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The Nikkei View

50 years after Nixon-Mao handshake, Asia preps for new world order

Battle for preeminence disrupts U.S.-China collaboration, with consequences for all

Chinese leader Mao Zedong and U.S. President Richard Nixon greet each other in Beijing in February 1972. Asia has undergone huge geopolitical shifts in the intervening 50 years.   © AP

When U.S. President Richard Nixon visited China half a century ago, it transformed the post-World War II international order in one stroke. Amid a standoff between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, the two superpowers of the time, Washington and Beijing chose to collaborate to counter Moscow.

Today, it is the U.S. and China that are locked in a fierce confrontation. But rather than being a temporary phenomenon, this looks to be a fundamental, structural change.

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