Thank Richard Nixon for the Beijing Olympics |

Thank Richard Nixon for the Beijing Olympics

Richard Saunders

Forgetting for just a moment his actions surrounding Watergate, we need to thank President Richard Nixon for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Those who were too young or born after Watergate likely know nothing about this. Richard Nixon has been relegated to a handful of questions on a history exam. Almost all of them involve Watergate.

But in 1972 Richard Nixon made a presidential visit to the People’s Republic of China. This came only a year after a U.S. Table Tennis Team was given a surprise invitation to play in China. At that time China was shrouded behind the great communist wall. This was the height of the Peoples Revolution and Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book.” Relations with China were not strained, they were virtually nonexistent.

Richard Nixon’s visit put a small crack in the Great Wall. Relations began, companies developed business and China made an amazing transformation in less than a generation. President Gerald Ford said that Richard Nixon was the best foreign policy president he had ever seen. Despite his other shortcomings, it is time to recognize one of his contributions.

Thank you Mr. President

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