A Note on the 40th Anniversary of Nixon’s Visit to China

William C. Kirby, Harvard University


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Forty years ago President Richard M. Nixon visited China. Few events in the world of international politics deserve the term "Diplomatic Revolution," but this was one. There was the original Diplomatic Revolution of 1756, when a Prussian-British rapprochement reordered the world of European alliances. There was the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939, which presaged a new partition of Poland and freed Germany to attack in the West. And there was “Nixon in China,” a visit of great drama and much myth...