Nixon in China

Dear Educators,

The Education and Public Programs Team at the Nixon Library is pleased to remind you that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) continues to be an excellent source for entertaining and historical content! Simply follow the links below for additional information.

Nixon in China

“Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations… There is no place on this small planet for a billion of its potentially most able people to live in angry isolation.” Richard Nixon, Oct. 1967 - Foreign Affairs, Vol. 46, No. 1, October 1967, pp. 113-125.


President Richard Nixon Looks at the View from the Great Wall of China, February 24, 1972. Image: WHPO 8548-12A

Monday, February 21, 2022, marks the 50th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In “the week that changed the world,” President Nixon accepted an invitation from the Chinese Communist government to visit the country. Nixon's foreign policy tried to de-escalate international tensions by building new relationships with former adversaries


President Richard Nixon and Premier Chou En-Lai Shake Hands at the Nixons' Arrival in Peking, China, February 21, 1972. Image: WHPO 8498-02A

Nixon went to China in February 1972 to meet with Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Chou En-lai in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. This historic visit marked the first high-level encounter between the United States and the People's Republic of China in more than two decades, ushering in a new era in Washington-Beijing relations. This relationship reverberates to this day and is as consequential now as it was then.

President Richard Nixon and Premier Chou En-Lai Greet a Young Girl at Hang Chou (Hangzhou) West Lake Park in China, February 26, 1972. Image: WHPO 8604-10

Using DocsTeach, the National Archives’ online tool for teaching activities, we invite you and your students to analyze images from President Nixon's visit to China in 1972 to determine the sequence of events and learn more about American and Chinese cultural differences.

Please feel free to contact us at if you have any questions.

Stayed tuned for regular updates from the Nixon Library Education and Public Programs Team.


The Nixon Library Education and Public Programs Team