Nixon-Mao: ​​the summit that changed the world, by Georgina Higueras


The dawn of February 24, 2022 will be remembered for the beginning of a new barbarism. The advance of Russian tanks on Ukraine is a tragedy that reveals the intransigence of Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden in putting their interests before achieving a peaceful solution. The war breaks out precisely in the 50th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s trip to Beijing. A lesson in diplomacy that changed the world for the better. Nixon and Mao Zedong, two bitter enemies, were able to address their differences openly and without either wanting to impose their truth on the other. Mutual respect was what allowed us to open the way to The cooperation.

Few visits by leaders in the modern history of international relations have had such profound consequences for overall balance like that from February 21 to 28, 1972. The handshake between Nixon and Mao, moved by the will to destabilize the powerful Soviet enemy, It was a Copernican turn in world geopolitics. But history teaches that fallen empires cannot be endlessly harassed or humiliated because they can do harm when they rise. Ukraine today is the victim of historical ignorance.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union left a Russia in ruins and on its knees, which accepted the commitment with the United States that Moscow would facilitate the end of the Warsaw Pact in exchange for NATO not expanding eastward by an inch. Two decades of unfulfilled promises – the first enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance was in 1999 with the entry of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic – and Biden’s determination that the US maintain world primacy have taken the worst of putin and placed Ukraine and the European Union at the horse’s feet.

It is unfortunate that neither of them has taken into account Mao and Nixon’s lesson in diplomacy, flexibility and creativity. They, with their difficult decision, launched the greatest revolution in history, the one that allowed China to lift 800 million people out of poverty and the US, sink the USSR and become the global hegemon. His courage was reflected in the so-called Shanghai Communiqué, a unique text because it highlights the differences between the two countries instead of the agreements. Nixon, according to declassified documents, wrote: “We made no attempt to pretend that there were no great differences between our two governments, because there are. This statement was unique in honestly exposing the differences rather than trying to cover them up with diplomatic doublespeak.

Washington cannot bear the idea that its absolute power is in decline and that Beijing is hot on its heels. “China’s main objective is to become the leader, the richest and most powerful country in the world & rdquor ;, but “that will not happen under my mandate & rdquor ;, he said in his first press conference as president a Biden obsessed with creating a block that allows China and Russia to be isolated, although later he rejects the understanding between these two countries.

Henry Kissinger, National Security Advisor when he secretly traveled to Beijing in July 1971 to organize Nixon’s visit, he has always insisted that it is vital for the US not to allow Moscow and Beijing to have better relations with each other than Washington has with each other. they. However, the ostentatious hostility of the US towards Russia and China has ended up facilitating a marriage of convenience contrary to Western interests and the search for a peaceful solution for Ukraine.

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