Lead: On February 21, 1972, U.S. President Richard Milhouse Nixon arrived in Beijing, Peoples Republic of China. For the Chinese and for Nixon it was a meeting born of necessity.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Until the middle of the twentieth century, relations between China and the United States were limited. Up to 1920, the United States was at best a regional power and played a role in East Asia secondary to Britain, France, and even Russia. This had begun around 1900. The United States acquired the Philippines and therefore became a major player in Asian affairs, and it emerged from the First World War as a truly global military and economic power.