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Kissinger, others look back at U.S.-China ties 40 years after Nixon visit

(Xinhua)

14:15, March 08, 2012

WASHINGTON, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Former senior U.S. officials including Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski on Wednesday attended a special conference here to mark the 40th anniversary of former President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China.

The remarks by Kissinger, who served as national security advisor to Nixon at the time, dealt mostly with the historic impact of the visit, praising Nixon for making the decision to go to China and "thus changing the course of world history."

Speaking at the U.S. Institute of Peace forum, Kissinger also called for continuity in U.S. policy toward China.

Brzezinski, the former national security adviser to former president Jimmy Carter, shared his reflections on what Nixon called "the week that changed the world."

J. Stapleton Roy, a former U.S. ambassador to China, noted the growth of the bilateral relationship, saying few strategic problems can be addressed successfully without U.S.-China cooperation.

Forty years ago, Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit the People's Republic of China. He met with the late Chairman Mao Zedong on Feb. 21, and the Shanghai Communique was released on the day he left China.

The visit and the release of the document had a significant impact on Sino-U.S. relations, leading to the official establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial-level between the countries on Jan. 1, 1979.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi delivered a speech from Beijing to the conference via video link, calling on the two nations to further their ties. His U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton also gave a speech.

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