In 1949, Mao Zedong and the communist took over China. Not long after, the U.S. government severed all ties with the China, which meant no importing from their nation.

23 years later, Richard Nixon took a trip that shocked the world he re-opened the door to US-China relations. Today many forget that if not for Nixon’s bold move there would be no Foxconn, or Chinese-made Dell computers or other products today. I visited the Nixon library in California last month, and they had an entire section devoted to Nixon’s achievements in China. It was fascinating to see the places he visited there.

Although there are pictures of Nixon meeting Mao Zedong, what many didn’t know was that Mao could barely function. The Chinese helped him put himself together long enough for a brief meeting with Nixon. Zhou Enlai originally met with Henry Kissinger in 1971 to pave the way for Nixon’s visit in 1972, and it was Zhou who was involved in most of the discussions.

Go to for more information on Nixon’s presidency.