Friday, September 4, 2009

The Softer Side of Henry Kissinger

. Friday, September 4, 2009

The NY Times ran a short profile on Jon Huntsman Jr., the new U.S. Ambassador to China. He represents a bit of a departure from previous ambassadors: he's a former governor (of Utah), speaks Mandarin fluently, spent several years in Taiwan as a Mormon missionary, and his family has had significant business dealings in China (he claims to have no personal stake in the chemical company that bears the family name). It appears that his primary mandate is to get movement on climate change coordination, so good luck to him.

But the most interesting part of the article comes at the end:

Mr. Huntsman’s fascination with China goes back to July 1971, when as an 11-year-old he visited the Nixon White House with his father, who was then serving as a special assistant.

At the time, he says, he met Henry A. Kissinger and helped carry his bags to a waiting car, which was about to take Mr. Kissinger to the airport on a secret and historic mission.

“I said to him, ‘Where are you going?’ ” he recalled Wednesday. “And he said, ‘Please don’t tell anyone. I’m going to China.’ ”

Thirty-eight years later, so is Huntsman Jr., and godspeed. I pretty much despise Kissinger, but it is funny to visualize that anecdote. Actually, it's funny to imagine any interaction between Kissinger and a child.


The Softer Side of Henry Kissinger




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