pdf of Pastor General’s Report – December 12, 1979 e-Book of Pastor General’s Report – December 12, 1979 link to Pastor General’s Report – December 12, 1979
Pastor General’s Report – December 12, 1979
Pastor General’s Report – December 12, 1979
A First in the Colossus of China!

by Herbert W. Armstrong

The visit to Communist PEOPLES’ REPUBLIC OF CHINA was a significant FIRST! It was the first time a world church leader from the world of Christianity had been invited to visit, speak publicly, and meet privately with leaders of the vast Peoples’ Republic of China.

These Chinese leaders with whom we spent four jam-packed days represent and rule over ONE BILLION PEOPLE – A THOUSAND MILLION – one-fourth of all the people on earth!

I myself had not realized before that China occupies even more square miles of land area than the United States!

Except possibly our many visits to, and friendships made in ISRAEL, this was the MOST IMPORTANT, and the most successful trip ever made overseas. We were royally received and treated.

A full report of our visit will appear in the February PLAIN TRUTH, and perhaps the same report earlier in either the GOOD NEWS or the Worldwide News.

We arrived Tokyo Friday, November 30. Flew on to Peking Sunday December 2, arriving late afternoon. Three government limousines were driven up to our plane on landing and a reception committee was there to welcome us – including the president and vice-president of the government library and educational system. A woman interpreter was assigned to us, who rode with Mrs. Armstrong and me to the government guest State House. This is an apartment building maintained for government guests. Mrs. Armstrong and I were given a three-room suite, Mr. and Mrs. Rader a suite, and there were single rooms for all the rest of our staff, including aircraft staff and our TV and cameramen.

There was a welcoming dinner for us that evening. Monday evening was the big dinner at the Peking Duck Restaurant in a large room, with close to 400 present – government and university officials and wives. I spoke there, and I think many of you already have heard the tape recording of the speech program.

In most of my talks and speeches there I handled the Gospel of the Kingdom Message by speaking of the problems today being too great for any government to handle, but that what many scientists predict – the need of a ONE-WORLD Government with one single military force – will be brought about in OUR TIME, with WORLD PEACE and eternal salvation for all, brought about by a “strong unseen Hand from Someplace.” That way I avoided using names of God, Christ, or the Bible, which I felt might be hostile to them since they are atheists. Yet they all knew well that I am leader of the Worldwide Church of God, and they knew well what I really meant. It was just said in a polite way, unoffensive to them – yet unmistakably getting the message over.

Tuesday night, after a day’s trip to the Great Wall of China, I spoke to the Diplomatic Corps. Beside Chinese officials, there were present FIFTY-SEVEN ambassadors – officials from 57 OTHER NATIONS! The speaking that night was also taped. You’ll probably hear it next Sabbath.

This dinner was held in the Great Hall of the People in spacious Peoples’ Square. It is a huge building, filling an entire block, and housing government headquarters. The dining room is larger than a U.S. football field!

Wednesday morning we visited the State Library and Forbidden City – the walled-in former headquarters and palaces of the Emperors – now apparently just a sightseeing place. There was a luncheon, with no speaking except the usual continual round of toasts.

At 4 p.m. we had a meeting lasting one hour with one of the two Vice-Chairmen. The other Vice-Chairman and Chairman Hua were at the same time at the airport welcoming Prime Minister Ohira of Japan, who was just arriving for important talks on the Korea and Viet Nam situations – crucial to them right now.

Wednesday evening we attended a show at a theatre, sponsored by the AICF. It was a series of semi-ballet performances – quite a spectacular performance. Mr. Rader will probably arrange for the troupe to appear at Ambassador Auditorium, with other appearances in New York, Chicago, Washington, and other U.S. cities. There was great applause from the audience when I walked in, and Mrs. Armstrong and I, with Mr. and Mrs. Rader, were whisked up on the stage at the conclusion, shaking hands with the many performers, as the audience applauded.

That had been an exhausting day. But Thursday at noon we drove to the airport and flew back to Tokyo.

Saturday night there was an important banquet in my honor in Tokyo with several ambassadors and wives and chief officials from the Chinese Embassy present.

Sunday evening, 6 p.m., our aircraft was taking off for Tucson. We arrived here in Tucson Sunday afternoon, hours before we left Tokyo. When you ARRIVE before you START, that’s speed! Of course we were helped by the International Date Line.

So the long-anticipated visit to Communist China has come and gone – a huge success, as we all believe.