The Presidential Visit To The Peoples Republic Of China (1972)


 Peking China    
 President and Mrs. Nixon arriving in China
Coordinates:                                   39°54′50″N 116°23′30″E
Country
 China
Settled
 473 BC
Elevation
 43.5 m (143 ft.)
Population    (2009) 
 22,000,000

21 to 28 February 1972 President Nixon Visits China

U.S. President Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to the People's Republic of China was an important step in formally normalizing relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. It marked the first time a U.S. president had visited the PRC, who at that time considered the U.S. one of its staunchest foes. The visit has become a metaphor for an unexpected or uncharacteristic action by a politician.

Improved relations with the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China are often cited as the most successful diplomatic achievements of Nixon’s presidency. After World War II, Americans saw relations between the United States and the Soviet Union deteriorating, Russians consolidating communist puppet states over much of Eastern Europe, and China teetering on the edge of communism. Many Americans felt concern that communists might cause the downfall of schools or labor unions. One of the main reasons Richard Nixon became the 1952 Vice-president candidate on the Eisenhower ticket was his strong anti-communism stance. Despite this, in 1972 Nixon became the first U.S. president to visit China while in office.

President Nixon and his advisors on AF1 in route to China

From February 21-28, 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing, Hangzhou and Shanghai. Almost as soon as the American president arrived in the Chinese capital he was summoned for a meeting with Chairman Mao who, unknown to the Americans, had been ill nine days earlier but was at that point feeling strong enough to meet Nixon. Secretary of State William P. Rogers was excluded from this meeting and the only other American present was National Security Council staffer (and later U.S. Ambassador to China) Winston Lord. To avoid embarrassing Rogers, Lord was cropped out of all the official photographs of the meeting. Although Nixon was in China for a week, this would be his sole meeting with the top Chinese leader.

 Chairman Mao and President Nixon
The Nixon’s arrival in China
Nixon held many meetings with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during the trip, which included visits to the Great WallHangzhou, and Shanghai.

The Nixon’s tour the Great Wall of China
The Nixon’s tour the Great Wall of China

At the conclusion of his trip, the United States and the PRC Governments issued the Shanghai Communiqué, a statement of their foreign policy views and a document that would remain the basis of Sino-American bilateral relations for many years. Kissinger stated that the U.S. also intended to pull all its forces out of the island of Taiwan. In the communique, both nations pledged to work toward the full normalization of diplomatic relations.

 Letter of Appreciation
Certificate of Membership
President's Travel Itinerary


Destinations
Dates
Purpose
Agana Guam
February 20-21, 1972
Rest stop in route to China
Shanghai, Peking, Hangchow
 People's Republic of 
China
February 21-28, 1972
State visit; met with Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou En-Lai.

WHCA’s Role in the President’s Trip to China 

On February 10, 1972 the San Clemente CCT departed for Guam which is an island in the western Pacific Ocean and is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States. Agana is the island's capital. Our primary mission was to set up a support base that would be able to quickly respond to any personnel or equipment emergencies that might occur during this trip. 

Agana the Capital of Guam
B-52 departing Andersen AFB to Vietnam
We arrived at Andersen AFB early in the morning on February 11, 1972, as soon as we unloaded all of our equipment and got settled in the hotel. We met with some government and military personnel to find locations suitable to install our communication equipment. Andersen was the perfect location because of its tight base security. 

From early 1972, Andersen AFB was the site of one of the most massive buildups of air power in history. The influx of bombers, crews, and support personnel pushed Andersen's military population past 15,000. Over 150 B-52's lined all available space on the flight line. 

We utilized three locations on Andersen to set up the mini switchboards, the crypto equipment in the Comm. Center, and the HF SSB and FM radios. Since the arrival would take place at Andersen and the President and Mrs. Nixon would stay in a nearby private residence. We decided to install Baker/Charlie and Sierra base stations in the same building as the Switchboard and Comm. Center. This would make it an easier installation for the keying lines to the radio consoles and paging system that terminated at the switchboard... 

We installed a URT-23 HF Transmitter with two R-1051 receivers to work with the WHCA people on mainland China. We were given a schedule of specific dates and times that we were allowed to test on our assigned frequencies. Once we completed testing we went to 24hr coverage on all communications activities 

R-1051 SSB Receiver 
URT-23 1KW SSB Transmitter
The WHCA Mini-switchboard
The President arrived on February 20, 1972 and spent the evening on Guam before continuing his flight to mainland China. 

The President, Mrs. Nixon, Dr. Kissinger and a few Staff members arrived in Peking on February 21, 1972 to begin one of the most historic events in history. The President would spend seven days in China, during that period of time the WHCA installations on Guam would be the focal point for most of the communications to and from the President and his Staff. 

The Presidents left China on February 28, 1972 and we immediately started to remove our equipment and got ready to load it on a C-141 returning from China with some WHCA personnel. The plane was loaded and we were ready to depart Guam for a couple of days of rest in Honolulu, Hi.


Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu HI

We were all ready for some R&R after spending close to a month preparing and executing this very historical event in History. We spent two days at the Ala Moana hotel on Waikiki in Honolulu.

On March 2, 1972 the San Clemente CCT returned to their home base at El Toro MCAS form Guam and the China trip was over.

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