Civics Today Citizenship, Economics, & You

Chapter 7: The Executive Branch

Student Web Activity

"The President and Foreign Policy"

In this chapter you have studied the seven roles of the president. One of these roles is that of chief diplomat. For thirty years the United States maintained no diplomatic ties with the most heavily populated country in the world—China. When communists led by Mao Zedong successfully ousted the nationalist government, the United States broke off all diplomatic relations. President Richard Nixon was determined to visit China and resume normal diplomatic ties. Consider the effects of Nixon’s foreign policy decision. What American companies trade with China, today? How may Americans buy products that were made in China? What is our relationship with China today?

Destination Title: Nixon’s China Game

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
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Start at the PBS online feature about Nixon’s China Game.

  • Click on and explore the Timeline.
  • Then click on People and Events. Select Ping-Pong Diplomacy and read the information presented.
  • Click the back button and then click on and read about Richard Nixon.

After you have read these pages, answer the following questions.

When did the communists take over China?
What was one of the first hints that relations between the U.S. and China were improving?
Who was working behind the scenes to start talks with China?
When was President Nixon’s first trip to China? What hindered the continued development of diplomatic relations with China?
Create a chart showing at least ten products sold in the United States that are made in China and at least five American businesses that operate in China.
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