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International Relations Since 1945

International Relations Since 1945 (3rd edn)

John W. Young and John Kent
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date: 12 April 2024

p. 30912. An Era of Negotiations, 1972–3locked

p. 30912. An Era of Negotiations, 1972–3locked

  • John W. YoungJohn W. YoungProfessor of International History, The University of Nottingham, UK
  •  and John KentJohn KentEmeritus Professor, London School of Economics & Political Science


This chapter examines the negotiations pursued by the United States and the Soviet Union in the early 1970s. The most dramatic change in international diplomacy in the early 1970s was the rapprochement between Beijing and Washington. After two decades of enmity, it was announced on 15 July 1971 that Richard Nixon was to visit China. The ‘Opening to China’ was in accord with the Nixon–Kissinger hope of maintaining a favourable position vis-à-vis the Soviets despite America’s problems in Vietnam. The chapter first considers the so-called ‘triangular diplomacy’ involving the US, USSR, and China as well as the East Asian balance, before discussing the Moscow Summit and Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT I). It concludes with an assessment of the Nixon administration’s Vietnam settlement in 1972–3 via the Paris peace accords.

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