A recent photo of Ms. Ge Qiyun. Ms. Ge Qiyun, born in 1926, graduated from the Foreign Languages Department of Fudan University in Shanghai. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1950 and worked in the International Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the liaison office in the United States and the embassy in the United States. (Xinhuanet Feng Yanqiang photo taken on December 31, 2008)
Xinhuanet, Beijing, December 31st (Xu Qian, Feng Yanqiang) "George H.W. Bush was elected president of the United States in November 1988. As in the past three years, he still came to the China Embassy in the United States for Christmas in December, and we invited them to eat roast duck. They are coming for roast duck. They especially like Beijing roast duck and Zhajiang Noodles in old Beijing. " Ge Qiyun, wife of Han Xu, former China ambassador to the United States, said with a smile when talking about former US President George W. Bush.
On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, Xinhuanet interviewed Ms. Ge Qiyun. Ge Qiyun, who is in her seventies, is energetic and amiable. From her, you can feel the atmosphere and easygoing of the older generation of diplomats in China. As a witness in the process of establishing diplomatic relations and development between China and the United States, Ge Qiyun told reporters about the interesting diplomatic past between China and the United States.
"I think the American people are very easy to get along with. The American people are very lovely and enthusiastic. They are more active in thinking, as can be seen from their usual clothes, and they are more casual. Americans are very humorous, and high-level people will joke, which left a particularly deep impression on me. " When talking about his impression of Americans, Ge Qiyun showed his affection for the American people without reservation.
Ge Qiyun excitedly talked about his interesting experience in the "barbecue club"-American Journalists Association. The so-called "barbecue club" is not a place to eat barbecue, but a place for American journalists to meet, where they "barbecue" American political elites, find fault with them and make a fool of themselves.
On the evening of February 9, 1988, President Reagan and his wife held a reception for the diplomatic envoys of various countries in the United States. The picture shows the Reagan couple taking a photo with China’s Ambassador Han Xu and his wife. President Reagan wrote an inscription on the photo: "Best wishes to His Excellency Ambassador Han Xu of People’s Republic of China (PRC) and his wife, Ronald Reagan."
Ge Qiyun still remembers the anecdote of her first meeting in the "Barbecue Club". At that time, the object of "barbecue" was Reagan, then president. After Reagan arrived, the reporters below made things difficult for him. "Do you remember this, Madam President?" Reagan replied, "I don’t remember. I forgot all about it." Everyone burst into laughter. They are either malicious or just joking. Because Reagan became president in his 70 s, his memory declined. When people ask him any questions, he often answers, "I forgot."
Another time I played a joke on Barbara, the wife of George H.W. Bush. Barbara has silver hair and never dyes her hair. She shows her true colors. Journalists like to make fun of her and persuade her to dye her hair and look younger, but Barbara, who has a strong personality, is dismissive. However, on one occasion, Barbara intentionally wore a black fake headgear to attend a party of the "barbecue club", but it was quickly discovered by reporters, and the audience burst into laughter and gave warm applause.
George H.W. Bush spent Christmas at the China Embassy four times.
Before the interview, the reporter heard that Han and Xu had a deep friendship with the Bush couple. Korea and Syria worked in the United States for 10 years before and after, but the friendship with President Bush began in 1974, when Bush was the director of the US Liaison Office in China.
When he was the director of the liaison office in Beijing, George H.W. Bush used to cycle around the streets in order to get to know more about the people of China. This practice was extremely rare among foreign ambassadors to China at that time, and it became an interesting story for a while.
On December 23rd, 1988, China’s ambassador to the United States, Mr. and Mrs. Han Xu, hosted a Christmas dinner for newly elected US President George Bush and his wife Barbara. This photo was taken on December 23rd, but after President Bush signed an inscription on August 14th, 1989, he asked General scowcroft, the US National Security Assistant who was about to visit China, to give it to Han Xu when he visited China. Bush wrote an inscription on the photo: "Pay tribute and friendship to Han Xu and Ge Qiyun-well done, Mr. Ambassador! George Bush, August 14, 1989 "
Ge Qiyun also talked about the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Bush went to the China Embassy in the United States for Christmas. "Americans like to eat turkey at Christmas, which means the same thing as our Chinese New Year package in jiaozi. But when we invited them, we invited them to eat roast duck. In Beijing’s roast duck restaurant, it is said that ducks are roasted with jujube wood, but at that time, the embassy didn’t have that condition, only an electric stove. They came for ducks and especially liked to eat roast duck. When they left, we didn’t send any heavy gifts, just green onions, sweet noodle sauce and Zhenjiang vinegar. "
In 1988, George H.W. Bush was elected President of the United States. Ge Qiyun said: "On Christmas Day in December, George H.W. Bush led the whole family, including the current President George W. Bush and his wife, to the China Embassy in the United States for Christmas. At that time, we had a colleague here who was very talented. He wrote a poem for the Bush Sr. and his wife, accompanied by an American tune, and asked someone to sing it in Bel Canto, which moved Mrs. Bush Barbara. "
When the Bush Sr. and his family came to China’s embassy in the United States for Christmas, Ge Qiyun said, "They are still treated to the same things and eat roast duck. Bush senior is very low-key and unassuming, giving people the feeling that he is close. The Bush family has played a great role in promoting Sino-US relations. "
Ge Qiyun presented her personal calligraphy work "Dragon Eagle" to Mrs. Bush Barbara at the China Embassy in the United States, and wrote an inscription: Sino-US friendship will last forever, and Ms. Barbara bush will survive.
"George H.W. Bush and his wife are very traditional. Some values and family values are very similar to ours. They are all traditional." Talking about George H.W. Bush, Ge Qiyun still remembers it vividly, and his face is full of nostalgia.
From 1985 to 1989, when Han Xu was the ambassador to the United States, the Bush Sr. and his wife spent Christmas with Han Xu at the China Embassy in the United States for four years in a row. For the last time, Bush Sr. led the whole family, including the current President George W. Bush, to spend Christmas at the China Embassy in the United States, which was unique among previous American presidents.
Ge Qiyun has been away from the United States for many years, and Han Xu has been dead for more than ten years, but American friends such as President Bush Sr. still keep in touch with Ge Qiyun. Their relationship proves a famous song "Friendship lasts forever".
"2009 is the 30th anniversary of Sino-US relations, which is of great significance. My feeling is that it is hard-won. Han Xu worked there for 10 years, and after he came back, he was in charge of the work of the United States for 6 years, so he had a lot of experience in the work of the United States. The relationship between China and the United States has experienced many twists and turns, but it will definitely get better and better. This is not based on human will, "Ge Qiyun said.
Editor: Li Erqing