Peking's gift to the cuisine of New York

By , Staff correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

The People's Republic of China is sending the Big Apple a contingent of chefs to staff 10 new Szechuan-style Chinese restaurants. The first is scheduled to open within a month.

And they just could be the hottest Chinese restaurants in New York City. Szechuan- style, of course, is that ultra-hot food fare that has had growing popularity in the United States for the past 10 years.

Altogether, there are some 3,000 Chinese restaurants citywide, with an estimated 200 Szechuan-style ones from Chinatown to Brooklyn.

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The new restaurants will be run by the Nutrienox Corporation, an American firm based in New York. Company president Bian Carleton, a Chinese-American, has been in the import-export business up to now.

Reached by telephone in New York, Mr. Carleton said he was happy about the new development and that "probably" the first of the restaurants would open in January.

The news of the restaurants was first reported publicly by Xinhua, the Chinese news agency. A spokesman for the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Washington told the Monitor Dec. 27: "We don't know what kind of agreement that they've reached," referring to an agreement between his government and Nutrienox.

In any case, the development serves as further evidence that business between the United States and mainland China is taking off, trade experts here say.

Last May 10, US Secretary of Commerce Juanita Kreps and Chinese authorities signed an unprecedented agreement for an exchange of trade exhibitions in 1980. This agreement also will include bringing a coterie of chefs from Peking to the US for the Chinese exhibitions in this country, Commerce Department spokesmen say. The first such trade fair will start Sept. 13 in San Francisco, the US-China Business Development Corporation says.

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