For Hong Kong people, Sir David is best known for his acquaintances with numerous celebrities. Fragments of his colourful life with these amazing people can be found in the book. In his own words, “Lord Denning, when he was Master of the Rolls, put me in utter awe when I saw him in court; Richter playing Rachmaninoff reducing meto tears (again); smoking a cigar with Fidel Castro; having dinner with just Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, with Chris de Burgh playing "Lady in Red" afterwards; taking Princess Margaret shopping in the Chinese Emporium; watching Don Giovanni on New Year’s Day at La Scala with Isaiah Berlin; talking about the war with Freddie Ayer and Roald Dahl who slept together in the basement of the Dorchester Hotel; going on to the roof-top, shoeless with Princess Diana, of St Marco’s in Venice; watching Mick Jagger perform with Bill Clinton off-stage; being at the Queen Mother’s 100th birthday party; and sunbathing with Kate Moss!”
Having travelled all around the world, he can always give witty, sarcastic, yet thoughtful comments to various cultures and countries: “Maybe the most persuasive reason why America does not get things right is because they are incredibly insular. Only about 10% of the entire population of 280 million people have passports, and even fewer have gone abroad. Remember when President W. Bush became President, he had only been to Mexico for one day and nowhere else in the world.”
But this collection of his newspaper and magazine articles also has its serious side. As a knight educated in the UK, he has profound understanding about the English culture – “when one is speaking in English, there is no logic in using non-English words”, so he always prefers “Peking’ to “Beijing”. But what stands out in the book is his passion for the Chinese counterpart. Being the founder of China Club, Shanghai Tang and China Tang in London, he voices out his grave concerns for the future of local culture: “the fact is that there ain’t much Hong Kong cultural achievements to speak of.”
Get to know a Chink in Armour in this book.
“David brings east and west together where no-one else can and he does it with generosity and intelligence, there could be no better ambassador. Finally there is an infectious joie de vivre that pervades this fascinating book which is typical of the man. David Tang, blessed with many gifts lives life to the full and gives huge pleasure to those fortunate enough to know him.”
─ Lady Keswick, The Wife of Sir Henry Neville Lindley Keswick, the chairman of Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd., the Hong Kong Taipans.