A Brief History of U.S. Presidents in China

brief history presidents in china united states
David Hume Kennerly / Getty

Gerald Ford, 1975
President Ford's trip to China was surrounded by political uncertainty. The U.S. was still reeling from the Watergate scandal and Nixon's resignation while the People's Republic of China's 82-year-old founder, Mao Zedong, was in increasingly failing health. Although Ford met with Mao, his main point of contact was Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping (above), who as Mao's successor would later spearhead the opening up of China. The issues at hand: U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia, how to deal with the Soviet Union, and perennial disagreement over Taiwan.

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