A colleague recently asked me where, if anywhere, one might find contemporary Chinese records of visits by foreigners (including tourists, professional delegations, journalists, “foreign friends,” etc.) to Mao’s China? What he had in mind, I believe, are such things as notes on questions that foreign visitors posed (as well as on what they were told in response, I guess) while visiting this or that People’s Commune, neighborhood committee, factory, or kindergarten.
At the time, visits to the PRC were thoroughly organized, and records of foreigners’ statements and observations were indeed produced and passed on to Perception Managers and others with a “need to know.” Today's historians interested in the 1970s should seek out and consult the SBU (Sensitive But Unclassified, i.e. 内部) 《对外宣传参考资料》edited and distributed at irregular intervals by the 新华社对外新闻编辑部 starting in January 1972. By August 1975, some 33 issues of it had appeared. Particularly interesting because of its broad coverage is a convenient compilation (in eight installments appearing from January to August 1974, in issues nos. 16–25) called “国外人士在我国各地参观访问的反映”. For the pre-Cultural Revolution years, I do not know of a similarly convenient source, but I suspect the NCNA – aided, perhaps, by the China International Travel Service – would have produced one. Perhaps other members of the PRCHISTORY list have suggestions and information that they would be prepared to share with us?