Remarks at an
Historic Shanghai Banquet
Remarks at an
Historic Shanghai Banquet
February 1972, Shanghai Exhibition Hall, Shanghai, China
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text
version below transcribed directly from audio]
Mr. Prime Minister, Chairman Jiang, and our
Chinese and American friends,
This magnificent banquet marks the end of our stay
in the People's Republic of China. We have been here a week. This was the week
that changed the world.
As we look back over this week, we think of the
boundless hospitality that has been extended to all of us by our Chinese
We have today seen the progress of modern China.
We have seen the matchless wonders of ancient China. We have seen also the
beauty of the countryside, the vibrancy of a great city, Shanghai. All this we
But what's most important was the fact that we had
the opportunity to have talks with
Chairman Mao, with
Minister Zhou Enlai, with the Foreign Minister, and other people in
The -- The
Joint Communique which we have issued today
summarizes the results of our talks. That communique will make headlines around
the world tomorrow. But what we have said in that communique is not nearly as
important as what we will do in the years ahead to build a bridge across 16,000
miles and 22 years of hostility which have divided us in the past.
And what we have said today is that we shall build
that bridge. And because the Chinese people and the American people, as the
Prime Minister has said, are a great people, we can build that long bridge. To
do so, requires more than the letters, the words of a communique. The letters
and the words are a beginning, but the actions that follow must be in the spirit
which have characterized our talks.
With Chairman Mao, with the Prime Minister, and
with others with whom we have met, our talks have been characterized by
frankness, by honesty, by determination, and above all by mutual respect.
Our communique indicates, as it should, some areas
of difference. It also indicates some areas of agreement. To mention only one
that I -- is particularly appropriate here in Shanghai is the fact that this
great city over the past has on many occasions been the victim of foreign
aggression and foreign occupation. And we join the Chinese people, we, the
American people, in our dedication to this principle: that never again shall
foreign domination, foreign occupation, be visited upon this city or any part of
China or any independent country in this world.
Mr. Prime Minister,
Our two peoples tonight hold the future of the
world in our hands. And as we think of that future, we are dedicated to the
principle that we can build a new world -- a world of peace, a world of justice,
a world of independence for all nations.
And if we succeed in working together where we can
find common ground, if we can find the common ground on which we can both stand,
where we can build the bridge between us and build the new world, generations in
the years ahead will look back and thank us for this meeting that we have held
in this past week.
And let the great Chinese people and the great
American people be worthy of the hopes and ideals of the world -- for peace, and
justice, and progress for all.
In that spirit, I ask all of you to join in a
toast to the health of Chairman Mao, of Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, and to all of
our Chinese friends here tonight, and our American friends, and to that
friendship between our two peoples to which Chairman Chang has referred to so
Book/CDs by Michael E. Eidenmuller, Published by
Audio Source: The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Audio Note: Thin frequency range and audible background noise at source.
Modest digital post-processing by Michael E. Eidenmuller for AmericanRhetoric.com
Research Note: Special thanks to Ryan M. Pettigrew, archivist at
the Nixon Library and creator of the film "Nixon in China," for his
helpful comments regarding the film and kind assistance in obtaining the
audio artifact above
Page Updated: 11/10/22
U.S. Copyright Status:
Text and Audio = Property of
Top 100 American Speeches
© Copyright 2001-Present.
HTML transcription by Michael E. Eidenmuller.