Newly Released Document Reveals President Nixon’s Forecast of U.S.-China Relations
40th Anniversary of the 37th President’s trip to China will be commemorated in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, March 7
(March 6, 2012, WASHINGTON) - The Richard Nixon Foundation has just released a document detailing the 37th President’s insight on the future of U.S.-China relations.
The confidential memo
prepared for select key members of the U.S. Senate follows a previously unpublicized 1989 trip to China, where he met with eight major leaders including Chairman Deng Xiaoping and Premier Li Peng, and discussed the political and economic situation in the PRC and the then rift in U.S.-China relations following the events in Tiananmen Square earlier that year.
The U.S. Congress was considering the passage of very tough economic sanctions. The former President, very candidly and in the spirit of his historic 1972 opening, urged the Senators to approach the issue responsibly by resuming high-level contacts and adopting a policy toward China that serves the national interest.
“We must take these steps together,” President Nixon wrote. “Cutting ourselves off from the Chinese leaders for much longer will be detrimental to our interests in Asia and to the interests of the people in China.”
The memo also highlights the challenges of managing a constructive relationship with China – pursuing common interests in a context of continuing differences. As President Nixon noted, “…they welcome the chance to discuss our differences. And while they will not always agree with us, they are eager to join in the search for common ground.”
The President ended his memo on a more hopeful note, reporting on the goodwill showed to him by the Chinese people and their leaders on his weeklong trip.
“There is a great well of friendship for the United States among the Chinese people,” he said. “I am more confident about the future of Sino-American relations than I was in 1972…we are no longer joined together by our fears as was the case seventeen yeas ago, but by our hopes.”
On Wednesday, March 7 the Richard Nixon Foundation together with the United States Institute of Peace will co-present an all-day conference commemorating the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s historic trip to China in 1972. The conference runs from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm, and is located at The United States Institute of Peace, 2301 Constitution Avenue, NW. Washington, DC 20037.
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