In February of 1972, US President Richard Nixon visited China and opened up the door for the normalization of Sino-US relations. Picture shows Premier Zhou Enlai welcomed President Richard Nixon at Beijing airport.

In February of 1972, US President Richard Nixon visited China and opened up the door for the normalization of Sino-US relations. Picture shows Premier Zhou Enlai welcomed President Richard Nixon at Beijing airport.

On February 21, 1972, 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.

On February 22, 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nixon held talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

On February 22, 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nixon held talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing

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.

Nixon’s trip to China was not all business.

Former U.S. president Richard Nixon toasts with Chinese Prime Minister, Chou En Lai in February 1972 in Beijing during his official visit in China.

Former U.S. president Richard Nixon toasts with Chinese Prime Minister, Chou En Lai in February 1972 in Beijing during his official visit in China.

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