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   Home > About China > Events and Issues of New China's Diplomacy
The Establishment of Sino-U.S. Diplomatic Relations and Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping?s visit to the United States


After his assumption of office in early 1977, the U.S. President Jimmy Carter sent his Secretary of State Vance and his White House National Security Assistant Zbigniew Brzezinski to visit China in August 1977 and May 1978 respectively to hold talks on the normalization of Sino-U.S. relations. At the time when Vance visited China, the U.S. Government was not yet finally determined to accept the three principles China raised for establishing diplomatic relations between China and the United States. By the time when Brzezinski visited China, the Carter Administration has made up its mind to establish diplomatic relations with China first and then to negotiate with the Soviet Union from a position of superiority with an attempt to check the momentum of Soviet expansion and to fortify the global strategic status of the United States. During his visit, Brzezinski expressed that President Carter was determined to normalize Sino-U.S. relations before his first term ended, and that the United States was ready to accept the three principles set forth by China for the establishment of diplomatic relations (namely, the U.S. must sever its diplomatic relations with Taiwan, abrogation of the mutual defence treaty between the U.S. and Taiwan and the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Taiwan). He also expressed the hope (not as a condition) that when the U.S. side said it expected a peaceful solution to the Taiwan question which was purely an internal affair of China, it would not meet with an obvious refutation from China. He announced that the U.S. had authorized Leonard Woodcock, Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office in China, to conduct detailed negotiations with the Chinese side on the normalization of Sino-U.S. relations.

China responded