Skip to main content
Chemistry LibreTexts

Nixon China Game

  • Page ID

    The distribution of power is when power, influence or authority is distributed, spread around or apportioned.



    For thirty years the United States maintained no diplomatic ties with the most heavily populated country in the world—China. When communists led by Mao Ze*** successfully ousted the nationalist government, the United States broke off all diplomatic relations. President Richard Nixon was determined to visit China and resume normal diplomatic ties. Consider the effects of Nixon’s foreign policy decision. What American companies trade with China, today? How may Americans buy products that were made in China? What is our relationship with China today?


    Destination Title: Nixon’s China Game

    Start at the PBS online feature about Nixon’s China Game.

    • Click on and explore the Timeline.
    • Then click on People and Events. Select Ping-Pong Diplomacy and read the information presented.
    • Click the back button and then click on and read about Richard Nixon.


    After you have read these pages, answer the following questions:

    1) When did the Communists take over China?

    2) What was one of the first hints that relations between the US and China were improving?

    3) Who was working behind the scenes to start talks with China?

    4)  When was President Nixon's first trip to China?

    5)  Find 20 household items at random in your house (clothes, bags, electronics, shoes, toys, pillows, kitchen items).  Make a chart with two columns,  one describing the item, the other with the name of the country in which the item was made. 

    a)  What did you find?  Where were the majority of the items made?  What % of your items were made in China?  (# of items made in China/20)

    b)  Why do you think Nixon made the effort to attempt to improve relations with China?

    c)  How do you you think this decision has changed life in America today?  Do you think our relationship with China has been beneficial?  Be sure to defend your answer. 

    Go to the next page to submit your responses.