Perspectives on Foreign Policy








on education 

on housing 

on foreign policy

The Role of Public
in the Evolution of
United States–China
1972 through 2002

I.  The Getting-to-
Know-You Years, 
1972 through 1979

II.  1980 through 2000: 
The Years of Explosive
Growth in Travel, 
Investment, Commerce, 
and Cross-Cultural
Study and 
Language Training

III.  Todays United States China Interdependence:
Lessons Learned and Their Application to the Current
United States
Islam Divide


One China or Two?




The Role of Public Diplomacy
in the Evolution of
United States–China Relations,
1972 through 2002



About the Author

From 1951 to 1979, Robert Nichols was an officer in the foreign service for the U.S. State Department.   After completing Chinese language training in 1961, most of his assignments were related to China or to areas where Chinese is spoken.  He served as the cultural officer in Hong Kong, public affairs officer in Taiwan, and director of the Chinese Language Division of Voice of America for the U.S. Information Agency.

From 1974 to 1976 he directed the State Department cultural exchange with the Peoples Republic of China, and during that period he escorted one of the first official U.S. delegations, led by Secretary Cyrus Vance, to mainland China.  In 1978 to 1979, while serving as deputy director for East Asia of the U.S. Information Agency, he was closely involved in the process of the normalization of relations between China and the United States, the drafting of cultural agreements, and the establishment of USIA offices in China.

Since retiring to Cape Cod in 1979, he has continued his interest in China as a lecturer, teacher, and writer.  He has escorted ten delegations or study tours to China for the National Committee on United StatesChina Relations, China Educational Travel (sponsored by Cape Cod Community College), and the Smithsonian.  His most recent visit was in the fall of 1999.





about the author          about the series    introduction to the series 

 lecture I          lecture II     lecture III     one China or two?

biographical notes          bibliography