by Jeff Dufour and Kiki Ryan
Published on 5/7/2009
Yeas and Nays
“Five years ago [when I arrived] people said, you are coming at an interesting time,” said Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong Tuesday night at China’s new, I.M Pei-designed embassy, two days before its public unveiling today. “Now they still say that I’m here in an interesting time. The word ‘interesting’ can mean other things.”
The Institute for Education honored Zhou with its annual Civility Award, and presented him with a portrait by the pop artist Peter Max, who grew up in Shanghai. But stealing the show was former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, who presented Zhou with the gift. The 79-year-old, who’s still in good humor, recalled working closely with Chinese diplomats during a period of tense relations between the two countries.
“The Chinese didn’t like me much, but they liked my young boys,” he said. “It took a while to convince my son that Mao need not be followed in everything.”