50 years ago today President and Mrs. Nixon landed on Air Force One in Beijing to begin their historic visit to the People’s Republic of China.

Read about why President Nixon went to China and how this became the most important diplomatic overture of the second half of the 20th century, leading to “the first great crack in the Cold War.”

Foundation Events Planned

On Thursday, February 24, 2022, 300 leaders of the Southern California Chinese-American community will gather at the Nixon Library to mark the 50th Anniversary of President Nixon’s trip.

Dr. Henry Kissinger will lead the commemoration with virtual remarks. In-person remarks will be delivered by current and former American and Chinese government officials and diplomats including The Honorable Elaine Chao who served as the first Chinese-American member of a President’s Cabinet, 24th U.S. Secretary of Labor and 18th U.S. Secretary of Transportation, former U.S. Ambassador to the PRC Stapleton Roy, and PRC Ambassador to the United States Qin Gang. This will be the first visit to the U.S. West Coast by Ambassador Qin Gang.

This is the first of several events throughout 2022 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of one of the boldest geopolitical happenings of the 20th century. Throughout the year, the Nixon Foundation will serve as a convening authority for open, honest, and candid conversation to understand how and why President Nixon’s trip to the PRC was central to his visionary foreign policy, to drive a wedge between China and the Soviet Union and win the Cold War.

The Foundation plans to convene forums that engage policymakers in the United States with pragmatic ideas to guide the relationship today.

Featured Events:

DESTINATION CHINA • April 11, 2022

How did a country with limited power and primitive communications in the throes of orthodox communism play host to more than 300 media outlets, a barrage of government officials — and the President of the United States? We’ll relive what it took to get President Nixon to China with those who were at his side.

2022 TOURISM SUMMIT • August 2022

In Summer 2022, we’ll gather tourism officials and industry leaders to chart a path forward.


November 2022 Policy Conference in Washington, DC

Though his visit 50 years ago was “the week that changed the world,” President Nixon understood that the world is always changing.

The Nixon Foundation will host a national policy conference in Washington to spotlight the 50th anniversary of the U.S. – China relationship and convene subject matter experts.

David Eisenhower reflects on the making, meaning, and legacy of “The week that changed the world.”

Read his Q&A from Penn Today Here


Today’s 50th Anniversary In The News:

From Financial Times: Nixon in China: are these lessons for today’s leaders?

From History.com: How Nixon’s 1972 Visit to China Changed the Balance of Cold War Power

From Newsweek: ‘The Week That Changed The World’: 50 Years Since Richard Nixon Visited Mao in China

From Bloomberg: China Should Remember Lessons of Nixon Visit

From Politico: 50 years after Nixon met Mao, questions remain whether the U.S. ‘got played’

From Washington Post: Retropolis piece: China was a brutal communist menace. In 1972, Richard Nixon visited anyways.

From Washington Post Video Footage: 1972: Nixon visits the Great Wall of China

South China Morning post: ‘Foundation of ties’: Beijing hails 50th anniversary of Nixon in China

From ForeignPolicy.Com: What Biden Can Learn from Nixon on China

From The Wire China: Nixon’s Visit, In Living Color

From CNN: Historical footage shows Nixon’s visit to China 50 years ago


For updates on programs throughout the year, follow the Nixon Foundation on social media:

Twitter – @nixonfoundation

Instagram – @nixonfoundation

Facebook – @nixonfoundation