• Short Summary

    EDITORS: THIS IS A PROFILE OF CHOU-EN LAI, PRIME MINISTER OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA.

  • Description

    EDITORS: THIS IS A PROFILE OF CHOU-EN LAI, PRIME MINISTER OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA. IT COVERS THE EVENTS FROM THE GENEVA CONFERENCE ON FAR EASTERN AFFAIRS IN APRIL 1954, UNTIL HIS RETURN FROM THE TOUR OF AFRICA EARLIER THIS YEAR.

    A COMMENTARY ISSUED FROM VISNEWS, LONDON, 14 SEPTEMBER 1964, HEADED 'CHOU-EN LAI OBITUARY' AND BEARING THIS PRODUCTION NUMBER IS TO BE DISREGARDED. THIS COMMENTARY IS TO BE USED WITH THIS PRODUCTION, WHICH IS NOT FROM THE VISNEWS BACKGROUND UNIT.

    SYNOPSIS: CHOU-EN LAI, ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND ITS FIRST PRIME MINISTER. TO THE WESTERN WORLD, CHOU-EN LAI IS A RELATIVE NEWCOMER TO POLITICS, BUT IN THE HIERARCHY OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY HE ENJOYS A SINGULAR POSITION BUILT-UP OVER FOUR DECADES AS A PARTY WORKER AND LEADER. HE FIRST CAUGHT THE LIMELIGHT IN THE WEST DURING THE EVENTFUL GENEVA CONFERENCE IN APRIL 1954 ON FAR EASTERN AFFAIRS. WITH THE PRESS OR WITH FIGURES LIKE PREMIER MENDES-FRANCE OF FRANCE HE WAS QUITE AT EASE.

    HIS EDUCATION AND ARISTOCRATIC ORIGIN FITTED HIM FOR THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMAT AND IT WAS NO SURPRISE THAT HE SHOULD NEGOTIATE WITH THE THEN U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL, DAG HAMMARSKJOELD, THE RELEASE OF AMERICAN P.O.W'S HELD SINCE THE KOREAN WAR.

    THE ROLE OF ROVING AMBASSADOR FOR THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC FELL TO CHOU-EN LAI ON MANY OCCASIONS - INCLUDING THE IMPORTANT AFRO-ASIAN CONFERENCE AT BANDUNG IN 1955. HIS EARLY PARTY TRAINING AND HIS SUBSEQUENT CAREER HAD FITTED HIM FOR THE PART OF ORGANISER AS WELL AS DIPLOMAT.

    IN THE SIXTEEN YEARS SINCE THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC WAS ESTABLISHED IN CHINA, CHOU-EN LAI EMERGED AS THE INTERNATIONAL SPOKESMAN FOR THE GOVERNMENT. THIS WAS DEMONSTRATED FOR TALKS WITH THE LATE PRIME MINISTER, MR. NEHRU OF THE SINO-INDIAN BORDER DISPUTE.

    ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO EXERCISE HIS ABILITY IN THE WORLD ARENA FOLLOWED THE VISIT TO NEW DELHI. IT OCCURRED IN 1961 WHEN HE CALLED AT RANGOON, TO COMPLETE THE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE SINO-BURMESE ACCORD. FROM THESE ASIAN VISITS CAME THE JOINT DECLARATION BY CHOU-EN LAI AND ASIAN STATESMEN OF THE "FIVE PRINCIPLES OF PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE".

    HIS STUDIES IN FRANCE AND HIS TRADITIONAL CHINESE UPBRINGING GAVE CHOU-EN LAI A MANY SIDED CHARACTER - A COMPOUND OF WESTERN MODERNITY WITH THE TRADITIONALISM OF A CONFUCIAN SCHOLAR. IN POLITICS HE PROVED JUST AS TRADITIONAL - AN "OLD SCHOOL" MARXIST DIALECTICIAN. HIS APPEARANCE AT 22ND CONGRESS OF THE SOVIET COMMUNIST PARTY IN MOSCOW, RESULTED IN THE FIRST OPEN IDEOLOGICAL CLASH BETWEEN RUSSIAN AND CHINESE COMMUNISTS.. A SITUATION WHICH BECAME WORSE IN THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED. 1961.

    THE IDEOLOGICAL BATTLE EXTENDED INTO THE INTERNATIONAL SPHERE. IN 1964, CHOU-EN LAI EMBARKED ON HIS TOUR OF AFRICA - VISITING THE UNITED ARAB REPUBLIC, AMONG THE ELEVEN NATIONS IN A MAMMOTH 55-DAY TOUR.

    FROM THE U.A.R. HE WENT TO TUNISIA WHERE HE MET PRESIDENT BOURGUIBA FOR TALKS. CULTURAL EXCHANGES, TRADE AND CHINESE AID BECAME TALKING POINTS AS THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC SEARCHED FOR INTERNATIONAL CONTACTS BEYOND THE ISOLATION IMPOSED BY THE KOREAN WAR. THE TOUR WASN'T CONFINED TO THE ARAB STATES, IT RANGED TO THE NEWLY INDEPENDENT NATIONS OF THE AFRICAN CONTINENT.

    AN UNASSUMING MAN WITH A WELL-MODULATED VOICE AND WELL-GROOMED APPEARANCE, HE IMPRESSED ALL, INCLUDING THE PEOPLE OF GHANA, WITH HIS AFFABILITY AND GOODWILL. IF THERE COULD BE DOUBTS ABOUT THE POLITICAL OUTCOME OF HIS AFRICAN TOUR, THERE COULD BE NONE ABOUT THE PERSONAL TRIUMPH OF ONE OF THE DOYENS OF CHINESE STATESMEN.

    THE TOUR PROGRESSED WITH ALMOST KALEIDOSCOPIC MONOTONY. FROM GHANA, CHOU-EN LAI FLEW TO THE REPUBLIC OF MALI. THERE WERE SPEECHES AND THERE WERE RECEPTIONS, AND CHOU-EN LAI WAS NEVER FOUND WANTING WHEN IT CAME TO NOTING THE PROGRESS WHICH THE NATIONS OF AFRICA HAD MADE SINCE INDEPENDENCE. IT WASN'T AN OUTWARD SHOW - MUCH TIME WAS SPENT IN CHOU-EN LAI'S PARTICULAR FIELD, DISCUSSION AROUND THE CONFERENCE TABLE.

    AT THE END OF THE TOUR, A HERO'S WELCOME IN PEKING. TO GREET HIM, HIS LIFE LONG COLLEAGUE, MAO TSE TUNG AND THOUSANDS OF CHINESE. AS MUCH TRAVELLED AS HE IS, CHOU-EN LAI REMAINS THE PRIME MINISTER OF A NATION OF THE 650 MILLION PEOPLE - THE LARGEST ON EARTH. HE HAS TENDED TO BE THE ADMINISTRATORS WHILE MAO TSE TUNG AND LIU SHA???-CHI APPEAR TO BE THE TERRORISTS OF THE CHINESE PARTY. UNLIKE THEM TOO, HE WAS BORN AN ARISTOCRAT NOT A PEASANT. CHOU-EN LAI HAS REFLECTED ALL THE FACETS OF HIS VARIED NATURE - DIPLOMAT, SCHOLAR AND POLITICIAN.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5MF9FOMAFC3P4XL8YVN9NWHBE
    Media URN:
    VLVA5MF9FOMAFC3P4XL8YVN9NWHBE
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    15/09/1964
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:04:23:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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