Li Peng
From the archives: U.S.-China Strains Surface; Basis of Relationship Shifts

WASHINGTON -- At the time, Republican presidential contender Ronald Reagan called it "a shabby, needless blow." His intra-party rival, George Bush, branded it "an abject American retreat." And then-Sen. John Tower (R-Tex.) termed it "unconscionable." Despite such criticism, 10 years ago today, on Jan. 1, 1979, the Jimmy Carter Administration broke formal U.S. ties with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China. "We are recognizing a simple reality," President Carter said. But, as a matter of American foreign policy, it had been anything but simple. For nearly three decades, the United States had refused...