Zhang Hanzhi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Zhang Hanzhi (Chinese: 章含之; pinyin: Zhāng Hánzhī; Wade–Giles: Chang Han-chih; 1935 – 26 January 2008) was a Chinese diplomat who was Mao Zedong's English tutor and U.S. President Richard Nixon's interpreter during his historic 1972 trip to China.

Born in Shanghai in 1935, Zhang was the illegitimate daughter of a shop assistant and the son of a prominent family. She was adopted by Zhang Shizhao. Her family moved to Beijing in 1949 and four years later, Zhang entered the Beijing Foreign Studies University, where she taught after graduating with a master's degree.

She met Mao in 1950 and then started to translate English for him. The lessons abruptly stopped in 1964 as the Cultural Revolution began taking shape. Zhang and her family and friends were persecuted although she said Mao provided protection at various times. In 1971, Zhang was transferred to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where she began her diplomatic career and attended a series of landmark meetings, including the ones with Nixon, when the countries began restoring diplomatic relations.

Zhang and her husband Hong Junyan (洪君彦), divorced in 1973. Zhang then married Qiao Guanhua.[1] She scandalized officials when she divorced Hong and married Qiao, the head of the U.N. delegation, who was 22 years older than she was. He died 10 years later.[citation needed]

On the 26 January 2008, she was reported dead. The cause of death was released as a lung-related illness.[2]

Zhang's daughter is Hung Huang, a Chinese media figure.[3]


  1. ^ "Chairman Mao's tutor dies at 73". Shanghai Daily. January 28, 2008. Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  2. ^ Barboza, David (January 29, 2008). "Zhang Hanzhi, Mao’s English Tutor, Dies at 72". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (May 20, 2008). "Two Chinese Friends, RIP". The New York Times. Retrieved October 21, 2010.