STORY.
WE SIMPLY DO NOT BELIEVE, AS A
NATIONAL COMMUNITY, WHAT WE
BELIEVED IN 1960.
SOME OF IT HAS TO DO WITH THE
PIONEERING WORK OF HISTORIANS
IN THIS ROOM, AND HISTORIANS
WHOSE MEMORY I REVERE.
SOME OF IT HAS TO DO WITH THE
COURAGE AND POWER, RHETORICAL
MORAL POWER OF ABORIGINAL TRUTH
TELLERS, SO THAT NOW IN SCHOOL
CURRICULA, PUBLIC DEBATE, THE
CONSTITUTION DEBATE ITSELF, THE
CONSTITUTIVE ROLE OF FIRST
NATIONS PEOPLES IS BEGINNING TO
BE ACKNOWLEDGED AND THE EXTENT
TO WHICH THE NATIONAL STORY IS
BOTH A STORY OF PROGRESS, A
STORY OF SETTLEMENT AND THE
STORY OF LOSS AND DISPOSSESSION
IS NOW PART OF OUR SHARED
UNDERSTANDING.

The clip ends, and Andrew reappears in the studio.

He says NOW IF YOU
WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE UPDATES
ON WHAT'S COMING UP ON OUR
PROGRAM, PLEASE, SEND US AN E-
MAIL AT bigideas@tvo.org
YOU CAN ALSO
LISTEN TO PODCASTS OF THE
VARIOUS TALKS AND LECTURES.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT
THAT, PLEASE GO TO OUR WEBSITE AT...
www.tvo.org/bigideas
I'M ANDREW MOODIE, WE'LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

[Theme music plays]

The end credits roll.

bigideas@tvo.org

416-484-2746

Big Ideas. Producer, Wodek Szemberg.

Producers, Lara Hindle, Mike Miner, Gregg Thurlbeck.

Logos: Unifor, Canadian Media Guild.

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 2006, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Margaret MacMillan