Interpretation of Foreign Affairs Reception Archives in the 1970s

Following Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, Sino-U.S. relations were thawed, and the United States set off a China craze that cared about China and eagerly visited China. From mid-1972 to mid-1973, nearly 1,000 Americans visited Shanghai. Chinese Americans are competing to return home to visit relatives. First, Yang Zhenning returned to Shanghai to visit relatives in July 1971, and returned to China in June 1972; then, Li Zhengdao visited Shanghai in September 1972; then, Wu Jianxiong, Yuan Jiahong, Gu Yuxiu, Ren Zhigong and many other Chinese-American scientists , Scholars, professors and people from all walks of life have visited Shanghai. In 1972 alone, 585 Chinese Americans visited Shanghai. After 1973, the number of Chinese Americans visiting has increased year by year. In 1978, there were already 2,835 people. According to statistics, around 1973, the average annual number of overseas tourists visiting Shanghai was 16,000.

This gradual opening-up situation has been greatly improved compared with the closed-door countries in the past few years before 1972, but compared with after the reform and opening up, it is still quite different. According to statistics, in 1995, Shanghai received 1.36779 million foreign tourists throughout the year. In 2001, this number exceeded 2 million, and continued to climb sharply thereafter, reaching 7.574 million in 2013. In 2017, Shanghai received a total of 8.731 million overseas tourists, a record high, and received an average of 23918 people per day. The number of receptions in 2017 was 545.6 times that of 1973; the average number of receptions per day in 2017 was 1.5 times the number of receptions in 1973.

The amount is so disparate. If you look at the reception methods and reception process, as well as the ideas and concepts behind the reception methods and reception process, it makes people feel like they are living in a different world. I recently saw a batch of archives of the Foreign Affairs Group and Overseas Chinese Affairs Group of the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee during the “Cultural Revolution”, and I have a certain understanding of Shanghai’s foreign affairs reception work between 1972 and 1978. Now let’s introduce the situation of these files, so that people can understand the great significance of reform and opening up and provide some little-known information.

1. The string of class struggle is tense and highly alert for overseas visits
Some of the files in this batch are official documents, which are about the principle of receiving foreigners and overseas Chinese. Among them, the distinctive characteristics of the times are the tightness of the class struggle, and high vigilance for overseas visits.

The “Notes for Receiving Sporadic Overseas Chinese, Compatriots from Hong Kong and Macao, and Foreign Chinese (Draft)” issued in March 1973 clearly stated: “The staff on duty must carefully study Chairman Mao’s series of instructions on foreign affairs and correctly implement the party’s foreign policies and policies To continuously improve the quality of service reception and external publicity work. It is necessary to receive hospitality warmly but also to grasp the principles and do meticulous work. It is necessary to strengthen the concept of class struggle and improve the vigilance of the revolution. Through talking with the guests and service reception, they can timely understand and master their Ideological development. We must strengthen consultation and reporting.” According to the specific situation of the visitors, “organize visits appropriately, propagate Mao Zedong Thought, propagate my foreign policies and policies, and propagate my achievements in the socialist revolution and socialist construction.” In organizing the visits of visitors, “pay attention to collecting guest responses and matters, and report important issues in a timely manner.” The details of matters needing attention include medical treatment, shopping, ticketing, theater tickets, organizing visits, baggage consignment, baggage collection, baggage consignment, international postal parcels, urn consignment, telegraph and telephone consignment, visa consignment consignment, etc.

The “Working Procedure for Receiving Overseas Chinese Tour Groups (Trial Draft)” wrote:

Pay attention to the situation of visitors. If the guests entrust me to find relatives and friends, ordinary people can arrange meetings with the consent of the public security, legal and political security departments and the leaders of relevant units. In accordance with the scope of cadre-level management, the cadres of the organization, with the consent of the organization department of the competent unit, the municipal management cadres, senior intellectuals, and the united front objects must be approved by the relevant organization of the Municipal Revolutionary Committee and reported to the foreign affairs team.

Article 13 of the “Trial Draft” requires reception staff to:

Strengthen contact and communication with guests. Keep abreast of their ideological developments in a timely manner, actively, proactively, and targetedly carry out external publicity work, do unity, education, and fight for work, and expand the patriotic united front of overseas Chinese and the international united front. Cooperate with the struggle to liberate Taiwan and the struggle against imperialism. It is necessary to effectively implement Chairman Mao’s series of instructions on foreign propaganda, propagate Mao Zedong Thought, propagate our foreign policies and policies, and propagate our country’s socialist revolution and socialist construction achievements. To distinguish between objects, pay attention to the way, pay attention to policies. Those who have confused thoughts among the guests, or who have misunderstood our policies and policies, should clarify our policies, policies and positions positively, and be patient in propaganda and education. Those who defame or attack our party’s policies, policies, or intentionally provoke a few reactionaries should adhere to the principle, refute the top-up, but not entangle.

Article 15 of the “Trial Draft” states: “We must strengthen the concept of class struggle, increase the vigilance of the revolution, pay attention to defending secret work, and master the principle of internal tightness and external looseness. Anything that involves my internal situation, do not talk to the outside world casually, so that there is a difference between inside and outside. .”

Second, conduct a strict identity investigation on the visitors
For those requesting to come to China to visit Shanghai, there are generally procedures for conducting identity investigations on visitors, especially depending on their attitude towards mainland China. Yang Zhongdao’s visit process clearly showed this.

Yang Zhongdao (1923-2005), a native of Pingyang, Zhejiang, graduated from Zhejiang University in 1946, studied in the United States in 1949, received a doctorate in mathematics in 1954, and has been a long-term professor of mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania since 1956. He was elected to Taiwan in 1968. Academician of Academia Sinica. His specialty is algebraic topology and topological transformation group, known as “Yang Zhongdao Theorem”. After Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, Yang Zhongdao was very excited and worked hard to return to China. In April 1972, he and his friends went to the United Nations Permanent Mission, visited Ambassador Chen Chu, etc., and proposed to return to China. Chen Chu welcomed him and asked to apply to the Chinese Embassy in Canada. However, after Yang Zhongdao submitted the application, there was no response. At the end of April, the Chinese table tennis delegation visited New York, and the permanent delegation to the United Nations held a reception. Yang was invited to attend, met Ambassador Chen Chu, and asked again about his return visit. Chen Chu informed, “After the application must be urged again and again.” After Yang Zhongdao met Yang Zhenning, Yang Zhenning informed, “you need someone in China to make the trip as soon as possible.” Yang Zhongdao then wrote to his teacher Su Buqing at Zhejiang University on May 2. In his letter, Yang introduced his research and work in the United States. Su Buqing was asked to help facilitate this matter. He also attached his detailed resume, including changes in his work unit, work and research over the years, and introduced his contact with Taiwan. Introduced his father, younger brother and others in Pingyang.

After receiving the letter, Su Buqing wrote a report entitled “Report” to Fudan University’s organization group on May 15th, as well as Yang Zhongdao’s life, schooling experience, and academic achievements, introducing his relationship with Yang. Still patriotic.” At the end of the “Report”, Su Buqing expressed his opinion: “I personally have the following opinion about Yang Zhongdao’s return to China to visit relatives, that is, he can consider his application, because once he returned to China, he saw with his own eyes the prosperity of the socialist motherland. May receive education to change his past views. At the same time, because I do not know Yang Zhongdao’s situation in the past two decades, so the above opinion is appropriate, please ask the leadership to correct me.” Su Buqing also sent Yang’s resume Attached to the report. The Fudan University organization team presented Su Buqing’s letter. There is a check mark on the side of the text in the printed manuscript of the letter that “can consider his application”, which is estimated to be a mark made by the relevant departments of the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee, highlighting Su Buqing’s opinion. With Su Boqing’s affirmative opinion and the follow-up of the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee, Yang Zhongdao’s application was finally approved.

3. Find out the political performance of the interviewee and determine whether it is suitable to meet with foreign guests
Regarding the objects requested by the guests, the relevant units should investigate and understand whether they are suitable for being interviewed.

Zhou Yicang is a professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, USA. He visited Shanghai from January 2 to 16, 1973. At the beginning, when Zhou Yicang proposed to return to China, the relevant parties also investigated his relatives in China, including the political performance of his father, brother, and sister. Zhou Yicang’s father, Zhou Zhihong, is a famous professor in Shanghai. He was shocked during the “Cultural Revolution” and is the key point to understand. The Foreign Affairs Group of the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee wrote a specific report on this, introduced Zhou Zhihong’s work and performance, and specifically stated, “In the proletarian cultural revolution movement, Zhou’s history was reviewed. Except for his own account, no other major issues were found. Problem. In 1969, Zhou was declared liberated and his salary was issued. The relevant policies of the party have been implemented. At present, Zhou has performed better in school and has said that he wants to do a good job for the party and the people.” Investigate and issue a written opinion. Zhou Mei is a teacher at Shanghai University of Science and Technology. The survey concluded that “no problems were found in the political calendar, but the thinking is backward, no progress is required, and the work performance is average.” The general statement of the Foreign Affairs Group of the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee is: “According to the above situation, I plan to agree to Chinese-American Zhou Yicang to visit relatives in Shanghai.”

One of Zhou Yicang’s pre-arranged visits to Shanghai was to meet his old classmate He Guosen. He Guosen was a teacher at Shanghai Mechanical College at the time. Whether He Guosen is suitable to meet with Zhou Yicang is not determined by He Guosen himself, nor by Shanghai Institute of Mechanical Engineering, where He Guosen is located. Therefore, the Shanghai Institute of Mechanical Engineering specially sent a person with a letter of introduction to the Overseas Chinese Affairs Group of the Shanghai Revolutionary Committee to listen to the relevant opinions of the superiors. He said that Zhou proposed to come to the Shanghai Institute of Mechanical Engineering to visit the metallurgical department. Zhou Bizhen, who is known as He, is a party member at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He’s brother is also in the United States. He is more advanced. Yang Zhenning returned to the United States and went to see He’s brother, which means that he agrees to meet Zhou He, but does not approve of visiting the school. Finally, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Group of the Municipal Revolutionary Society arranged their meeting.

However, some have also investigated the political performance of the proposed interviewees, and the relevant departments refused the visitor’s request. Chinese American Zhou Yiyao visited Shanghai from May 11 to 30, 1972, and plans to meet with Li Mei, a teacher from Shanghai International Studies University. China International Travel Service’s Shanghai Branch responded to Zhou Yiyao: “You can’t go to who you are, and you have to go through the organization procedures.” China International Travel Service asked Shanghai Revolutionary Committee Foreign Affairs Group for advice, and Shanghai Revolutionary Committee Foreign Affairs Committee asked Shanghai Foreign Languages ​​Institute for advice. After investigation, the Shanghai Foreign Studies University felt that it was not intended to let them meet. Therefore, the relevant parties replied: “According to the investigation, Li Mei’s personal experience is complicated. During the Kuomintang period, he had worked in newspapers, worked as a foreign affairs reporter, had contact with the Americans, and participated in a pseudo-KMT press secret agent peripheral organization. The right, which was censored during the Cultural Revolution, is now performing in general, and the school considers not to meet.” As a result, Zhou Yiyao and Li Mei failed to meet.

4. Understand the situation of the places and units to be visited, and sometimes politely decline
At that time, Shanghai and the mainland were officially limited to places open to foreign guests. Regarding the places and units proposed by the guests to be visited, if they are not included in the scope of opening to the outside world, the relevant parties will generally politely decline.

During his stay in Shanghai, Zhou Yicang once offered to go to the suburbs of Shanghai or Huangshan in Anhui to participate in farm labor, but he was refused. One of the main destinations for Yang Zhongdao’s return visit was Pingyang, his hometown. However, because Pingyang was not open to foreign guests, and his family background was not good, he did not agree to his request to return to his hometown. The Zhejiang United Front Office said: “After learning from Pingyang County, Yang Zhongdao’s father is a bureaucratic landlord, and his performance is not very good, his brother is also a landlord, and his performance is not good. The hat has been removed. The younger sister is a small land renter.” The local government is worried Let an American visit such a family, the impact is not good. Therefore, the relevant department rejected Yang Zhongdao’s request to return to his hometown, but instead let his father and sister wait to meet him in Shanghai. In this regard, Yang Nei was quite distraught, and Yang’s father was also very unhappy. The Wenzhou Political Work Group reports:

Father Yang’s performance is not good. He said: This time his son mainly came to visit relatives, why not let him come to Pingyang? Why only let four people go to Shanghai? Where was it approved, or was it proposed by my son? And proposed to add two people to Shanghai. We persuaded him to consider economically, and during the busy farming period, it was better to remove a few people, but they still insisted that grandchildren go to Shanghai, saying that grandchildren would not go, and I would not go either. He started to go by boat and told him that there was a typhoon. He said he would wait until the typhoon passed. After doing work, he decided to take the train to Shanghai this morning. As for the issue of withholding remittances, it really did matter. At that time, because the mass organization was a landlord and suspected that it was his secret service funds, it was withheld and not returned.

Of course, the relevant parties refused to return Yang Zhongdao to his hometown, and his pretext was still sounding: “We are now replying that they did not go to Pingyang because the recent reception task in Wenzhou was busy, and the countryside was busy during the busy period. , So I met in Shanghai.”

I also asked to go back to my hometown to look at it. Pinghu and Wenzhou are also not open to foreign guests. However, Zhou Yiyao asked to go back to my hometown to take a look and was approved. The reason for this is probably the performance of the family background and relatives at home. The local government of Pingyang did not rate Yang Zhongdao’s father and others badly, but Pinghu did not have similar comments on Zhou Yi’s family. This may be the root cause of a release and a rejection.

5. Pay close attention to and record guests’ words and deeds
The reception unit observes and collects the behavior and comments of the visiting subject according to the requirements of the superior, and then reports.

In related briefings, Yang Zhongdao, Zhou Yicang and others have more detailed records and reports. For example, the briefing documents Yang Zhongdao’s activities in Shanghai, paying special attention to introducing Yang’s attitude toward China:

After coming to Shanghai, Yang said that although he was holding an American passport, he still remembered that he was a Chinese. This time he brought his children back to the motherland to visit relatives because he wanted the children not to forget that they were Chinese. During the visit, he repeatedly praised the great achievements of the motherland. When visiting Fudan, he said: “China’s education work has a plan, and the practice is better than the United States.” “Now seeing that New China attaches great importance to mathematics research and teaching work,” “In the past, revolution was the killing. It was only after days of visiting that I realized that the word “revolution” has been distorted in the United States.” After visiting the workers’ new village and hearing the comparison of the old workers’ memories, Kang Runfang (Yang’s wife) tearfully translated to his children. Yang said that workers’ lives have improved so fast, “It’s really unimaginable.”

The “Briefing” specifically describes the attitude of the Yang Zhongdao couple to the Taiwan authorities and the US government:

Yang is an academician of the Pseudo-Academia Sinica. He went to Taiwan three times and claimed to be a US citizen because he did not want to go to Taiwan. Kang Runfang’s father Kang Han is also a member of the Pseudo-Academia Sinica, now in Taiwan. Kang Runfang said that in the past, the people of Taiwan were extremely dissatisfied with Japanese imperialism and had fantasies about the Jiang Gang, but now even children from reactionary bureaucratic families have risen against the Jiang Gang. One of the five heads of the Committee to Defend the Diaoyu Islands Movement is from a background. Bad people. She also said that Jiang Bangzheng is stepping up poisoning education for young people; hiring Taiwanese personnel may increase resistance to the liberation of Taiwan and the possibility of engaging in Taiwan independence. She expressed the hope that Taiwan will be liberated as soon as possible to realize the reunification of the motherland.

Yang also believed that Nixon’s war of aggression against Vietnam was unpopular, saying that “Nixon is a very smart gambler.” The American society is a selfish society and money is omnipotent. He was afraid that his children would be affected by the increasingly corrupt and corrupt social atmosphere in the United States, and he wanted to send them back to his motherland.

The briefing described Zhou Yichang’s words and deeds in more detail.

Zhou Yicang and his party visited Shanghai No. 1 Steel Plant, Shanghai Industrial Exhibition Hall, Jiaotong University, Shanghai Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Shanghai Metallurgical Research Institute and other units in Shanghai. The relevant units and accompanying personnel have recorded and reported his whereabouts and remarks. Positive: “Week was good during the event in Shanghai. During the visit, I can look at the socialist construction and industrial development of the motherland in a more realistic manner. He said,’What China was like in the past, I still remember , Now it has completely changed, and it has changed a lot. You only need to pay attention to the situation on the street. The city is prosperous, the road is clean, and no one wears clothes. China has neither internal debt nor external debt. There can be several in the world A country like this? It’s amazing.” Zhou said after visiting the first steel plant in Shanghai: “It’s totally beyond my expectations. I didn’t expect that there would be such a large steel plant in Shanghai (and there are more factories like this in Shanghai. A). The output of one day here is equivalent to the year before liberation. This example is very convincing. Go back and ask (to) the Americans for publicity.” Zhou saw in the industrial exhibition hall that the various exhibits have certain At the level of products, I was surprised, saying: “Have you got everything? You have all the things I thought of, and you are producing what I have seen. The development and changes of this industry cannot be imagined by foreigners. It is said that there is no such thing in China and it is lacking in foreign countries. Isn’t that obvious nonsense?” When visiting Jiaotong University, Zhou said: “The school we are most interested in is education. I will be able to visit me when I come back this time. My father’s school is my greatest satisfaction. Today, seeing the school’s more complete teaching equipment can further illustrate the government’s emphasis on education.” The report also has a concluding evaluation of Zhou’s performance:

Through visits and discussions, Zhou Yicang had a correct understanding of my superior socialist system and the party’s line. He said: “The visits of the past few days have benefited me a lot and I have learned a lot of new things. It seems that your system is good and the direction is right. If you continue to follow this direction, the world’s industrial horses will You are in control. Now we can’t keep up with others in some aspects. It doesn’t matter, as long as we are in the right direction and keep working hard, we will catch up someday. It’s like seeing the shadow of the dawn of your liberation in the long dark night of old China. It will be the same. Now we are in the stage of laying the foundation, and this foundation is well laid! With the foundation laid, we can move forward in great strides. Also, each of you is full of confidence in victory, this is China There is great hope.”

Most of the report materials reflect the comments made by guests praising China. However, the relevant departments and accompanying personnel also reported some negative behaviors (as it seemed at the time) to the guests. For example, from August 4 to 16, 1975, American medical professor Ruan Xibiao’s family of five visited Shanghai. Their children took some photos of negative situations during the visit, including the children who were shirtless playing in the grass hut on the way to Pengpu Commune and the old men who were sitting on the ground and eating shirtless under the hot sun. Scavenged children and old people in bricks and bricks. The accompanying travel agent immediately pointed out to him that this was an unfriendly performance, which was later corrected. Ruan Xuanbiao’s family went to Wuxi to visit after leaving Shanghai. Shanghai Overseas Chinese Travel Service informed Wuxi Overseas Chinese Travel Service of their performance in Shanghai, and specifically told them that they had taken some bad photos in Shanghai. Pay proper attention after reaching tin.”

From the words and deeds of the visitors described by the relevant units and the accompanying personnel, it is clear that the unique style of that era is unique.

For example, Zhou Yiyao met with Ding Chen (1919-2011), a former classmate who studied in the United States in Shanghai, who had worked in the Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce for a long time, and described his visit to China this time, which was very valuable. He said: “This time when I came to China, my wife (also an overseas Chinese) was terrified, and at first I was not allowed to come. When I decided to come, I was asked to write a will. I cried a lot.” Zhou is very divided on the domestic situation. Once, when he went to get people in there, he was nervous when asked by the crowd. He asked Ding Chen: “Is this the same as FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) surveillance of people?” Ding answered: “Our country is very consolidated , But of course we must be vigilant against counter-revolutionary sabotage activities. The masses look at you in your dress (Weekly wearing American clothes), it is natural for you to run around alone, and it is natural to ask you, not to mention that the United States and us have been in a hostile state for a long time. This is the same as the FBI It’s totally two different things.” Zhou Yu bought a set of ordinary clothing and wore it when he went to the countryside in Zhejiang.

This information is extremely valuable for understanding Americans’ imagination of China’s image at that time and the external perceptions of ordinary Chinese people.

Six, seize the opportunity to do external publicity
As mentioned before, seizing the opportunity to “promote Mao Zedong Thought, propagate my foreign policies and policies, and propagate my achievements in the socialist revolution and socialist construction” to the guests is a political task of the foreign affairs department. Therefore, in the relevant files, there are many materials and records of external publicity.

For example, after meeting with his old classmate Ding Chen, Zhou Yitong said that he would return to the United States to promote China’s progress and ask the old classmates for some information. Ding couldn’t make his own claims, so he asked the relevant departments. As a result, the relevant departments asked Ding Chen to send Zhou Yiyao’s promotional materials: four-volume English version of “Mao Xuan”, “China Construction”, and “Beijing Weekly Newspaper” and introduced Daqing, Dazhai, and Zhihe And other brochures (both in English). Thank you again on Monday, “He pointed to Chairman Mao’s writings and said:’This is an effective philosophy, I must study hard and start reading on the plane.”

In another example, Chinese American and California professor of early childhood education Zhou Meifeng, with two daughters visiting Shanghai in late December 1972, tested children’s reactions to fighting issues while visiting Shanghai’s open Sinan Road kindergarten. She showed three pictures, one was a child pushing another child, and the pushed one was about to fall; one was a child kicking an adult; the third was a fight between two children.

Zhou pointed to a picture of two children fighting and asked a child named Liu: “Why did these two children fight?” Answer: “They don’t listen to Chairman Mao.” Question: “What do you do when you see children fighting?” Answer : “Promote Mao Zedong Thought to them.”

Elder Zhou’s daughter asked, “What if they don’t listen to Mao Zedong Thought?” Answer: “I pulled them away.”

Elder Zhou’s daughter continued to ask, “If they don’t listen anymore and still have to fight, what will you do?” Answer: “Tell the teacher.”

This kindergarten is a formal kindergarten approved by the government. The leaders and teachers of the kindergarten are also selected and politically competent personnel. The children’s answers are obviously prepared in advance.

Family members of Chinese Americans are concerned about the situation in China, and are worried about the risks they may encounter after returning to China. The relevant departments gave Mao Zedong a move to let guests return to the United States for publicity. The way that kindergarten children responded to those questions, and so on. Forty years later, it seems a bit weird, but it is normal to put it in that era.

Paying attention to and maintaining national security is a matter that any sovereign country will attach great importance to and work hard to practice. However, if all guests are suspicious of their guests and they are looked at from the perspective of class struggle, then they are bound to be stubborn and not conducive to foreign exchanges. , Is not conducive to the normal development of the country.

Diplomacy is a continuation of internal affairs in a certain sense, so opening up is also reform. If it were not for the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Party to decisively stop the line based on class struggle, and if it was not to implement reform and opening up and focus on economic construction, then Shanghai’s grand reception of millions of foreign visitors every year is unimaginable .