President Nixon shaking hands with Chou EnLai standing at the foot of the Air Force One stair ramp, while Pat Nixon and Chinese officials stand nearby, February 21, 1972, symbolically ending 17 years of Sino-American tension. (President Nixon shaking hands with Chou EnLai standing at the foot of the Air Force One stair ramp, while Pat Nixon and Chinese officials stand nearby, February 21, 1972, symbolically ending 17 years of Sino-American tension. (White House photos))
Sino-US engagement was never ‘normal,’ but it wasn’t a failure either

Nixon’s detente with Beijing 50 years ago, despite lurches between optimism and hostility over the decades, is not unredeemable.

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