Historic figures in Sino-U.S. relations: Mao Zedong

'Ping-Pong Diplomacy'

On April 7, 1971, Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong made a decision to invite the United States table tennis team to visit China. On April 14, Premier Zhou Enlai met with the US ping-pong players, the first visiting American guests since 1949. Zhou told the US players: "You open a new historical chapter in the bilateral relations between Chinese people and American people." Just hours after Zhou's welcome of the table tennis players, US President Richard M. Nixon announced initiatives to trade and travel between the US and the People's Republic of China.

US President Richard Nixon Visits China; Shanghai Communique

From February 21 to 28, 1972, President Nixon visited China, the first leader ever to visit from a country that had not yet established diplomatic relations with China. Mao Zedong held historic and significant talks with Nixon. On February 27, China and the US issued their first joint Communique in which both nations pledged to work toward full normalization of diplomatic relations. This was the Joint Communique between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America – also known as the "Shanghai Communique." It represented the end of an old era and the beginning of a new one in China-US relations.

Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong 

Mao Zedong (1893-1976), Chairman of the First National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and Honorary Chairman of the Second, Third and Fourth CPPCC National Committees, styled himself Runzhi, a native of Xiangtan, Hunan Province, studied in Hunan Provincial No. 1 Normal School. In April 1918 he organized the Xin Min Society in Hunan Province. In 1919 he founded the Xiangjiang Review and served as its chief editor. In the autumn of 1920, he established the Communist group in Changsha City. In July 1921 he attended the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). In August he served as director of Hunan branch of the Secretariat of the Chinese Labor Organization. In October he served as secretary of Hunan provincial CPC branch. In 1922 he served as secretary of the Hunan Region CPC Executive Committee. In June 1923 he attended the Third National Congress of the CPC and was elected member of the Central Executive Committee and the Central Bureau and secretary.

In the early 1924, he participated in the CPC's help to Dr. Sun Yat-sen in reorganizing the Kuomintang (KMT), attended the First and Second National Congresses of the KMT and was elected alternate member of the Central Executive Committee. In 1925 he served as Acting Director of the Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee of the KMT and edited the Political Weekly, organ of the Central Committee of the KMT. In 1926 he ran the Training Institute of the Peasant Movement for the sixth group of students. In November of the same year, he served as Secretary of the Peasant Movement Committee of the CPC Central Committee. In April 1927 he attended the Fifth National Congress of the CPC and was elected alternate member of the CPC Central Committee. In June he served as secretary of Hunan provincial CPC committee. On August 7, he attended the meeting held in Hankou and was elected alternate member of the Provisional Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee. After the meeting, he was sent to the Hunan-Jiangxi border area to lead the Autumn Harvest Uprising and served as secretary of the leading body for the uprising - the front committee. In September the Autumn Harvest Uprising broke out. Afterwards, he led the insurgent troops which arrived at the Jinggang Mountains, launched the agrarian revolution and established the first rural revolutionary base area - the Jinggang Mountains Revolutionary Base Area.

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