President Nixon Goes to China
Look at the tags on your clothes or your
backpack and see where they were made. There's a chance it was
China. Today, the U.S. has an open-trade policy with China,
which means goods are traded freely between the two countries,
but it wasn't always this way. On February 21, 1972,
President Richard M. Nixon arrived in China for an official
trip. He was the first U.S. president to visit the People's
Republic of China since it was established in 1949. This was an
important event because the U.S. was seeking to improve
relations with a Communist country during the Cold War. What
sorts of issues do you think Nixon discussed?
visit to China, Nixon met with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. The
two leaders agreed to expand cultural contacts between their two
nations. Nixon also established plans for a permanent U.S. trade
mission in China.
The U.S. had become first interested in
having political and economic ties with China in the 19th
century. Japan attacked China in 1894-1895. As a result,
Russia, France, Germany, and Great Britain wanted to protect
their interests in China by carving up the country and each
controlling one area. How do you think the U.S. felt about this?
The U.S. wanted to prevent the division and control of
China by Russia, France, Germany, and Great Britain. In 1899 and
1900, the U.S. established the Open Door Policy, which ensured
that all nations had equal trading privileges with China. The
U.S. was able to make this policy because it had become an
important power in the Pacific after its victory in the
Spanish-American War in 1898.