A Moment in the History of Realpolitik Diplomacy in the Light of the 1972 Shanghai Communique
-- Factors from China's and US's Perspectives that Led to the Sino-US Rapprochement in the 1970s
Keywords:Shanghai Communique; Realpolitik Diplomacy; Sino-US Relations.
2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1972 visit by Richard Nixon to China and the signing of the Shanghai Communiqué, in which China and the US were able to initiate diplomacy and consequently soften the precarious global relationship at the time, known as the "Sino-US rapprochement" in history. Recently, we have all witnessed the intensity a Taiwan visit by the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi could bring. Thus, it's essential to reflect on history for modern politics. Many people, even historians, scarcely know much about the Shanghai Communiqué or disregard its significance The fact that the Shanghai Communiqué exists as literal evidence of the Sino-US rapprochement discloses the realism of the senior leadership from both countries behind the façade of ideology. This paper will examine whether the Shanghai Communiqué in 1972 was a moment of realpolitik diplomacy in history or not. Looking at the history of the Cold War period from a long-term perspective, this paper claims that China has taken on long-term underlying realpolitik standpoints on various issues long before the culmination of this moment. This paper has comprehensively analyzed the domestic and international problems impacting Mao's and Nixon's administrations and the shifting geopolitical relations that altered China and the US's diplomacy in a similar direction to elucidate this matter further. At the same time, this paper also provides historical reflections on the current Sino-American relations and power transfer process.
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