January 1, 1888
Early in 1888, the United States and China signed the Bayard-Zhang Treaty, by which the Qing agreed to prohibit all new Chinese migration for 20 years and limited the classes of Chinese who could return to the United States after a trip home. The agreement did not violate the Burlingame Treaty of 1868 because the United States did not institute the prohibitions, but it drew opposition from the Chinese populace. However, before the treaty was ratified, Congress passed the Scott Act, which canceled the right of return for Chinese residents who left the United States for any reason.
February 21, 1972
President Nixon arrived in Beijing as the first American head of state ever to set foot on the Chinese Mainland. Nixon, Kissinger, and others met with Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and at the end of the weeklong visit the two sides issued the Shanghai Communiqué. In this document the United States and China stated their positions on a number of issues, including joint opposition to the Soviet Union, the U.S. intention to withdraw its military from Taiwan, and U.S. support for a “peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question by the Chinese themselves.”
June 23, 1972
Building upon President Nixon’s trip to the People’s Republic of China in February 1972, Ford and Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana visit and meet with Premier Chou En-Lai (Zhou Enlai).
August 20, 1977
Secretary of State Cyrus Vance traveled to Beijing to visit Chairman Hua, Foreign Minister Huang, and senior Chinese officials.
December 15, 1978
In order to complete the process of normalization, President Carter dispatched National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski to China to meet with Deng and other leaders.
January 29, 1979
On January 1, the United States and the PRC commenced normal diplomatic relations and soon thereafter Deng Xiaoping visited the United States to meet with U.S. officials and tour some of the companies with which China had begun to make deals.
April 26, 1984
President Ronald Reagan became the third U.S. President to visit the PRC. The following year, Chinese President Li Xiannian became China’s first formal head of state to visit the United States
January 1, 1988
The United States and China reached an agreement to allow the U.S. Peace Corps to begin sending volunteers to China.
June 25, 1998
The year after Jiang Zemin came to the United States, President Bill Clinton paid a return trip to China for a summit meeting.
November 2, 1998
The first meeting of the Forum convened on November 2-4, 1998, in Beijing. The Forum established a new vehicle for cooperation between government and industry experts of the two nations in the oil and natural gas sectors.