The South China Morning Post played a little known but significant role in helping to heal the rift between authorities on the mainland and in Hong Kong following six months of rioting and demonstrations in 1967 at the height of the Cultural Revolution. In the summer of 1967, while Red Guards were spreading chaos and destruction in China, leftist workers and students staged similar demonstrations in Hong Kong. These persisted until October. When the trouble subsided, Hong Kong was left a divided community, and tensions lingered for more than a year between the government and its counterparts across the border. As passions began to cool, the Post made contact with the official representatives in Hong Kong of the Chinese government, the Xinhua News Agency. Several journalists who had contacts in Xinhua suggested a social get-together. Our China editor, David Chen, got a series of lunches going with senior officials at Xinhua, which I later began to attend. These became regular, and were held at least every two months. As relations improved, the variety of the menu enjoyed at the lunches reflected the warming of the relationship. They were often held in the dining room of the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Happy Valley. It seemed we were making progress, and so I decided to tip off a senior government official about the meetings. A positive response came back, and so an afternoon tea meeting was arranged in strict secrecy between a senior representative of the Xinhua News Agency and a senior official of the government. They met in my Bowen Road flat, on the verandah overlooking the harbour. There, amid teacups and cakes, the two men found a way for both sides gradually to normalise relations and end their standoff. Their efforts came to fruition when the governor was invited to Xinhua's official October 1 cocktail party to celebrate China's national day. The backdrop to all of this was the elevation of Deng Xiaoping, who set China on course for its decades of remarkable economic reform. Finally, the governor, Sir Murray Maclehose, and Sir Yuet-keung Kan, a senior legislator, visited Beijing and met Deng. He advised the Hong Kong representatives to tell the people of Hong Kong 'to put their hearts at ease' over the territory's future.