The online tool for teaching with documents, from the National Archives

Nixon Visits China

Finding a Sequence

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

How important are U.S.-China relations today? Are you using or wearing products made in China right now?

It may be hard to imagine, but after China became a communist nation in 1949, the U.S. wouldn't recognize the new government for over 20 years. Communism was considered such a threat that U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles refused to even shake hands with Chinese leaders in 1954. President Nixon's decision to visit China and improve relations was one of his most important accomplishments, and was carefully planned.

Analyze these images and put them in the order they happened to learn more about the "week that changed the world."


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

Nixon Visits China

Finding a Sequence

Examine the documents in this activity. Put the corresponding document numbers in order using the list below. Write your conclusion response in the space provided.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11



1

Activity Element

President Nixon meets with China's Communist Party Leader, Mao Tse- Tung

Page 1



2

Activity Element

Arrival of Air Force One in Peking

Page 2



3

Activity Element

President and Mrs. Nixon's arrival in Peking, China. Nixon reviewing troops at the airport.

Page 1



4

Activity Element

Crowds at a sports performance

Page 1



5

Activity Element

Young girl dressed in soldier attire at the arrival of the press plane in Peking, China

Page 1



6

Activity Element

Photograph of President Richard Nixon and Premier Chou En-lai

Page 1



7

Activity Element

President and Mrs. Nixon visit the Great Wall of China and the Ming tombs

Page 1



8

Activity Element

Menu from Dinner Given During President Nixon's Visit to Peking, China

Page 1



9

Activity Element

Nixon and Chou En-Lai speaking at a banquet

Page 1



10

Activity Element

Ballet scene at the Great Hall of the People attended by President and Mrs. Nixon during their trip to Peking, China

Page 1



11

Activity Element

President Nixon and members of the press in Shanghai

Page 1



Conclusion

Nixon Visits China

Finding a Sequence

President and Mrs. Nixon's visit to China made global headlines.

  • Why do you think the world was so interested in this visit?
  • Which countries do you think had the most to gain?
  • Which nations may have had the most to lose?
  • What new aspects of Chinese culture do you think President Nixon learned about during the trip?
  • Which do you think he saw as different or similar to life in America at that time?


Your Response




Document

Menu from Dinner Given During President Nixon's Visit to Peking, China

2/1972

This menu was printed for a formal dinner hosted by President Richard Nixon and Mrs. Nixon for Chinese Premier Chou En-lai during the President’s trip to Beijing in February 1972. The formal visit launched improved relations between the United States and China after decades of the Cold War.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-SMOF: White House Staff Member and Office Files (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 595300
Full Citation: Menu from Dinner Given During President Nixon's Visit to Peking, China; 2/1972; Collection RN-SMOF: White House Staff Member and Office Files (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/menu-from-dinner-given-during-president-nixons-visit-to-peking-china, December 6, 2019]


Menu from Dinner Given During President Nixon's Visit to Peking, China

Page 1



Document

Young girl dressed in soldier attire at the arrival of the press plane in Peking, China

2/21/1972

Pictured: Young girl pictured is not identified. Subject: Trip to China II.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194411
Full Citation: Young girl dressed in soldier attire at the arrival of the press plane in Peking, China; 2/21/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/young-girl-soldier-attire, December 6, 2019]


Young girl dressed in soldier attire at the arrival of the press plane in Peking, China

Page 1



Document

President Nixon meets with China's Communist Party Leader, Mao Tse- Tung

2/29/1972

Pictured: Mao Tse-Tung, President Richard M. Nixon. Subject: Trip to China.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194759
Full Citation: President Nixon meets with China's Communist Party Leader, Mao Tse- Tung; 2/29/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/nixon-mao, December 6, 2019]


President Nixon meets with China's Communist Party Leader, Mao Tse- Tung

Page 1



Document

Ballet scene at the Great Hall of the People attended by President and Mrs. Nixon during their trip to Peking, China

2/22/1972

Pictured: members of the ballet company. Subject: Trip to China.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194416
Full Citation: Ballet scene at the Great Hall of the People attended by President and Mrs. Nixon during their trip to Peking, China; 2/22/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/ballet-scene-peking, December 6, 2019]


Ballet scene at the Great Hall of the People attended by President and Mrs. Nixon during their trip to Peking, China

Page 1



Document

President Nixon and members of the press in Shanghai

2/28/1972

Pictured: members of the press, President Richard Nixon, members of the press. Subject: Trip to China.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194428
Full Citation: President Nixon and members of the press in Shanghai; 2/28/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/nixon-press-shanghai, December 6, 2019]


President Nixon and members of the press in Shanghai

Page 1



Document

Arrival of Air Force One in Peking

2/21/1972

Subject: Trip to China II.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194412
Full Citation: Arrival of Air Force One in Peking; 2/21/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/air-force-one-peking, December 6, 2019]


Arrival of Air Force One in Peking

Page 2



Document

Nixon and Chou En-Lai speaking at a banquet

2/21/1972

Pictured: Richard M. Nixon, Chou En-Lai. Subject: Nixon's trip to China.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194410
Full Citation: Nixon and Chou En-Lai speaking at a banquet; 2/21/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/nixon-chou-en-lai-banquet, December 6, 2019]


Nixon and Chou En-Lai speaking at a banquet

Page 1



Document

President and Mrs. Nixon's arrival in Peking, China. Nixon reviewing troops at the airport.

2/21/1972

This photograph shows President and Mrs. Nixon's Arrival in Peking, China. Pictured are First Lady Pat Nixon, President Richard M. Nixon, Premier Chou En-Lai, troops, and others.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194414
Full Citation: Photograph NLRN-WHPO-C8501-09A; President and Mrs. Nixon's arrival in Peking, China. Nixon reviewing troops at the airport.; 2/21/1972; Nixon White House Photographs, 1/20/1969 - 8/9/1974; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), ; Richard Nixon Library, Yorba Linda, CA. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/nixon-reviewing-troops, December 6, 2019]


President and Mrs. Nixon's arrival in Peking, China. Nixon reviewing troops at the airport.

Page 1



Document

Crowds at a Sports Performance

2/23/1972

Pictured: members of the Chinese military (no names are provided). Subject: Trip to China.
This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194418
Full Citation: Crowds at a Sports Performance; 2/23/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/crowds-sports-performance, December 6, 2019]


Crowds at a Sports Performance

Page 1



Document

President and Mrs. Nixon visit the Great Wall of China and the Ming tombs

2/24/1972

This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194421
Full Citation: President and Mrs. Nixon visit the Great Wall of China and the Ming tombs; 2/24/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/president-and-mrs-nixon-visit-the-great-wall-of-china-and-the-ming-tombs, December 6, 2019]


President and Mrs. Nixon visit the Great Wall of China and the Ming tombs

Page 1



Document

Photograph of President Richard Nixon and Premier Chou En-lai

2/21/1972

This primary source comes from the Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration).
National Archives Identifier: 194409
Full Citation: Photograph of President Richard Nixon and Premier Chou En-lai; 2/21/1972; Collection RN-WHPO: White House Photo Office Collection (Nixon Administration), . [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/nixon-chou-enlai, December 6, 2019]


Photograph of President Richard Nixon and Premier Chou En-lai

Page 1