A Texas Rodeo

February 1979. It was very much like an American Presidential state visit.   For the first time a press plane packed with reporters followed a Chinese leader across America, chronicling his every move: from a White House cabinet meeting to a Texas rodeo.

From Beijing to Washington, Atlanta, Houston, and Seattle: it was a whirlwind tour.  Deng Xiaoping was treated as a celebrity wherever he went.  Houston was the most memorable stop.  First the Johnson Space Center.  Then a rodeo.   My Chinese colleagues travelling with me on the press plane were astounded to see their leader don a ‘ten gallon’ hat.   Deng Xiaoping appeared to genuinely enjoy himself.  [more coming soon]