Nixon Trip To China

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While Richard Milhous Nixon is seen as the worst president in the history of the United States of America, many people and historians also believe he did “one thing right.” That “one thing”0 would be his trip to China or as Richard Nixon himself referred to it -“the week that changed the world”0 However did it really change the world? Or was it just a political move made by the Nixon administration in an election year? Though the visit to China did help in opening up trade and communication, it was useless for President Nixon to personally go to China, and was not a history changing event like it was portrayed. In the year of 1971 it was revealed that a top secret meeting was held in China between America’s top foreign relations officer -Henry…show more content…
A Presidential election was held in the year of 1972 in the United States. “The Presidential trip makes sense only if it is to serve the purpose of its domestic electoral impact.”12 Meaning, the president’s reasoning behind the trip is to get votes in the presidential election in November. To boost his credibility he broke twenty two years of policy and fear to impress upon the people of the United States that he was “a master of foreign policy”13 and the right man for the job. Nixon’s “dramatic and heroic decision” was publicized even more through television. The “drama” of the visit created hype as never seen before.14 The American people believed in the sentimentality of the trip.15 They really thought that this trip would change the course of the whole world forever, which needless to say, it was not. Television turned “what should have been a useful, diplomatic operation into a theatrical piece,” remarked a disgusted writer of the time. He believes that television was used to make the trip more than it was. He thinks that the trip to China was “propaganda-d” into the hearts and minds of the American people to show Nixon as the favorable candidate.16 Gallup polls indicate that the President’s approval rating before the announcement of his trip to China was 40.2%. But after the announcement it rose to 49.7%, an increase of almost ten percent!17 It is clear that the Nixon administration wished for the visit to China to affect the voting preferences of the American people and to make them see their President in a new light. Communists cannot be trusted. They have never been truthful. Why should they be truthful now? What would they gain by having the United States of America as an ally? Thus, was the sentiment of some people in America at this occasion. People felt that the Chinese were up to no good. They felt that President Nixon
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