søndag 20. februar 2022

'The Week That Changed The World': 50 Years Since Richard Nixon Visited Mao in China

Fifty years ago this coming week, President Richard Nixon ventured where no U.S. president had gone before him and carried out a state visit to China. A trip that, he humbly claimed, "changed the world." The announcement of Nixon's trip was a bombshell. It came at the height of the Cold War when an amicable visit to one of the country's fiercest and most direct ideological rivals at the time seemed inconceivable, especially from a staunch anti-Communist like Nixon.

Such was the surprise, that the Washington Post wrote: "If Mr. Nixon had revealed he was going to the moon, he could not have flabbergasted his world audience more." In his televised address to the nation on July 15, 1971, Nixon revealed his plans to visit communist China. "I have taken this action because of my profound conviction that all nations will gain from a reduction of tensions and a better relationship between the United States and the People's Republic of China," Nixon said.

On February 21, 1972, Nixon and his entourage touched down on the tarmac of a country they did not diplomatically recognize, and had had virtually no contact with for over two decades.