China - China, the Soviet Union, and the Middle East. In...

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Unformatted text preview: China, the Soviet Union, and the Middle East. In 1969, Chinese and Russian troops clashed along their common border, and the long-standing rift between the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union seemed to be widening. Nixon recognized that the old view of a monolithic communist world was obsolete and saw an opportunity to play China and the USSR against each other to the advantage of the United States. He also believed that improving relations with China might lead China to put pressure on North Vietnam to end the war. An American table tennis team was welcomed in China in 1971, and this incident of ping-pong diplomacy paved the way for a secret visit by Nixon's top foreign policy advisor, Henry Kissinger, in July. In February 1972, the president himself visited China and normalized relations between the two countries. Formal diplomatic relations were not established until 1979, but trade and between the two countries....
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