They fed him that old Chinese favorite, veal parmesan, made him an honorary citizen of Lincoln, Ill., entertained him by hypnotizing a couple of Maine lobsters and serenaded him with a "My Fair Lady" tune.
Instead, however, of urging China's Han Hsu to "Get Me To The Church on Time" when he gets back to Peking, an Illinois congressman cautioned musically: "We hope you find a nice apartment, "And that your paycheck starts to soar "But while you're gone, sir, "Hands off Taiwan, sir, "And don't go near the Gang of Four."
For Han, until recently a key man in Washington for the People's Republic of China, the congressional send-off yesterday may have been yet another of those strange American customs grown men and women indulge in on Capitol Hill. Cooked up by two members of the Illinois congressional delegation, Rep. Paul Findley, a Republican, and Sen. Adlai Stevenson, a Democrat, the farewell luncheon attracted China hands from both political parties and the administration.
After nearly six years in China's liaison mission here, "the good news," joked Richard Holdbrooke, assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, "is that Han is leaving. The bad news is that he's going to be my counterpart in Peking."
Hidden talents, in fact, were unmasked among those called upon to entertain Han, including those of National Security Council member Mike Oksenberg.
"Let's have an H," coaxed Oksenberg, a self-confessed cheerleader in an earlier life, "let's have an A, let's have an N, gimme an X, gimme a U. Whatta job, Han Xu!"
Oksenberg, who with his boss Zbigniew Brzezinski had played an important role in the visit last week of China's Vice Premier Teng, confided that he had been unable to resist the opportunity yesterday of leading cheers -- "encouraged by the prospect of reading newspaper headlines that said 'Congressmen Cheer Administration on the Hill.'"
Grown men and women who represent states all across the country, did as Oksenberg bid, protected from staring tourists who had been rerouted from the hallway outside EF100 in the Capitol.
Then there was Sen. Edmund S. Muskie, the Maine Democrat and lobster expert whose soothing manner, apparently, lobsters cannot resist. Stroking their tails, Muskie sweet-talked them until quite unashamedly they stood on their heads on the table in front of Han.
"You must remember that lobsters are like voters," Muskie cautioned Han, a relative newcomer to democracy. "They stay hypnotized for a relatively short period of time."
Han appeared to be impressed although there seemed little opportunity for him to put Muskie's advice into practice. China has no lobsters, he said.
Han wore a gray Mao jacket and cohost Findley wore a blue one as he presided at the luncheon and then, when time started running out, helped waiters clear some tables.
To the audience which included Han's successor, Ambassador Chai Tse-min and U.S. Ambassador-designate Leonard Woodcock, Stevenson offered translations of old Chinese proverbs to explain the normalization of relations between the United States and China.
He who wants to steal abroad needs a local helper;
Great politeness means I want something;
Do not remove a fly from your friend's head with a hatchet.