Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Friday, February 17, 2012

Forty years on

President Nixon and Mao Zedong made history 40 years ago by beginning the process of "normalizing" relations between the two countries.

(Thanks to Melody Dickison for pointing me in the direction of this article.)

Assignment: China - "The Week That Changed The World"
解析中国之旅: 改变世界的一周
Richard Nixon's visit to China in February 1972 changed the course of history — reshaping the global balance of power and opening the door to the establishment of relations between the People's Republic and the United States.


It was also a milestone in the history of journalism. Since the Communist revolution of 1949, a suspicious regime in Beijing had barred virtually all U.S. reporters from China. For the Nixon trip, however, the Chinese agreed to accept nearly 100 journalists, and to allow the most dramatic events — Nixon's arrival in Beijing, Zhou Enlai's welcoming banquet, visits to the Great Wall and the Forbidden City — to be televised live.

The coverage was arguably as important as the details of the diplomacy. It profoundly transformed American and international perceptions of a long-isolated China, generated the public support Nixon needed to change U.S. policy, and laid the groundwork for Beijing's gradual move to open China to greater international media coverage…

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