November 22, 2002

Backgrounder: Chronology of China Visits by US Presidents

US President George W. Bush arrived in Beijing Thursday for a working visit, exactly 30 years after the late US President Richard Nixon began what is called an ice-breaking trip to China, which ended more than two decades of hostility between China and the United States.

The following is a review of previous official visits to China by US presidents, arranged in chronological order.

February 21-28, 1972 -- US President Nixon visited China. Chairman Mao Zedong met him and Henry Kissinger, an aide to the president for national security affairs, in Zhongnanhai, Beijing. The two leaders exchanged opinions on Sino-US relations and international affairs. The two countries issued on February 28 the historic "Shanghai Communique," a guideline document on Sino-US relations.

December 1-5, 1975 -- US President Gerald Ford visited China. He held talks with Chairman Mao Zedong and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to the "Shanghai Communique".

April 26-May 1, 1984 -- US President Ronald Reagan visited China. He talked with Chinese President Li Xiannian and Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Communist Party of China Deng Xiaoping. The two sides signed four documents on avoiding double taxation and tax evasion and other issues. They also initiated a protocol on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

February 24-27, 1989 -- President George Bush visited China. He held talks with Chinese President Yang Shangkun.

June 25-July 3, 1998 -- President Bill Clinton visited China. He had talks with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. The two countries issued three joint statements, including one on South Asia and another on a protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention. Clinton reaffirmed US adherence to the "One China" policy, and US commitment to the principles embodied in the three Sino-US joint communiques. He reiterated the US stand against "independence of Taiwan," against "one China, one Taiwan" and against Taiwan's accession to any international organizations where only sovereign states are qualified for membership.

(Xinhua News Agency February 21, 2002)

In This Series
Improvement in Ties Offers Backdrop for Bush's China Trip

Backgrounder: Nixon's 1972 "Ice-Breaking" Visit to China

Pictorial Reviewing Sino-US Relations Published

Bush to See A Different China 30 Years Later

Xinhua Reporter Recalls Nixon's 1972 China Tour



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