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John Holden's sharing of 4 decades' rewarding experience about China

Xinhua/chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-12-05 08:14

Holden and Yuan Ming (left), dean of Peking University's Yenching Academy, pose with a scholar during the graduation ceremony for the academy's inaugural class in Beijing in 2016. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Holden got an unexpected opportunity to make his first trip to China in June 1974 when he was just graduating from college, and a series of people-to-people exchanges took place between the two countries following the "Ping-Pong Diplomacy" in 1971 and President Richard Nixon's dramatic trip to China in the spring of 1972.

Holden took the opportunity. He sold his double bass for 2,500 US dollars to pay the trip.

"So that's how I got to China. I went with the group, arrived in Hong Kong and then traveled for three weeks in the mainland," said Holden, adding that the trip took him to Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Xi'an, Yan'an, and Beijing.

"It's difficult to understand any other country, but as you do understand some of the history, that makes it a lot easier," he said.

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