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Nixon's grandson retraces historic week (2)

(China Daily)

09:02, May 03, 2013

Sandy Quinn, president of the Richard Nixon Foundation, speaks about the upcoming trip to China, on April 24, in Los Angeles. [Provided to China Daily]

Other notable figures in Cox's group include KT McFarland, a Fox News national security analyst and former aide to Henry Kissinger; Colonel Jack Brennan, a former Marine Corps aide who accompanied Nixon to China in 1972; Robert "Bud" McFarlane, who was Ronald Reagan's national security adviser, and Marjorie Acker, who worked as a secretary for Nixon when he was a senator, vice-president and president.

The tour is co-sponsored by the Richard Nixon Foundation and the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries. The association's president, Li Xiaolin, is the daughter of Li Xiannian, who, before serving as China's president during the 1980s, was among the high-level officials who greeted Nixon in 1972.

In a statement, the Nixon Foundation called the current tour "a rare and special arrangement made exclusively for the VIP delegation".

Upon his departure, Cox said he was "eagerly looking forward" to retracing his grandfather's footsteps.

"His vision in opening the door to China, of breaking down the wall that had separated two great peoples from one another, inaugurated a new era of mutual respect and cooperation that not only endures but also continues to strengthen and mature," said Cox, who was born in 1979, the year China-US relations were formalized.

"By reliving the week that truly did change the world, we are commemorating one of the most seminal events of the 20th century," he added.

"What's more, we are strengthening the bonds of friendship that President Nixon and Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou first forged more than 40 years ago. I know that the spirit of both my grandfather and my grandmother, who shared with the Chinese people the same gracious warmth she extended to the people of more than 75 countries throughout her public life, will be with us," he said.

Pat Nixon died in 1993, a year before her husband.

It was Richard Nixon himself who, at a farewell dinner in Beijing on Feb 28, 1972, called the visit "the week that changed the world". Its significance continues to reverberate today, with the expression "Nixon goes to China" becoming shorthand for a bold, unexpected political move.

Werner Escher, head of domestic and international markets for South Coast Plaza, an upscale shopping mall in Orange County, California, is part of Cox's delegation. He said his company worked with the Nixon Foundation to host a reunion of Chinese and US table tennis players years after their historic "ping-pong diplomacy" matches in China in 1971.

"Friendship between China and the US is further served on this occasion by not only tracing the steps of president Nixon's 1972 visit but by providing additional opportunities to know the people of China and for South Coast Plaza to enjoy another of its many China visitations," Escher said.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:HuangBeibei、Yao Chun)

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