Last week marked the 50th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s groundbreaking trip to China.
Nixon met with the then President of the People’s Republic of China, President Mao Zedong.
That meeting was rooted in the policies of the Cold War, in which both countries positioned themselves in opposition to the Soviet Union. The meeting also set in motion China’s ‘opening’ towards the West, and with it – a massive economic boom for the country – which in the two decades prior had mostly been shut off for the most part from outside trade and outside influence.
To look back at the reunion of these two superpowers – WBUR Radio and Here and Now, which you can hear weekdays from noon to two here on WCPN – put together a 5-part podcast called ‘The Great Wager’.
Jane Perlez, Beijing Bureau Chief of The New York Times, hosts the series, which not only beautifully sets the stage for the meeting, but also looks at the aftermath – and how relations between the United States and China have been soured in the decades since.
I recently sat down with Scott Tong from Here and Now to talk about the podcast, his perspective as a Chinese American, and how the recent Beijing Olympics unfolded on the diplomatic scene.