Tuesday, February 21, 2017

1972: President Nixon in China

One of the benefits of old age is that you remember President Nixon's surprising trip to China in 1972.  It caught everyone by surprise.  It must be one of the best kept secrets in modern history:

"In an amazing turn of events, President Richard Nixon takes a dramatic first step toward normalizing relations with the communist People's Republic of China (PRC) by traveling to Beijing for a week of talks. Nixon's historic visit began the slow process of the re-establishing diplomatic relations between the United States and communist China."

Nobody expected such a move from President Nixon, the anti-communist.  At the same time, it was proof of President Nixon's brilliance and his ability to look forward and promote US interests.

Again, I'm old enough to remember watching the scenes on the evening news.  It's amazing how China has changed, from all of those people in bicycles to huge cities polluted by industries and cars.   

Was it the right thing to do?    We are still debating that today.     

We remember Henry Kissinger, who became Secretary of State a year later in 1973.  Also, President Nixon discussed the trip in his memoirs.



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