Although hailed by historians and political scientists as a pivotal moment in the reestablishment of U.S.-Sino relations, President Richard Nixon’s 1972 trip to China has received little attention from rhetoricians. The toasts and speeches Nixon presented during his trip are important rhetorical artifacts as they illustrate the intricate relationship between diplomatic and epideictic rhetoric. Nixon adroitly employed epideictic diplomatic rhetoric during his 1972 trip to convey diplomatic aims and accomplish deliberative objectives. In so doing, he created a new, positive definition of U.S.-Sino relations, which rhetorically bridged the ideological differences that had separated the nations for more than two decades.

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