Foreign Policy in the Nixon Presidency Essay

2750 Words Mar 3rd, 2013 11 Pages
Foreign Policy in the Nixon Presidency
Julie Pitz

Dr. Laresh Jayasanker
History 3660
November 15, 2012
Richard Nixon is one of the most controversial figures in American history. His presidency is remembered most for the Watergate scandal and his subsequent resignation but some of his foreign policies forever altered American foreign diplomacy. One of the major policies that President Nixon was responsible for was changing the nature of the United States relationship with China. He did this by setting into motion covert diplomatic actions and cultural exchanges between the two countries. Nixon’s reasons for improving relationships with the Communist regime was to force the Soviet Union to be more accommodating to American demands
…show more content…
This required the United States to have to change strategies in dealing with the Soviet Union. They now had to shift their focus to gaining China as an ally.
The State Department in the summer of 1969 began to announce various unilateral gestures of reconciliation. Many restrictions on travel and trade were lifted. This would become know as “Ping Pong” diplomacy. It was so named after the United States ping-pong team was invited to the Chinese capital in April of 1971. During their visit the group was treated as though they were dignitaries or royalty. They played matches against the Chinese team but also visited important landmarks through out China. The American delegation was accompanied by members of the press and was closely watched by the American public. At a banquet for the visiting Americans, Chou En-Lai, the Chinese Premier told the group, “Exchanges between our two countries have been cut off for a long time but now, with your acceptance of our invitation, you have opened a new page in the relations of the Chinese and American people.”
While the American ping-pong players were the talk of the media, behind the scenes Nixon was putting into action his plan to improve relations with China. He did this by employing his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, to make covert communications with the Chinese government. Before the Ping-Pong players had ever set foot in China and at the beginning of his presidency Nixon had Kissinger prepare a study on the

More about Foreign Policy in the Nixon Presidency Essay