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February 28, 2024

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What is in the communiqué?

The 1972 document has 16 points, firstly outlining Nixon’s weeklong presidential visit and what occurred, then areas both sides agree and disagree on; the mutual desire to ultimately achieve the normalization of relations between the two, which both sides agreed was in the interests of the entire world.

Point No. 8 acknowledges that there are “essential differences between China and the United States in their social systems and foreign policies,” while stating that “the two sides agreed that countries, regardless of their social systems, should conduct their relations on the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states, non-aggression against other states, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.”

The Taiwan question was a sore point that both sides debated for hours over, before finally coming to an agreement.

The communiqué has the US acknowledging there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of China. The US side declared: “The United States does not challenge that position. It reaffirms its interest in a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.”

The Shanghai Communiqué ended with the following: “President Nixon, Mrs Nixon and the American party expressed their appreciation for the gracious hospitality shown them by the government and people of the People’s Republic of China.”


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