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Chronology of U.S.-China Relations

The Associated Press has put together a nice chronology of U.S.-China relations

1971: After decades of isolation, China invites U.S. table tennis team for visit, prompting start of “pingpong diplomacy” that brings first significant thaw in U.S.-China relations.

1972: President Richard Nixon visits Beijing, establishing diplomatic channels for the countries to counter Soviet Union.

1973: China and U.S. open diplomatic liaison offices in each other’s capital.

1979: Diplomatic ties formally established Jan. 1. Deng Xiaoping becomes first Chinese leader to visit U.S., setting tone for warmer relations.

1982: China pledges to seek reunification with U.S.-allied Taiwan by peaceful means but does not explicitly rule out use of force, while U.S. promises not to expand — and gradually to reduce — arms sales to Taiwan.

1987: First U.S. fast food company, KFC, opens in China.

1989: China crushes pro-democracy demonstrations, putting chill on relations with U.S.

1999: During NATO airstrikes in Serbia, bomb hits Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, killing three Chinese and setting off anti-American protests across China.

2000: Congress grants China “most favored nation” trade status.

2001: Damaged U.S. spy plane lands on China’s Hainan island after colliding with Chinese fighter jet. Crew of 24 detained 11 days until U.S. issues apology to Chinese government.

2001: China joins World Trade Organization.

2008: Sichuan earthquake kills 70,000 people, prompting huge outpouring of aid from U.S. and other nations. President George W. Bush attends opening of Beijing Olympic Games.

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