February 21, 1972 : Nixon in China

Introduction

President Richard M. Nixon arrives in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China, on the first presidential visit to the world’s most populous nation. Given that the U.S. federal government had formally opposed China’s communist government since it took power in 1949, Nixon was also the first president to visit a nation not recognized by the United States. In Beijing, President Nixon met with Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai.

At the Shanghai Communique on February 27, Nixon and the Chinese premier agreed to lessen the risk of war, expand cultural contacts between the two nations, and establish a permanent U.S. trade mission in China. In addition, the United States acknowledged China’s “one-China” policy and agreed to a gradual withdrawal of U.S. troops from the island of Taiwan. The two leaders also secretly discussed ways in which they could cooperate to check the growth of Soviet power in Asia and elsewhere.

Article Details:

February 21, 1972 : Nixon in China

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2010

  • Title

    February 21, 1972 : Nixon in China

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/nixon-in-china

  • Access Date

    November 17, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks