Avatar feed
Responses: 1
SGT Unit Supply Specialist
PO1 William "Chip" Nagel
..."A strategic decision

After hearing Nixon's idea, Kissinger decided to get on board.

He actually agreed with Nixon’s rationale for wanting to go to China. Nixon sees China as a way to put pressure on the Soviet Union amidst the ongoing Cold War.

And a hot flashpoint in the Cold War is Vietnam. The Soviets supported the North Vietnamese against the Americans fighting there. The death toll was high, and the hugely unpopular Vietnam War was a big political problem for Nixon. The president leaned on the idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. If China was on America's side, the Soviets would be off balance.

Nixon had another reason for wanting to get close to the Chinese: He wanted to enhance his own reputation and to go down in the history books as the man who made peace with China.

At one point he told Kissinger, “The Chinese American relationship can be the great lynchpin of peace in the world.”

Making the decision to get in touch with China was the easy part. Figuring out how to actually do it in the Cold War situation was more difficult.

But the timing was right. The Soviets and the Chinese were no longer one big communist monolithic bloc. They were actually fighting each other on their shared border.

Nixon figured it may be easier than people thought to pry the Chinese away from the Soviets."...
Avatar small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.