Paul Chen, a student from the University of Virginia, writes in the student paper, The Cavalier Daily:
President Richard Nixon once remarked “If there is anything I want to do before I die, it is to go to China.” Thirty years ago, President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger fulfilled this vision by visiting the Middle Kingdom. Today, China has become an integral factor in many facets of American life. Some Americans see China as a potential threat to America’s power. But a closer relationship between China and the United States historically enhanced the economy of the United States, exposed China to democratic values and will continue to promote America’s national interests.
In 1979, the U.S. entered a painful stagflation — high inflation coupled with a high unemployment rate. The outcry against the Vietnam War and Watergate Scandal further shook Americans’ confidence in the nation’s political leadership. But the U.S. economy quickly rebounded. From the early 1980s to the 2000s, the U.S. created the largest economic expansion in recent history as the DOW increased from 1,000 to more than 14,000 points. The rise of China played a crucial role in this recovery.
In 1979, Deng Xiaoping led China out of Soviet style communism and boldly initiated a policy of global integration and economic reform. Since then, China’s GDP grew by 8,200 percent. As a result, 300 million people were lifted of poverty.