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Former U.S. President Richard Nixon and his wife, Patricia, visit the Great Wall near Beijing during their trip to China in February 1972. Nixon was the first sitting U.S. president to travel to the country, kicking off a tumultuous half-century of U.S.-China relations.    © Getty Images
The Big Story

Nixon in China, 50 years on

Xi-Putin friendship usurps half a century of U.S. diplomacy

RICHARD MCGREGOR, Contributing writer | China

Some years after the euphoria of his first, secret trip to Beijing had worn off, Henry Kissinger emerged from a bruising meeting with his Chinese counterparts. "When these people don't need us anymore," he said, turning to one of his aides, "they are going to be very difficult to deal with."

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