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In this Feb 24, 1972 file photo, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and first lady Pat Nixon are seen as they visit the tombs of Chinese emperors of the Ming Dynasty, in the suburbs of China’s capital of Beijing. Forged in absolute secrecy at the height of the Cold War 30 years ago, the diplomatic ties established between the United States and China were meant to balance out the Soviet threat. (AP Photo/File)

Associated Press