Case 288 - Courting the Dragon: Nixon's Rapprochement with China
Kuzma, Lynn, Steve Leivel, and Jason Edwards
President Richard M. Nixon’s dreams of global stability through the construction of a triangular balance of power among the world’s superpowers reached fruition as he descended the aluminum loading stairs of Air Force One in Beijing on February 21, 1972. The mere fact of his visit to the People's Republic of China signaled a revolutionary change in Sino-American relations, but it also placed an effective check on the United States' chief global rival: the Soviet Union. This case study recounts Nixon’s dogged pursuit of a brash initiative that allowed him to exert the maximum influence of his office and secure his place in the history of world politics.