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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XVIII, China, 1973–1976

Editor:
David P. Nickles
General Editor:
Edward C. Keefer

United States Government Printing Office
Washington
2008

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs



Overview

This volume is organized chronologically. As such it conveys the shift in control over U.S. China policy from the White House to the Department of State as a result of the Watergate crisis, the appointment of Henry Kissinger as Secretary of State, the resignation of Richard Nixon as President, and Gerald Ford’s request that Kissinger relinquish his position as Advisor to the President for National Security Affairs. The chapters integrate documents about U.S. relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Taiwan, reflecting the fact that the former government received much more attention from high-level American policymakers than did the latter. The central theme of the volume is the effort to strengthen and formalize the PRC–US relationship, which had been established during 1971 and 1972 after decades of bitter estrangement, and the concurrent disestablishment of formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, a task that remained unfinished at the end of the Ford Administration. The primary means used to improve relations during these years were long conversations between U.S. and PRC leaders, which were supposed to initiate—but generally substituted for—a more developed and institutionalized relationship.