“I have to take his word for it: if they had found me, they would have killed me.”

Fifty years ago today, Syd Goldsmith was almost beaten to death by an angry mob in Hong Kong.

On May 11, 1967, amid rumors of unrest at a factory, Syd, then a young U.S. diplomat on his first offshore posting, was sent out into the streets to get a first-hand look.

He quickly found himself in deep trouble amid the now-famed Hong Kong riots. To this day, he counts himself lucky to be alive. Over the course of the next six months, more than 50 people would be killed as leftists battled police.

Syd has written about all this, including the tense lead-up, his close shave with death, and the fallout of the riots, in his new memoir, “Hong Kong On The Brink: An American Diplomat Relives 1967’s Darkest Days.”

In this episode of The News Lens Radio, the Taiwan-based writer and former U.S. diplomat talks about those tumultuous times in Hong Kong, and he offers his unique insight into how relations between China and Hong Kong may play out in the future.

“Hong Kong On The Brink: American Diplomat Relives 1967’s Darkest Days” is set to be published by Blacksmith Books.

About today’s guest

After his first posting to Hong Kong, Syd Goldsmith had a long and varied career as a diplomat, businessman, entrepreneur and more recently a writer. Read more about him here.

This podcast is available via the SoundCloud, Stitcher and iTunes apps.

Editor: ZiQing Low