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Al Jazeera English | Apr 25
As the George W. Bush library opens its doors, Al Jazeera looks inside the presidential library of an earlier GOP leader: Richard Nixon. The Califo...
Forty years ago this month, then-US President Richard Nixon went to China, marking the beginning of the end to three decades of mutual hostility and ignorance. Chinese media are celebrating the historic visit. And so is the University of Southern California’s US-China Institute. It’s produced a documentary called "The Week That Changed the World," and it focuses on the American media’s role in the trip. Here’s a brief excerpt.
Dan Rather, CBS News:
I just found myself thinking what is President Nixon getting into, what is the United States of America getting into, and what are we journalists getting into, and then what am I getting into with this?
Barbara Walters, NBC News:
I knew nothing about China. Nobody had any idea what it really looked like. It really was like going on the moon. What are we going to see? We had no idea what to expect.
Stanley Karnow, Washington Post:
Most of the guys, the reporters on the trip, knew nothing about China. They knew nothing.
Bernard Kalb, CBS News:
Up until then, the idea was Mao Zedong ate babies for breakfast, so to speak. There had been this exaggerated caricature of the way that Chinese were, that the Communist system had essentially dehumanized...
Ron Walker, Nixon Advance Man:
We knew the world was going to see this event, and it was going to be huge, because we were opening a door to a billion people.
Dwight Chapin, Nixon Appointments Secretary:
Well, it was very clear that, upon arrival, that we would have the President and Mrs. Nixon walk down those stairs and that that picture with Zhou Enlai would be an incredibly important picture. I mean that was the establishing shot in virtually every newspaper the next morning.
The full version of the documentary is available on the website of USC’s US-China Institute.