"For almost a generation, there has been a wall between the People's Republic of China and the United States. Today, we have the begun the long process of removing that wall between us," President Richard M. Nixon addressing a Chinese audience

The two nations were locked in heated conflict and drastically differed prior to Nixon's visit.


The People's Republic of China

With backward industry and few allies after a civil war, China was isolated from the international community and needed support to break this isolation.

The United States of America

Deadlocked in a "Cold War" with the USSR and concurrently enjoying economic prosperity, the United States had risen as an influential power.

Evil Uncle SamChinese villages hung slogans that denounced "imperialistic America" and "evil Uncle Sams". Anti-American sentiment in China was high after 1949, when communists defeated the American-supported Kai-shek forces. In the US, American leaders referred to China as "Red China" and backed Taiwan's claim to all of China.

Conflict turned into warfare when PRC and American forces clashed in Korea. This Sino-American conflict began to irritate both nations. Both sides hinted towards compromise, but took no concrete steps to alleviate this conflict, until the early 1970s.