Jump to content
Learn Chinese in China

Nixon and the teacups


Recommended Posts

Had visitors in town yesterday and went on one of those all-in-one Great Wall tours where you get dragged to lots of tourist stops.

I take the view that the guide's patter is made up of a few facts along with a generous helping of exaggeration, urban legends, and outright fabrication. So I'd like to check up on one bit:

Any idea what the story is behind the story that Nixon was struck dumb with amazement when he saw a demonstration of jade teacups that could be filled over the brim with tea without spilling?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

The effect in this instance is magnified by the shape of the teacup lip and the transluscence of the jade at that point, so it looks more impressive than your standard overfilled water-glass meniscus.

What puzzled me, however, was not the effect itself, but the fact that Nixon reportedly was so amazed that he wanted to take this national treasure home with him, only the jade commune wouldn't let him. Does this story have any basis in fact (ie he gave the demonstration a polite smile and thumbs-up), or is Nixon's name being attached to what is essentially a street-hawker's pitch?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...