Former Nixon aide and future U.S. Ambassador to China Winston Lord, and Daily Beast contributor and then diplomatic correspondent Leslie Gelb, write of the 37th President’s diplomatic tour de force:

Forty years past, world politics were churning with a vicious Vietnam War reaching its crescendo and with the great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, and China—stumbling toward confrontations, when suddenly, diplomacy repositioned the stars in the international heavens. Most improbably, it seemed, President Nixon journeyed to China to palaver with Mao Zedong, and most central matters on the world stage changed: the opening to China transformed the global playing field, giving Washington new and substantial leverage over both Moscow and Beijing and smothering many of the ill-effects of the Vietnam War becoming a lost cause. One of us, Winston Lord, participated in these critical events as a close adviser to National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger; the other of us, Leslie Gelb, was to write about this diplomatic tour de force for decades to come.

Continue reading at  The Daily Beast.

Related coverage:

“Nixon goes to China: A Smart Journey Looks Even Smarter.” – David Ignatius, Washington Post

“Nixon in China”
– Stephen Hess, China-US Focus

Jonathan Movroydis is Director of Communications at the Richard Nixon Foundation