In February 1972, U.S. President Richard Nixon’s visit to China marked the official start of the process of normalization of U.S.-China relations. Chinese intelligence agencies played a special role in this important historical event.

While Nixon was still campaigning for the presidency, the Chinese intelligence agencies collected various ideas from Nixon: “We simply cannot afford to keep China outside the family of nations forever,” “China should not be isolated, and the United States is willing to establish friendly relations with both the Soviet Union and China,” “Continental China will one day play an important role in Asian and Pacific affairs”, etc. Accordingly, Chinese intelligence agencies sent a series of reports to the central government suggesting that Nixon hoped to “make a name for himself in history” during his term in office and that he was counting on the opportunity to promote an “ice-breaking” historic improvement in U.S.-China relations. These reports played an important role in Mao’s determination to adjust China’s policy toward the United States. At the same time, China’s intelligence agencies, in accordance with a unified plan, transmitted China’s voice to the U.S. decision makers in a timely manner.

On February 21, 1972, Nixon began his trip to China. During Nixon’s visit to China, China’s intelligence agencies strengthened their security and defense work, contributing to ensuring a smooth and safe situation during the meetings between the leaders of China and the United States.

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