By Betty Young
For many years I held in my heart a desire to visit the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the land of my ancestors. I wanted to walk the villages where generations of my family lived out their lives. It wasn’t until President Nixon visited in 1972 that I, along with other Americans, viewed images of Mao-era China. This presidential visit ended 25 years of no communication and no diplomatic ties between the two countries.
On January 1, 1979, the United States established diplomatic relations with the PRC which opened up opportunities to travel there. Without hesitation, I signed up with one of the many San Francisco Chinatown travel agencies that started to offer tours to China—the only option for travel to China available at that time. If you wanted to see China, the only way was to join a tour group with a tour company approved by the Chinese government. Read more