On October 1, 1970, Chairman Mao Zedong invited American writer Edgar Snow to the National Day celebration on the Tian’anmen rostrum, sending a signal to the United States that China was willing to improve her relations with the United States. On December 18, MaoZedong asked Snow to pass the message to Washington that Nixon would be welcome to Beijing for talks. In April, 1971, the US National team of table tennis at the 31st World Table Tennis Championships in Japan expressed to the Chinese national team that they hoped to visit China. On April 6,the Chinese Table Tennis Association issued an invitation to the US table tennis team. On April 14, Premier Zhou Enlai met with all the members of the US table tennis delegation. Zhou said: “By visiting our country you have opened the gate for the exchanges between the people of the two nations. We believe that a friendly exchange will win approval and support from both the Chinese and American peoples.” On February 21,1972,Chairman Mao Zedong met US President Richard Nixon at the Zhongnanhai, Beijing.
On February 22, 1972, Premier Zhou Enlai and President Nixon held talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on the normalization of the Sino- US relations and other issues of common concern. Zhou said that the Taiwan issue is the largest obstacle that blocks the normalization of the bilateral relations. Nixon said that the United States recognized only one China in the world and that Taiwan is a part of China. On February 26,1972, Premier Zhou Enlai accompanied President Nixon on the way to Hangzhou. After visiting Hangzhou, Nixon and his party flew to Shanghai. On February 28, 1972, both sides stated in the Communiqué also known as Shanghai Communiqué in Shanghai. Both sides stated in the Communiqué that “the normalization of the bilateral relations between China and the United States is consistent with the interest of all nations.” On the Taiwan question, the Chinese side reiterated the principle of “one China” and insisted that all the American armed forces and military facilities withdraw from Taiwan. The American side stated ” no objection to this stance” and ” affirmed the ultimate target of withdrawing all the American armed forces and military facilities from Taiwan.” The Sino- US Joint Communiqué is the first document signed by China and the United States to guide their bilateral relations. Its publication signalled the ending of the separation between the two nations and the beginning of relationship normalization. Nixon and his party visited the Palace Museum in Beijing.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People’s Republic of China

Image Credit: CGTN