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tv   Reel America Nixon in China - 1972  CSPAN  January 2, 2021 8:31am-9:17am EST

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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> in february 1972, president richard nixon traveled to the communist people's republic of china, the first u.s. president to visit the chinese mainland. next on reel america, "nixon in china." a behind-the-scenes look at the diplomatic breakthrough. this compilation of film and audio recordings from many national archives sources was produced by the richard nixon presidential library in 2012. it consists of films by the naval photographic center,
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informal super eight home movies by nixon's advisors, and the white house communications agency sound recordings. >> president nixon's departure for china. south lawn, 17 february, 1972. [applause] [beep] [applause]
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>> mr. vice president, mr. speaker, members of congress and members of the cabinet, i want to express my deep appreciation to all of you who have come here to send us off on this historic mission. i particularly want to express appreciation to the bipartisan leadership of the house and senate, who are here. we, of course, are under no illusions that 20 years of hostility between the people's republic of china and the united states of america are going to be swept away by one week of talks that we will have there.
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we must recognize that the government of the people's republic of china and the government of the united states have had great differences. we will have differences in the future, but what we must do is to find a way to see that we can have differences without being enemies in war. if we can make progress toward that goal on this trip, the world will be a much safer world, and the chance for all of those young children over there to grow up in a world of peace will be infinitely greater. i would say in conclusion that, if there was a postscript i hoped might be written, with regard to this trip, it would be the words on the plaque which was left on the moon by our
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first astronauts when they landed there. we came in peace for all mankind. thank you, and goodbye. [applause] [engine taking off]
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>> the president's mood, i'm glad to say, after having worked with him and for him for 21 years, is one of really great pride. and certainly, all of us have great pride in him today. because he is, as i think he always is, in complete control of his, well, his destiny, but more, i think, the country and the world. his mood is pensive. he has studied. he has worked hard. he has thought about this for, well, i know, from early 1967-1968, maybe longer, that somehow we had to have a negotiation. we could not have this many
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million people alienated from the united states. i can only hope and pray and join the rest of the world in hoping it will be successful. i'm excited. i am proud. lived through a lot of big moments with the nixons, but i think this is truly one of the greatest. [flight engine] >> february 17, departure ceremony. the takeoff for andrews went well with no problems. the president seemed to be in great spirits in the chopper going over to andrews. he, too, thought the whole thing
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had gone well, so things seem to be off to an auspicious start. we saw a little bit of the tv coverage after he got on the plane because they had the set on the table in the staff room. it was an odd feeling because they covered the takeoff of the spirit of 76, and we were on the plane watching the tv covering the takeoff, which was sort of fascinating. >> i think what we have to do, to fill the first day, is to feel it out because we are going to have to find out what the mood is. we want to find out whether, whether the mood might be the
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basis of their statement they made a couple of days ago, or it might be, they may have said that and they may say something else. and i want to feel, naturally there will be, in the plenary sessions, we will have everyone, all our interpreters there. but i do not want to have a situation, say, where i am in a what is basically a very private meeting with him, where there are extra people there. >> my experience has been that these times are illustrative. >> yes, the difficulty is that that day we have the plenary session and a dinner. we postponed the dinner? >> i have never seen them pay any attention.
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they always start on the second. they are never late. >> start on the second and end on the hour. >> but i think they again, judging by my october trip, they will get it done in two hours in the plenary session. because you will make a statement, and he will make a statement, and there will be some general agreement on how to proceed. >> speaking with the chinese, your comments before about mao and joe the memoirs were interesting. >> and the first part, talk about a more interesting part is the evaluation of de gaulle, it is rather fascinating. >> carrier, reserve power. >> state arrivals with all of the troops marching up and down everything else. that is all repetitive and no
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good, except to make one reel of the very best of it, then a series of just shots, sort of a montage of the leaders as they stood on the platform. one after another. that will be fascinating. [airplane engine sound] [band playing]
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["hail to the chief" plays] >> hello, governor. how are you? >> fine. >> here is the governor. >> thank you very much, thank you. that is very -- with my own, if
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you do not mind. >> governor, you will get to do your own. [laughter] >> good to have you here. >> glad to have a day in hawaii before moving on across the world. i have to work tomorrow, but i will sit in the sun, get some of that tan you have got. >> thank you for all of the flowers. >> aloha! >> aloha! [laughter] [children shouting greetings] [laughter]
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>> roll, baby. >> we're rolling. >> i think we are going to have to walk a fine line in this briefing today because it is the first briefing with this group that is going to china with us. because of the many sensitivities with the people's republic of china, i think we want to give them a general feel of what the visit will be about, what the discussions will be about. but we cannot in any way get into the agenda or the schedule, because it is not set. now, i think we want to talk a little about the leadership meeting yesterday. and the point the president made, that all americans have a stake in this visit. that it is the beginning of a process of communications with a country we have not really been in touch with for 21 years. and how we want that process to continue, and how the continuation of that process will be discussed in the meetings. i think that is the only tone we want to leave this morning, don't you? >> yes, it is going to be a rough session, ron, because they
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are thirsting for news. and you have an all-star cast down there. so i do not envy you your job this morning. >> when you put buckley and teddy white and max frankel and bill potter and john chancellor and walter cronkite and all of those people in one room, it is going to be difficult. [laughter] but we will deal with it. >> saturday, february 19, in hawaii. the president had me over at 10:00 this morning. we got into some domestic questions on the bussing thing, the poverty bill, the dock strike. we went over the schedule for next week. he discussed some of his tactics for him in the meetings and techniques he is going to use. he says henry is urging him to do it henry's way, which is to get out in long, historical,
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philosophical discussions, which the president is not inclined to do. henry is urging him to start in the plenary session reading a written statement, which the president also is not inclined to do, and he intends to follow his own technique on this rather than henry's advice. he feels he will do much better that way, and i think he is absolutely right. ♪ [cheering] [aircraft engine] [cheering] >> this is not a time for a long speech, but i would not want this opportunity to pass without saying just a word with regard
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to the significance of this moment. some of you may recall that it was two and a half years ago in guam i announced a new direction for american foreign policy based on the principles of self-reliance, self-respect, equal dignity for all nations, large and small, throughout the world. tomorrow, i will take off from guam for shanghai and peking. the first president of the united states ever to visit china. guam, i know it is said, is where the american day begins. [applause] and i would hope all of you here today would join me in this prayer. ♪ that with this trip to china, a new day may begin for the whole world. thank you very much. [applause]
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♪ [instrumental guitar song]
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>> about 2:30, or before, zhou enlai appeared at the guest house unannounced, got ahold of henry and said that chairman mao would like to see the president if he would come over. henry rushed downstairs and told the president. he put on his coat, grabbed bob taylor on the way, and took off for mao's residence unbeknownst to anybody else. taylor came into the schedule planning meeting and said this is what they were going to do and he was very concerned about it. but he was on orders to tell no one, and they were not to make any public thing about it. they came down and told me, and we debated how to handle it for a while.
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carl had him come over, and i told him. ron was holding a tangerine in his hand and took a bite of it, getting about half the tangerine in one bite and peeling it off. he was, to say the least, a little startled. we spent a very long hour and a half trying to figure out what the various contingencies were. we had no idea when they would be back or what would happen in the meantime. since we could not announce any of this, we did not know how to handle it. we debated back and forth as to what to do. we speculated on the wild range of possibilities you have when you are sitting in a chinese guest house with the troops outside and you wonder, when the president has taken off alone with no staff and no security, except one agent, no doctor, etc. but our worries generally turned out to be unfounded. the president returned shortly after 4:00.
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the president called me up and told me he had been over to see mao. obviously, he was very impressed with the whole thing but did not get into details at that time. >> [speaking chinese] [applause] >> president nixon's visit to our country at the invitation of the chinese government provides the leaders of the two countries with an opportunity of meeting in person to seek the normalization of relations between the two countries, and also to exchange views on questions of concern to the two sides. this is a positive move, in
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conformity with the desire of the chinese and american people, and an event unprecedented in the history of the relations between china and the united states. [applause] the american people are a great people. the chinese people are a great people. the peoples of our two countries have always been friendly to each other, but owing to reasons known to all, contact between the two peoples was suspended for over 20 years. now, through the common efforts of china and the united states, the gate to friendly contact has finally been opened. [applause] in conclusion, i propose a toast. to the health of president nixon
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and mrs. nixon, to the health of our other american guests, to the health of all of our friends and comrades present, and to the friendship between the chinese and american peoples. [applause] ♪ [orchestra playing]
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♪ [indistinct conversation]
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[indistinct chinese conversation]
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[indiscernible] >> and never seen this before. if it exceeds all expectations. one stands there and sees the wall going to the steep of this mountain and realizes that it runs for hundreds of miles, thousands of miles over the mountains and valleys of this country. that it was over 2000 years ago. i think you would have to conclude that this is a great wall and had to be built by a great people. many lives, of course, were lost in building it. there was no machinery or equipment at the time.
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it had to all be done by hand. under the circumstances, it is a symbol of what china in the past has been and what china in the future can become. wallple who can build a like this certainly have a great past to be proud of, and a people who have this kind of a past must also have a great future. my hope is that in the future, perhaps as a result of the beginning we have made on this journey that many, many americans, particularly young americans who like to travel so much will have an opportunity to come here as i have come here today with mrs. nixon, and the others in our party. that they will see this wall and
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think back to the history of this great people and they will have an opportunity, as we have had an opportunity, to know the chinese people and know them better. one of the results of our trip we hope may be the walls that are erected whether they are physical walls like this, or other walls, ideology or philosophy, will not divide peoples in the world. that peoples, regardless of their differences and backgrounds and their philosophies, will have an opportunity to communicate with each other, know each other, and to share with each other those particular endeavors that will mean peaceful progress in the years ahead. all and all, i would say finally we have come a long way to be here today, 16,000 miles, and many things that have occurred on this trip have made me
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realize that it was worth coming. i would say, as i look at the wall, it's worth coming 16,000 miles just to stand here and see the wall. do you agree with me, mr. secretary? >> i really do. it really is a tremendous privilege we have had to be here today. [indistinct conversation] >> [indiscernible] >> we are now on the final hours of the president's momentous visit. this farewell banquet here in shanghai. keep it rolling.
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we are now in the final hours of the president's momentous visit. this is the farewell banquet in shanghai a few hours before the president ends his unprecedented pilgrimage to peace and flies back to washington. the guests here, americans and chinese alike, and the rest of the people around the world will one day have reason to thank richard nixon for having the courage and conviction to further his search for a generation of peace. [indistinct conversation] >> get a little rest today. one hour. me too. [laughter]
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[applause] >> a beautiful family you have. [laughter] [indistinct conversation] >> [indiscernible]
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>> a renewed declaration that they declare. [indistinct chatter continues] [laughter] >> [speaking chinese] [applause]
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>> mr. prime minister, chairman, and our chinese and american friends, this magnificent banquet marks the end of our stay in the people's republic of china. we have been here a week. this was the week that changed the world. as we look back over this week we think of the boundless hospitality that has been extended to all of us by our chinese friends. we have today seen the progress of modern china. we have seen the measures matchless wonders of
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ancient china. we have also seen the beautiful countryside, the vibrance of a great city, shanghai. all of this we have enjoyed enormously, but most important was the fact that we had the opportunity to have talks with chairman mao, with the prime minister, with the foreign minister, and other people in the government. the joint communique which we have issued today summarizes our results of our talks. but what we have said in that communique is not nearly as important as what we will do in the years ahead. to build a bridge across 16,000 miles and 22 years of hostility, which have divided us in the past. and what we have said today is that we shall build that bridge. with chairman mao, the prime minister, and with others with
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whom we have met our talks have been characterized by frankness, by honesty, by determination, and above all, by mutual respect. someommunique indicates areas of difference. it also indicates areas of agreement. to mention only one that is particularly appropriate here in shanghai, is the fact that this great city, over the past has, on many occasions, been the victim of foreign aggression and foreign occupation. and we join the chinese people, we the american people in our dedication to this principle that never again shall foreign domination, foreign occupation be visited upon the city or any
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part of china or any independent country in this world. mr. prime minister, our two peoples tonight hold the future of the world in our hands. and as we take that future, we are dedicated to the principle that we can build a new world, a world of peace, a world of justice, a world of independence for all nations, and if we succeed in working together where we can find common ground, if we can find the common ground on which we can both stand, where we can build the bridge between us and build a new world, generations in the years
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ahead will look back and thank us for this meeting we have held in this past week. and let the great chinese people and the great american people be worthy of the hopes and ideals of the world for peace and justice and progress for all. [applause] [indistinct conversation]
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>> thank you. [indistinct conversation] >> mr. president, do you have any comment for the folks back home? [indistinct conversation] >> thank you. >> {speaking chinese]
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[laughter] >> [speaking chinese] >> this has already been stated in the communique. i do not have anything more to add to that communique. >> [speaking chinese]
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>> "my trip abroad" by eleanor roosevelt is a short, newsreel style film narrated by the popular newspaper columnist and former first lady. she reports on her trip in 1950 sweden, norway, finland, denmark, holland, france, and england to observe post-world war ii rebuilding efforts.

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