Plan of Investigation 150
To what extent did Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic actions with China play a dominant role in the United States foreign policy between the years of 1969 and 1977 regarding the Soviet Union?
The intent of this investigation is to evaluate the degree to which Henry Kissinger’s diplomatic actions with China during his position of National Security Advisor and Secretary of State affected the relations between the two world superpowers of the period time between the years of 1969 to 1977, the United States and the Soviet Union. The investigation focuses on the diplomatic talks of Henry Kissinger with officials of both the People’s Republic of China and the Soviet Union, and the triangular diplomacy among the three nations that arose from these events. The policy of Realpolitik will be discussed within the investigation as a way to justify Henry Kissinger’s, and in a broader range, Richard Nixon administration’s diplomacy with China.
Summary of Evidence 695
In the first two decades of the postwar period, U.S-Soviet relations were characterized by many fits and starts. The relationship between the three nations of the US, the SU, and the PRC were tepid, with no real inclination in establishing amity among themselves. Prior to the Nixon administration, direct communication with the People’s Republic of China was very limited, with closed meetings between the two nations often being postponed. Despite the perceived hostility, China had proposed a meeting between its representatives and those of the Nixon Administration in February of 1969. This prompted a harsh accusation from the Soviet Union, as its news agency, Tass, had asserted the anti-imperialist people of China should react to the offer of peaceful coexistence with the U.S as to an “alliance of the great helmsman with the devil himself”.
Following the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August of 1969 , Sino-Soviet relations had deteriorated due to the differing Marxist and Maoist ideologies and the constant border skirmishes along the Sino-Soviet border . As Chinese confidence in America’s ability to supply a counterweight to Soviet expansion declined, Beijing began to withdraw into a Third World posture of blaming both superpowers, though the Soviet Union was still receiving the brunt of the criticism.
With the swearing in of Henry Kissinger as the 8th US National Security Advisor on December 2, 1968, and as the fifty-sixth Secretary of State on September 22, 1973 , the possibility of détente with the Soviet Union seemed possible. Kissinger had been urged on by domestic critics to initiate immediate negotiations with Moscow on trade, cultural, scientific, and most importantly, arms control. It was believed that any agreements with the Soviets, however limited, would contribute to an easing of Soviet suspicions and thereby reduce the danger of war.
In the summer of 1969, the Kissinger-Nixon duo had believed that they would be able to...