Thursday, February 21, 2008

1972: President Nixon and the China moment

Who remembers Air Force One landing in China this week in 1972?  What a photo.  What a TV image for those who remember that day.

We celebrate another anniversary of President Nixon's trip to China

It is still one of the most incredible presidential trips in US history.  Can you think of another one more unexpected or revolutionary?

President Nixon built his career as an anti-communist and strong supporter of the US military superiority.  He was the last person in the world that any would have expected to go to China and shake Mao's hand.

Well, he did and changed international relations.  

His visit to China also created the political phrase or the "Nixon to China" moment.  It became a phrase to describe a presidential move that went against conventional wisdom.

Pres. Nixon's motives were to improve relations with China and divide the two communist superpowers.  He also understood the potential of China, diplomatically and economically.   Eventually, we developed our relationship with China but kept strong ties with Taiwan with care and diplomacy.

Today, China is an emerging superpower with a billion people and lots of challenges.  Time will tell whether China will continue to grow or blow up from within.  Again, time will tell.

Nevertheless, it was an amazing moment this week in 1972.

P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.



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