President Nixon's acceptance of an invitation to visit the People's Republic of China is the culmination of a carefully planned campaign by his administration to achieve better relations with Peking.
CU President's Seal
MV Nixon at dais (SOF)
TRANSCRIPT SEQ. 2: NIXON: "Good evening, I requested this television time tonight to announce a major development in our efforts to build a lasting peace in the world. As I have pointed out on a number of occasions over the past three years,there can be no stable and enduring peace without the participation of the People's Republic of China and its 750 million people. That is why I have undertaken initiatives in several areas to open the door for more normal relations between our two countries.
In pursuance of that goal I sent Dr Kissinger, my assistant for National Security affairs, to Peking Chou En-Lai. The announcement I shall now read is being issued simultaneously in Peking, and in the United States:
'Premier Chou En-Lai and Dr Henry Kissinger, President Nixon's assistant for National Security affairs, held talks in Peking from July 9 to 11, knowing of President Nixon's express desire to visit the People' Republic of China, Premier Chou En-Lai, on behalf of the Government of the People's Republic of China, has extended an invitation to President Nixon to visit China, an appropriate date before May 1972. President Nixon has accepted the invitation with pleasure. The meeting between the leaders of China and the United States is to seek the normalisation of relations between the two countries, and also to exchange views on questions of concern to the two sides".
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Background: President Nixon's acceptance of an invitation to visit the People's Republic of China is the culmination of a carefully planned campaign by his administration to achieve better relations with Peking.
The first breakthrough came in April, when a U.S. Amateur table-tennis team was invited to Peking, and the spell of 'ping-pong diplomacy' began.
But although there have been visits by journalists and other private American citizens to China as a result of this breakthrough, there was no indication until the President's announcement that the Chinese were ready to deal with the United States at summit level.
The disclosure that they are ready to do so comes at about the time the U.S. administration is due to reach a decision on the question of China's admission to the United Nations.
By setting May 1972 as the latest date for his visit, Mr. Nixon can wait for the outcome of the annual U.N. General Assembly vote this autumn.