过去和现在一如既往地开放中国

华盛顿特区——1971到1972年,在理查德·尼克松和亨利·基辛格手中实现的美国对中国的开放是一次历史性的突破。虽然在知名度上略逊一筹,但30年前吉米·卡特迈出的下一个重要步骤较之尼克松和基辛格的成就毫不逊色,因为它实现了中美两国建立全面外交关系的目标。如果没有1978年12月15日宣布的建交举措,美中关系就无法彻底摆脱小规模高层交流的有限的日程表。

1977年卸任的时候,杰拉德·福特总统和基辛格留下的美中关系并不完善,因此也没有多少稳定性可言。美国仍然以中华民国的名义承认台湾是中国唯一的合法政府。从1972年开始,美国和中国在各自的首都设立了小规模的“联络处”,但却并没有相互承认对方的合法地位。当时的官方交流非常有限,而双边贸易的年度总额还不到10亿美元。(今天,美中贸易额达到了惊人的3870亿美元。)

卡特带着实现美中关系正常化的愿望就任总统,这需要把美国对国家地位的认可从台湾方面转移到中国大陆。在有些人眼里,这不过是对事实的简单承认,但实际上这却是一个重要的步骤,是外交技巧和政治勇气的体现。

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