February 22, 1976 – Nixon Returns To China – Kissinger Heads To Brazil
February 22, 1976 – A busy week in the world. On February 21st, former President Nixon returned to China, this time as a private citizen, making his first public appearance in some 18 months of seclusion. No fanfare this time – no Henry Kissinger. His greeting was warm, though muted compared to his milestone visit to Communist China four years earlier. To Richard Nixon, this trip was significant because it meant he was easing back into the limelight.To the Chinese, it was a chance to sound out a man they considered a friend on issues that were uppermost in their minds. To Americans, it was a chance for some inside information on China’s latest set of disputes, no matter how distasteful some felt the idea of Nixon playing a diplomatic role was. Reporters covering his visit weren’t able to ask him a single question. However, he did make a surprise public speech, his first since hid 1974 resignation. He stressed Sino-American friendship and the search for peace. It gave the impression he was ready to be making many more public speeches. The Chinese were taking him very seriously; he conferred with officials for over 3 hours, most of the time with acting Premier Hua Guofeng. The day following he was scheduled to have another session with Hua. Hua Guofeng was symbolic of the factional debate taking place in China. He appeared to be a compromise choice between the radicals and moderates. In his discussions with Hua, it was thought Mr. Nixon was picking up information on the dispute, and the american government said it was requesting a report when Nixon returned home.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was in the midst of a long-delayed trip to Latin America. Venezuela was cordial while Peru was cooler and the usual joint communiqué didn’t materialize in Lima. On the third stop of his six nation/9 day tour of Latin America, Kissinger unveiled his main reason for the trip; to recognize Brazil as a World Power and as the U.S.’ closest ally. An agreement was signed in Brasilia by the two countries. Dr. Kissinger said the pact provided the United States to consult with Brazil on “all events of International significance”. It placed Brazil on a level with japan in its economic and political relations with the United States. The agreement also aimed at removing trade barriers and speeding up the transfer of American technology to Brazil. It wasn’t clear what Brazil was pledging to the U.S. in return.
And that’s just a bit of what happened this week, ending on February 22, 1976 as reported by CBS Radio’s The World This Week.