Why did President Nixon make efforts to improve relations with Communist China?
A) to open the Chinese market to American products
B) to ensure American athletes could attend the Olympics there
C) to ensure China would not enter the Vietnam War
D) to put pressure on the Soviet Union to cooperate more with the United States
Of the options that are given in this question, the best answer is D. The main reason why Nixon wanted to improve relations with China was so as to put pressure on the Soviet Union to also improve relations with the US.
During the late 60s and early 70s, relations between China and the Soviet Union were tense. Knowing this, Nixon tried to play the two off against one another by opening relations with China. He reasoned that a thaw between the US and China would worry the Soviets. The Soviets would, Nixon thought, worry that the US and China would act together against the Soviet Union. It was largely for this reason that Nixon tried (and succeded) to improve relations with China.
President Nixon made efforts to improve relations with Communist China to put pressure on the Soviet Union to cooperate more with the United States. Both Communist China and the Soviet Union were strong, communist countries. President Nixon believed if we became friendlier with Communist China, the Soviet Union would want to work closer with us because they would be fearful we might start favoring Communist China.
As a result of President Nixon’s visit to China, we eventually began to do more trading with them. President Nixon also discussed that the United States would recognize the government of Communist China as China’s official government. The Soviet Union was watching this closely. After President Nixon visited China, there was a summit meeting held in the Soviet Union between President Nixon and Leonid Brezhnev. This led to an agreement, called SALT I, to reduce the number of nuclear weapons each country had.
The correct answer to this question is letter D. President Nixon believed that playing one country against the other would lead to better relations with both countries.
President Nixon and his administrations had several reasons to end hostilities with the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). The best answer in this case would be D because the U.S. was aiming to put pressure on the Soviet Union to cooperate with the United States. This was supported by the fact that President Nixon visited Beijing, China in February to normalize relations. The visit to PRC yielded expected results according to the U.S. because in May (same year) the President made a visit to the Soviet Union which led to the start of disarmament and arms control negotiations as seen in the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty talks (SALT 1). The effect of both visits was seen as an attempt by the United States administration to reduce future conflicts with Communist regimes and undermine their relations, eventually earning the U.S. leverage over the Soviet Union.