President Richard Nixon entered office with a grand plan to reshuffle the geopolitical deck. China had top billing in his designs, and an opening to Beijing was within reach.

Nixon’s strategic opening to Beijing in 1972 marked a momentous change in U.S. foreign policy. It realigned China from a Communist revolutionary adversary to a “normal” authoritarian partner in the Cold War.  Today, many in the U.S. believe that strategic bet has failed. China has become much richer, but it has not become freer. If anything, its increased wealth has equipped the Chinese Communist party to devote even more resources to maintaining its authoritarian rule and monopoly on power.

This Weekend Seminar, led by Asia expert Dan Blumenthal, will explore the historic circumstances and strategic conditions that led to rapprochement between the U.S. and China. Did we get China wrong in 1972?   Is it fair to judge a policy from the height of the Cold War by today’s circumstances? And in light of that question, how should we think about the U.S.-China relationship today?

Images courtesy National Archives via WikiCommons | Nixon White House via WikiCommons

Daniel Blumenthal on the rise of China


Daniel Blumenthal

Daniel Blumenthal is the Director of Asian Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on East Asian security issues and Sino-American relations. Mr. Blumenthal has both served in and advised the U.S. government on China issues for over a decade.

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