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"Mr. Deng Goes to Washington" Hits Chinese Cinemas Today
   2015-05-13 11:23:06    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu

Poster of "Mr. Deng goes to Washington". This documentary film hits cinemas on the Chinese mainland on Friday, May 15, 2015. [Photo: agencies]

"Mr. Deng goes to Washington", a film about late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's official visit to the United States in 1979, will hit Chinese theaters on May 15. The film details the then vice premier's visit from late January to early February, including receptions, meetings with American politicians, TV interviews and other events. Lai Ming has more.


Chinese historical and political thriller "Mr. Deng Goes to Washington" will hit town later this week.

The movie contains never-before-seen footage documented by local media when late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping paid a nine-day visit to the United States in 1979.

The historic visit, made less than a month after China and America established diplomatic ties, brought monumental changes to the Sino-US relationship. Dr. Teng Jianqun is a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies.

"It was a very important opportunity for people of the United States to learn about and begin to understand China. It also helped the Chinese leaders learn about the rapid development in the US and the importance of developing friendly relations between the two countries. After the nine-day visit, Sino-US relationship began to develop towards the goal of fostering amity and regional stability."

Today, those who witnessed Deng's visit are still paying close attention to China. Director Fu Hongxing summarizes their opinions after interviewing American politicians including Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski.

"These older generation politicians are glad to see China developing so fast, that was their goal in the first place, to help the Chinese people prosper. But they never expected the development to be so tremendous, the speed, the volume. Now they believe China needs to address the problem of corruption and develop a mature legal system. They realize China is now working on these issues, and they believe the efforts are good for China and will in turn bolster Sino-US relationship."

Deng Xiaoping's visit also touched the hearts of ordinary American citizens. In 1979 when Deng was in Simonton, Texas, the Josey sisters performed a rodeo show for the vice premier. Today many Chinese people still remember the moment Deng put on a cowboy hat given by one of the sisters, but few people knew there had been a small accident that day when one of the sisters fell from her horse. Director Fu Hongxing includes the anecdote in his movie.

"Deng Xiaoping was concerned and sent his own doctor to check on her. The sisters have been training on horseback since they were children, so the girl was all right. But they were touched because Deng cared so much about two country-girls in the US. The memory remained in their minds for more than 30 years."

Director Fu believes the most successful form of diplomacy is to win people's hearts and create opportunities for them. Over the decades CEO of New Oriental Education and Technology Yu Minhong has seen his English language training outfit turn into a 4 billion-dollar company. He is in the film as an example of those who benefited from deeper communication between China and the US.

"I take part in the film because I care about that part of history. In each and everyone's life, there are days that make a difference for ourselves or others. Knowing more about these days will shed light on how we should live ours."

Yu is referring to Deng's nine day visit in the US, but Dr. Teng Jianqun believes that perhaps today is one of those days.

"Both China and America's roles in international affairs are undergoing dramatic changes. We are now witnessing more competition between them in terms of security and trade. But on the other hand, both sides are also deepening cooperation. So at this moment, it is important for both countries to avoid face-to-face confrontation and keep the momentum going for win-win collaboration."

That's also the idea conveyed in "Mr. Deng Goes to Washington." Director Fu Hongxing hopes the film can both be a valuable archive about an important episode in history, and a source of inspiration for Chinese and American people who will continue to benefit from friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

For CRI, I'm Laiming.

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