Rapprochement with China (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: After two decades of Cold War, détente between the United States and the People’s Republic of China signals a more pragmatic approach to U.S. interests.
Summary of Event
In the eyes of the world, the harmony that emerged between the People’s Republic of China and the United States in 1972 came with stunning swiftness. For the prior generation, the two countries had been the deadliest of enemies: Americans had regarded Chinese communism as even more hateful than Russian and maintained an almost belligerent defense of Taiwan; mainland China was filled with attacks against the “paper tiger” of U.S. capitalism. In less than a year, all of this changed—or even reversed course. A U.S. table tennis team touring Japan received and accepted an invitation to visit the People’s Republic of China in April, 1971. Three months later, Henry Kissinger was in Beijing, acting as a special emissary from the president and arranging for United States leaders to make a state visit to China. In February, 1972, the actual visit occurred in a welcoming, almost effusive atmosphere. Ten months was very little time for so dramatic a realignment of national friendships, but the way had been prepared by years of developments.
Rapprochement between China and the United States followed a slow change in the logic of world affairs. In the early 1960’s, the setting of foreign policies was established and...
(The entire section is 1668 words.)
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