It was an eerie ride from the airport to the government guest house in Beijing. In my years as Vice President and President, I had made official visits to the Vatican, the Kremlin, the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Versailles, and Westminster, but nothing could prepare me for this - the first visit of a President of the United States to the People's Republic of China. President Ayub Khan of Pakistan had urged me to go to China when I saw him in Karachi in 1964. He had just returned from Beijing. I asked him what impressed him most. He replied, "People, millions of people in the street clapping, cheering, waving Pakistani and Chinese flags." The curtains on the Chinese government limousine were drawn. But as I looked through the tiny openings, I could see that except for a lonely sentry stationed every few hundred yards, the streets were totally deserted.
- From In the Arena: A Memoir of Victory, Defeat and Renewal by Richard Nixon