Nixon-era congressional trips highlight need for trust to be rebuilt, forum told
Leading diplomats from the United States and China are encouraging the two countries to draw inspiration from US lawmakers' groundbreaking trips to China 50 years ago as a means of helping to guide bilateral relations.
Following president Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in February 1972, the Senate's then majority leader Michael Mansfield and minority leader Hugh Scott visited China in the same year. A few months later, the House of Representatives' majority and minority leaders led another congressional delegation to China.
The visits helped open up the relationship between the US and China five decades ago and it's important to revisit that chapter of history to help solve today's issues, US and Chinese diplomats and scholars said on Tuesday at a virtual conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first China visits by leading figures of the US Congress.
"The China-US relationship is at another historical juncture, just like 50 years ago. It is in a new round of mutual exploration, understanding, adaptation and balancing," Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang told the conference.
"In the context of severe and complex China-US relations, we should not set eyes on our differences only. Rather, we should bear in mind our common interests, and show strategic vision, political courage and diplomatic wisdom," he said. "We should learn from history, overcome difficulties and challenges, rebuild trust, and take China-US relations back to the right track."