A development of significance for the future of Asia and for the world came to fruition in 1972 as our communications were restored with the People's Republic of China. This event has allowed us to initiate dialogue with the leaders of a quarter of the earth's population, and trade channels with the People's Republic have been opened, leading to benefits for each side.
The People's Republic of China can and will play an increasingly important role in world affairs. We shall seek to engage the People's Republic of China in an expanded network of contacts and trade. Such a process cannot realistically proceed at a forced or incautious pace; the measured but steady growth of our relations best serves our interests. We do not ignore the profound differences in our respective philosophies, governmental institutions, policies and views on individual liberty, and we are hopeful that basic human rights will be extended to the Chinese people. What is truly fundamental is that we have established regular working channels with the People's Republic of China and that this process can form an important contribution to world peace.
Our friendly relations with one great power should not be construed as a challenge to any other nation, large or small. The United States government, while engaged in a normalization of relations with the People's Republic of China, will continue to support the freedom and independence of our friend and ally, the Republic of China, and its 16 million people. The United States will fulfill and keep it [sic.] commitments, such as the mutual defense treaty, with the Republic of China.
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