Thirty-nine years ago this week, President Nixon made the trip that shocked the world, extending his hand to China’s more than 1 billion people and initiating the break up of Soviet global dominance.
The move – derived from a grand strategy years in the making – was predicated on the 37th President’s belief that America could play a pro-active role in the global balance of power while maintaining a sustainable foreign policy based on commitments to areas of common interest with its neighbors.

Most of all, the China initiative was a demonstration of RN’s relentless pursuit of peace, an effort applauded by President Barack Obama upon accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in December 2009.

“In light of the Cultural Revolution’s horrors, Nixon’s meeting with Mao appeared inexcusable,” said President Obama, “And yet it surely helped set China on a path where millions of its citizens have been lifted from poverty and connected to open societies.”

Click here to view The Week that Changed the World, our 9th Nixon Legacy Forum from the University of Southern California, featuring Nixon Oval Office officials who planned and executed RN’s historic journey to China.