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Tiger Event


February 26, 2023 at 1:00:00 AM

When the PRC came to New York:
The extraordinary foreign affairs group China sent to New York in 1971 and what became of them

Presenter / Panelists

Mark Sidel Doyle-Bascom Professor of Law and Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Jan Berris Vice President, National Committee on United States-China Relations

In the fall of 1971, Zhou Enlai selected an extraordinary group of  Chinese foreign affairs officials to send to New York to open China’s  Mission to the United Nations after the PRC regained its UN seat that  November. The group that lived and worked in New York in the years that  followed were arguably the most outstanding collection of foreign  affairs officials that China has ever gathered in one place outside  China. In these early years they managed major aspects of China’s  relations with the United States government and people-to-people  relations as well as China’s representation in the UN. 

They came from a variety of Chinese institutions (not just the Foreign  Ministry). They included, beginning a couple of years after 1971, five  children sent to study in New York on a special program approved by Mao  Zedong, two of whom are well-known in China today.  

The years from 1971 to after Mao’s death in 1976 were tremendously  eventful for this small group. One was murdered in their original hotel.  They had to decipher and try to manage the conflicts over the PRC and  Taiwan that fiercely, sometimes violently, split Chinese communities in  the US. They had to figure out Andy Warhol, and what to do about  interviews with Jiang Qing on instructions from Beijing (when Jiang Qing  was still a major political figure in China). They had to very quickly  figure out the complexities of New York real estate for a growing band  of diplomats. Professor Sidel will review a number of these events and  what became of key figures in this group.

Registration for the talk is by email invitation only, and at this time participation is limited to members of our Tiger Community, including Helen Lin's students, colleagues, family, and invited guests. We welcome friends and colleagues of Tiger Community members to join us -- please have them send us their contact information, so we can send them an invitation. Email:


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