The Immediate Impact

"What we have done is broken the ice. Now we have to test the water to see how deep it is," President Richard M. Nixon on Sino-American Relations

The Shanghai Communiqué

Released by Zhou and Nixon in Shanghai, the Shanghai Communiqué set the stage for Sino-American relations to come, promoting economic and political contact between the PRC and the US. The US reduced its military presence in Taiwan. The Chinese agreed to a Pacific balance of power.


Nixon's daring visit was in line with his policy of detente, or unwinding of tensions in the Cold War. The Soviets, taken aback by Nixon, immediately pursued SALT II diplomacy with the US, drastically reducing US and Soviet nuclear arsenals. Nixon's visit had effectively induced a shift in Cold War politics.

Panda Diplomacy

After the visit, Zhou presented to the United States a pair of pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing. The pandas not only attracted millions of visitors annually, but more importantly, also symbolized the two countries' willingness to work together. The US reciprocated by presenting two musk oxens to the Beijing Zoo.In 1972, the PRC presented two pandas to the US.

→Long Term Impact