Thursday, February 21, 2008

1972: The 'Nixon to China' moment

On this day in 1972, President Richard M. Nixon made history by landing in China. 

It was the story of the year and one of the most interesting foreign-policy decisions of the post-war period.  After all, who would have believed that anti-communist Nixon would shake hands with Mao?

President Nixon's move paved the way for the China of today. In other words, cars instead of bicycles and skyscrapers instead of simple buildings. It also contributed to the outsourcing of thousands of manufacturing jobs, i.e. "Made in China" is everywhere!  

The jury is still out on just how much the U.S. got out of this arrangement.   Nevertheless, as Seth Mandel wrote a couple of years ago, President Nixon left us with a great expression, or  ".....any major politician’s rebuke to his ideological compatriots, no matter how superficial, is a “Nixon-to-China moment.”"

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