Slice of Life
Compiled by Bonny Schoonakker
From the South China Morning Post this week in: 1971
The most important story of the week was the increasing warmth and affection in the relationship between the United States and mainland China, including negotiations to pave the way for President Richard Nixon's visit to Beijing the following year. Most of the coverage came from The New York Times, culminating in the full transcript of an interview between the Times columnist James Reston with Chinese premier Zhou En-lai , published over two days across the entire leader page. Reston reported Zhou telling him, over dinner in the Fukien Hall of the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square, that 'the United States had apparently not learned in Vietnam the lessons of its failures in China. It was now trying a Vietnamisation programme of arming and supporting reactionary forces that did not have the backing of the people'. During the mainland's civil war, 'America had a 'China-isation' programme of supporting Chiang Kai-shek, who had five million men and plenty of US arms. That was where the communists got their arms, [Zhou] said, by destroying Chiang's millions and taking their US weapons. There was a very interesting photograph, [Zhou] recalled, which showed Mao Tse-tung entering Peking in an American jeep and reviewing whole rows of American guns and tanks.'
'Hong Kong's financial community' was puzzled by the sudden disappearance of the 41-year-old Edmond Ip Wing-cheong, 'a well-known manufacturer, trader, builder and recently stock broker'. Mr Ip, a former chairman of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals who had received an MBE from the Queen the previous year, had not been seen for four days. Crowds of investors had gathered outside his stockbroking offices at Realty Building and a report had been made to the Waterfront Police Station 'concerning his whereabouts'. Two days later, Mr Ip was suspended by the Kam Ngan Stock Exchange, and the newspaper reported 'there are strong rumours that Mr Ip and another missing broker, Miss Lam Wai-lai - who has been suspended from trading by the Far East Stock Exchange - are in Taiwan and that a well-known broker has flown there to persuade them to return' to Hong Kong. Mr Ip had also failed to attend a special meeting of the Committee of the Exchange, and police reported that complaints had been filed by three members of the public 'concerning financial transactions totalling more than HK$270,000'.
'Chinese people in Hong Kong are overcoming their prejudice against their sons and daughters joining prison staff.' At least one reason for this trend was that the Prisons Department was offering 'more chances of promotion to Chinese rank and file than other government departments', according to Mak Pak-lam, commandant of the Prisons Department's Staff Training Institute in Stanley, addressing a weekend briefing.
Six foreign banks - from Italy, France, West Germany (two), Pakistan and the Soviet Union - had received approval in principle to establish branches in Singapore and were likely to begin business within six months, a spokesman for Singapore's monetary authority was quoted as saying. The authority was quoted as saying that the banks would place particular emphasis on promoting international banking activities, 'in line with the government's recent call for Singapore to become the money market of South East Asia'.
A British soldier who had been sentenced to life in prison for killing a prostitute in Wan Chai was sent back to the United Kingdom. George Denis Unsworth, a 21-year-old private in the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, had been charged with the murder of Chan Wai-ching in Jaffe Road on August 18 the previous year 'and afterwards inserting a broomstick in her body'. Unsworth had been tried in November, 'but was convicted of the lesser offence of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility'. A Prisons Department spokesman was quoted as saying that it was 'normal procedure for British servicemen convicted of any crimes to be repatriated to the United Kingdom to serve their sentence in a civilian prison'.