Nixon visit paved way for China rise
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A Chinese man looks at a sculpture of the handshake between the late former President Richard Nixon and the late Chinese Premier1 Zhou Enlai in Beijing on Nov. 20, 2002.
Nov. 7 - Almost 35 years after President Richard Nixon startled the world by visiting China, the boldness of the trip and his meeting with Mao Zedong still capture the imagination.


The week-long visit in February 1972 has often been portrayed2 as a remarkable3 success that allowed a vehemently4 anti-communist U.S. president to repair ties with China, put pressure on the Soviet5 Union and help ease Washington's path out of the Vietnam War.


"This was the week that changed the world," Nixon declared at the end of the visit.


The United States had refused to recognize China after the communist takeover in 1949, and bilateral6 ties had been icy for years.


By the end of the 1960s, however, both nations needed each other. A diplomatically isolated7 and backward China, trying to recover from the disastrous8 reforms known as the Cultural Revolution, fretted9 about a possible attack by the neighboring Soviet Union.


The United States, also worried about Moscow, wanted to boost its position in Asia and hoped China could help persuade ally North Vietnam to call a halt to hostilities10. So Nixon reversed two decades of official policy and went to Beijing.


Although the hour-long talk between Nixon and Mao rarely went beyond generalities, the meeting was hugely significant.


"It was an earthquake in the Cold War landscape and meant the Eastern Bloc11 no longer stood firm against the West," MacMillan writes in "Nixon in China."


MacMillan, author of the best-selling book "Paris 1919," says Washington took a huge risk before Nixon's trip.


As part of a bid to show good faith, national security adviser12 Henry Kissinger gave China reams of secret U.S. spy data on the Soviet Union.


"They came rather as supplicants to the Chinese and they handed over huge amounts of intelligence and I think they left the Chinese with the impression that really the Americans needed them more than the Chinese needed the Americans," MacMillan told Reuters in an interview.


In truth, the Chinese desperately13 needed help to escape what China's State Information Minister Cai Wu calls the chaos14 of the Cultural Revolution.


"Nixon's visit opened a door at that time for China to the rest of the world," he said during a recent visit to Ottawa.


Almost hidden among the fanfare15, banquets and media frenzy16 was the joint17 commitment to boost academic contacts as well as trade -- topics which did not interest Kissinger or Nixon.


"The maximum amount of bilateral trade possible between us, even if we make great efforts, is infinitesimal in terms of our total economy," Kissinger told deputy Chinese Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua.


In reality, the academic visits quickly helped China build up vital knowledge and skills. And the promise of greater access to U.S. markets was crucial.


After Mao died in 1976, his successors launched economic reforms that turned China into the powerhouse that is now, running a $200 billion trade surplus with the United States. China helps keep its rival afloat by buying vast amounts of U.S. debt.


And despite Nixon's hopes, the China card did not result in effective pressure on North Vietnam to reach a peace deal.


Even without Nixon's visit, she feels, China and the United States would eventually have come to an understanding.


1 premier R19z3     
  • The Irish Premier is paying an official visit to Britain.爱尔兰总理正在对英国进行正式访问。
  • He requested that the premier grant him an internview.他要求那位总理接见他一次。
2 portrayed a75f5b1487928c9f7f165b2773c13036     
v.画像( portray的过去式和过去分词 );描述;描绘;描画
  • Throughout the trial, he portrayed himself as the victim. 在审讯过程中,他始终把自己说成是受害者。
  • The author portrayed his father as a vicious drunkard. 作者把他父亲描绘成一个可恶的酒鬼。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
3 remarkable 8Vbx6     
  • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills.她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
  • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines.这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
4 vehemently vehemently     
adv. 热烈地
  • He argued with his wife so vehemently that he talked himself hoarse. 他和妻子争论得很激烈,以致讲话的声音都嘶哑了。
  • Both women vehemently deny the charges against them. 两名妇女都激烈地否认了对她们的指控。
5 Soviet Sw9wR     
  • Zhukov was a marshal of the former Soviet Union.朱可夫是前苏联的一位元帅。
  • Germany began to attack the Soviet Union in 1941.德国在1941年开始进攻苏联。
6 bilateral dQGyW     
  • They have been negotiating a bilateral trade deal.他们一直在商谈一项双边贸易协定。
  • There was a wide gap between the views of the two statesmen on the bilateral cooperation.对双方合作的问题,两位政治家各自所持的看法差距甚大。
7 isolated bqmzTd     
  • His bad behaviour was just an isolated incident. 他的不良行为只是个别事件。
  • Patients with the disease should be isolated. 这种病的患者应予以隔离。
8 disastrous 2ujx0     
  • The heavy rainstorm caused a disastrous flood.暴雨成灾。
  • Her investment had disastrous consequences.She lost everything she owned.她的投资结果很惨,血本无归。
9 fretted 82ebd7663e04782d30d15d67e7c45965     
  • The wind whistled through the twigs and fretted the occasional, dirty-looking crocuses. 寒风穿过枯枝,有时把发脏的藏红花吹刮跑了。 来自英汉文学
  • The lady's fame for hitting the mark fretted him. 这位太太看问题深刻的名声在折磨着他。
10 hostilities 4c7c8120f84e477b36887af736e0eb31     
  • Mexico called for an immediate cessation of hostilities. 墨西哥要求立即停止敌对行动。
  • All the old hostilities resurfaced when they met again. 他们再次碰面时,过去的种种敌意又都冒了出来。
11 bloc RxFzsg;联盟
  • A solid bloc of union members support the decision.工会会员团结起来支持该决定。
  • There have been growing tensions within the trading bloc.贸易同盟国的关系越来越紧张。
12 adviser HznziU     
  • They employed me as an adviser.他们聘请我当顾问。
  • Our department has engaged a foreign teacher as phonetic adviser.我们系已经聘请了一位外籍老师作为语音顾问。
13 desperately cu7znp     
  • He was desperately seeking a way to see her again.他正拼命想办法再见她一面。
  • He longed desperately to be back at home.他非常渴望回家。
14 chaos 7bZyz     
  • After the failure of electricity supply the city was in chaos.停电后,城市一片混乱。
  • The typhoon left chaos behind it.台风后一片混乱。
15 fanfare T7by6     
  • The product was launched amid much fanfare worldwide.这个产品在世界各地隆重推出。
  • A fanfare of trumpets heralded the arrival of the King.嘹亮的小号声宣告了国王驾到。
16 frenzy jQbzs     
  • He was able to work the young students up into a frenzy.他能激起青年学生的狂热。
  • They were singing in a frenzy of joy.他们欣喜若狂地高声歌唱。
17 joint m3lx4     
  • I had a bad fall,which put my shoulder out of joint.我重重地摔了一跤,肩膀脫臼了。
  • We wrote a letter in joint names.我们联名写了封信。