Bilateral Political Relations in Retrospect
1. Establishment of Diplomatic Relations
China and the U.S. issued "Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America" on December 16, 1978. China and the U.S. formally established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level on January 1, 1979.
2. Summary of the Normalization of China-U.S. Relations and the Bilateral Relations since the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Two Countries
In February 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon visited China at the invitation of Zhou Enlai, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China. The door to contact and exchanges between China and the U.S. was reopened. During Nixon's visit to China, China and the U.S. issued the " Joint Communique between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America" ( also referred as the "Shanghai Communiqué") on February 28, 1972. U.S. President Gerald Ford visited China in December 1975. On January 1, 1979, China and the U.S. formally established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level. The U.S. announced the severance of its so-called diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the withdrawal of its troops from Taiwan and the ceasing of the U.S.-Taiwan Joint Defense Treaty within the year (also referred as "sever diplomatic ties, abrogate the Treaty and withdraw troops"). In January 1979, China's leader Deng Xiaoping visited the U.S. at the invitation of U.S. President Jimmy Carter, opening a new chapter in the history of China-U.S. relations. On August 17, 1982, the Chinese and U.S. Governments issued the "China-U.S. August 17 Communiqué". The U.S. side undertook in the communique that "it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, that its arms sales to Taiwan will not exceed, either in qualitative or in quantitative terms, the level of those supplied in recent years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, and that it intends gradually to reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution". The three China-U.S. Joint Communiques ( the "Shanghai Communiqué", the "Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic relations between the People's Republic of China and the United States of America" and the "China-U.S. August 17 Communiqué") constitute the documents guiding the development of China-U.S. relations.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and the U.S. have conducted exchanges and cooperation in the extensive fields of politics, economy, education, culture, science and technology, military, etc. In January 1984, Chinese Premier visited the U.S. In April 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan visited China. In July 1985, Chinese President Li Xiannian visited the U.S., which was the first visit to the U.S. by a Chinese head of state. In February 1989, U.S. President George Bush paid a working visit to China. Wan Li, Chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress of China visited the U.S. in May 1989.
After the political turmoil in Beijing in 1989, the U.S. announced "sanctions" against China and suspended high-level exchanges between the two countries, which led to the serious worsening of the bilateral relations. >>