SAT Subject US History Practice Question 859: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 859

30. One of President Nixon's most important diplomatic initiatives was to

A. reunite Vietnam.
B. open diplomatic relations between China and the United States.
C. establish a forum for discussions of human rights.
D. pressure China to recognize Taiwan.
E. end the Cold War.

Correct Answer: B


Henry Kissinger, who was President Nixon's Secretary of State, arranged to meet with the Chinese during a Ping-Pong (table tennis) tournament in Japan in 1971. This was the beginning of the "opening to China." Nixon did not reunite Vietnam (A). North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam in 1975, and reunited the country, after American troops had withdrawn in 1973. Jimmy Carter was associated with human rights (C), not Nixon. China tolerates Taiwan (D) but still does not recognize it as an independent political entity. The Cold War (E) did not end until 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union.

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