Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Montage of images and link description. Nixons China Game Imagemap: linked to kids and home
The Film and More
Imagemap(text links below) of menu items
The American Experience
The Film & More
Interview Transcripts | Further Reading

Alexander Haig, Deputy National Security Advisor, on:
the secrecy of the policy

Alexander Haig Q: Why was the policy was so secret and so sensitive?

Haig: If one looked at the character of this initiative, it ran very vigorously against the mainstream of political thought here in America. Taiwan was viewed as our friend, which they were, and somehow Beijing as our vital enemy, and generally a Beijing that was in lock step with the Soviet Union and its heinous global objectives. And that, of course, as we saw later, was a serious miscalculation in the Vietnam period of our relationships with China. So the sensitivity of opening up a dialogue with the People's Republic of China could not be over-estimated and was very likely to have caused such a brouhaha in our legislature that the whole initiative could have been squashed before it was even born.

back to Interview Transcripts | next

Program Description | Enhanced Transcript | Reference

The Film & More | Special Features | Timeline | Maps | People & Events | Teacher's Guide

©  New content 1999 PBS Online / WGBH