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Coca-Cola's China boss says he's "child of Shanghai Communique"

(Xinhua)

09:06, February 28, 2012

SHANGHAI, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- As the son of an American diplomat in the early days of Sino-U.S. relations, David G. Brooks spent his teenage years in Beijing shortly after President Nixon's "ice-breaking" visit to China in 1972.

Nearly 40 years later, Brooks still lives in China, but with a different identity -- president of American soft drinks giant Coca-Cola's Greater China and Korean branches.

Brooks considers himself the "child of Shanghai Communique," as his deep connections with China started with the document, Brooks said as the two countries are about to mark the 40th anniversary of the communique on Tuesday.

The 50-year-old "expert on China" spoke in fluent Mandarin during his interview with Xinhua and has a Chinese name -- "Lu Dawei."

The Shanghai Communique was released on Feb. 28, 1972, the last day of the former U.S. President Richard Nixon's China tour, laying a foundation for the two sides to resume diplomatic ties.

Brooks' father was assigned to work in the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing, which was set up in Beijing after Nixon's visit and became the U.S. Embassy in 1979 after China and the U.S. issued the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations -- the formal commencement of normal relations between the two sides.

Brooks' family moved to Beijing in 1975. Spending two years in Beijing, 13-year-old David Brooks was one of the first Americans to attend a local school in China in the mid-1970s during the Cultural Revolution.

Being the only foreign student in the 55th Middle School in the Sanlitun district, Brooks even worked in a factory and on a farm, each for a month -- extracurricular activities widely adopted by Chinese schools during the Cultural Revolution.

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