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Transcending the Cold WarSummits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970–1990$
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Kristina Spohr and David Reynolds

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727507.001.0001

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Beijing, 1972

Beijing, 1972

(p.43) 2 Beijing, 1972
Transcending the Cold War

Yafeng Xia

Chris Tudda

Oxford University Press

The Mao-Nixon summit was the first time that an American president had set foot in communist China. It followed twenty-two years of hostilities and confrontation between the two states and was a result of a radically changed international situation, following the Sino-Soviet split in the 1960s. Mao adjusted his foreign policy in an attempt to join forces with the United States against the Soviet Union, while Nixon pursued a new strategy by achieving a rapprochement with China that none of his predecessors even attempted. With Henry Kissinger and Zhou Enlai as essential intermediaries, he engaged Mao in a discussion that ended the PRC’s isolation from the West and America’s estrangement from China, while also opening up new avenues for what the Americans called ‘triangular diplomacy’.

Keywords:   Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, China, United States, triangular diplomacy, Sino-Soviet split, Taiwan

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