Essay

Diplomacy & language

Print edition : November 22, 2019

October 2, 1959: Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and Nikita S. Khrushchev, first Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding talks in Peking (Beijing). Also present are Liu Shao-Chi (left), Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the CPC and M.A. Suslov (right), member of the presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU. Photo: XINHUA

Sir Nevile Henderson about to leave Heston for Berlin, bearing with him the British Cabinet’s reply to Hitler’s proposals. Photo: The Hindu Archives

Germany signing non-aggression pacts with Estonia and Latvia. German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop is in the centre. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Lapses from civility are rare in diplomacy, but the diplomat’s reputation for care in the use of language has at times landed him in trouble.

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