Letter: Xi's China is not what Nixon had in mind

I agree with the thrust of Philip Stephens’ commentary (Opinion, July 31). Indeed, the Nixon-Kissinger secret trip to China was primarily to “isolate Moscow”.

But that was part of a broader strategy aimed at establishing liberal democracy in China and bringing China closer to the US in alliance with Japan and South Korea.

This was to be achieved through the expansion of the Chinese economy and middle class — that is, greater prosperity would inevitably bring about demand for political pluralism and democracy.

Following that visit and the gradual opening of China’s economy, capital and technological knowhow, encouraged by the US, poured in.

With increased prosperity, demand for political liberalisation grew stronger. The Communist party responded harshly, which led to the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, and the party re-established itself as the sole power in China. President has left no doubt that

Mr Kissinger’s policy has been a total failure.

Zia Ebrahimzadeh
Washington DC, US

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