Shanghai Communique of 1972

Issued by President Richard Nixon during his historic diplomatic mission to the People's Republic of China in 1972, the Shanghai Communique pledged that the United States would reduce its military presence on Taiwan as soon as diplomatic tensions began to ease. The promise encouraged the Chinese that the United States was at last preparing to recognize them as the legitimate representative of the Chinese people, but the North Vietnamese were very suspicious. The last thing they wanted was improved relations between the United States and China. Mao Zedong had been pressing North Vietnam to consider a reduced military effort in South Vietnam, and the North Vietnamese interpreted the Shanghai Communique as part of a larger Chinese-American conspiracy to diminish their influence in Southeast Asia.