Tonight: Action Speaks Continues With Nixon In China

Here’s Act 1, Scene 1 of the opera version.  Sadly, composer John Adams will not be in attendance.


1972 – Nixon visits People’s Republic of China

What began as a Ping Pong match is now a game of ‘Chicken’…the US and China; partners or enablers?

The relationship between the US and China has been a driving force in the development of both countries. In the past 30 years, China has transformed from  agricultural superpower to manufacturing giant, from a capitalist enemy to the biggest U.S. lender. To understand the impact of this relationship on the future of the US economy and its foreign relations, Action Speaks is heading back in time to follow President Nixon on his historic visit to China when much of this co-dependent relationship began to take shape.


Howard W. French is a Associate Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. A former reporter for the New York Times, French has served as bureau chief for Central America and the Caribbean, West Africa, Japan and the Koreas, and China in Shanghai. French is also an author, documentary photographer and two-time nominee for the Pulitzer Prize.

Crystal Jiang, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Management at Bryant University’s Business College. She received her PhD at Temple University majoring in international business, where she studied the dynamic evolution of Chinese firms and the roles government play. Her research interests include internationalization, innovation strategy, and corporate entrepreneurship of emerging economy firms. Her research work appears in the Oxford Handbook of International Business, Journal of World Business, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, and others.

Robert George Lee, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of American Civilization and Chair of the Department of American Civilization at Brown University, where he teaches such courses as “China in the American Imagination.”  He has published on a wide range of subjects related to Asian American studies, racial formations, and relations between Asia and America. Three of Lee’s well known books are: Dear Miye, Letters Home from Japan 1939-1946, Orientals: Asian Americans in Popular Culture, and Displacements and Diasporas: Asians in the Americas.

William H. Overholt, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. He formerly held the Asia Policy Research Chair at RAND’s Center for Asia Pacific Policy and served as Director of the Center. A well-known and well-respected analyst of Asian politics, Overholt is the founder of the prestigious journal, Global Assessment, and a frequent publisher. His recent work includes America and Asia: The Coming Transformation of Asian Geopolitics and the award-winning The Rise of China.

2 thoughts on “Tonight: Action Speaks Continues With Nixon In China”

  1. Not really keeping track of modern composers too well, I had to look up Mr. Adams, to make sure I wasn’t confusing him with one of the composers for one of the early Star Trek films, because that’s what the first half minute or so of this felt like.

    In the interests of relevance, it was in S.T. VI: The Undiscovered Country, when Kirk bristles at being sent to make peace with the Klingons, Spock reminds him of “an old Earth saying: ‘Only Nixon can go to China.'”

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