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China diary

Air force zero and another new year

By Mark Kitto   February 2012

Our local air force radar station doesn’t officially exist. Its junior personnel are friendly when we meet unless an officer is about—then they cut me dead, as if I didn’t exist. So to get a call from the station was a surprise, more so when a serviceman told me his leaders were coming to the mountain and wanted to visit our coffee shop “to sample the western-style atmosphere.”

We were closed that day and I was going to a lunch banquet which was bound to involve serious drinking. But the chance to meet a senior air force officer was too…

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