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Three Sino-US Joint Communiqués

The three Sino-US joint communiqués, namely the 1972 communiqué (the Shanghai communiqué), the 1979 communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations, and the 1982 communiqué, provided a crucial basis for the development of Sino-US relations.

U.S. President Nixon's visit to China in February 1972 at the invitation of Premier Zhou Enlai opened the door for Sino-US reengagement, which culminated in the signing on February 28 in Shanghai of the Sino-US Joint Communiqué, ushering in the process of normalizing Sino-US relations. On December 16, 1978, China and the United States issued the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, announcing both countries' decision to recognize each other and to establish diplomatic relations as of January 1, 1979. Subsequently,on August 17, 1982, a third communiqué was issued focusing on a step-by-step approach with the ultimate aim of resolving the issue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. The United States declared that its arms sales to Taiwan would not exceed, either in qualitative or in quantitative terms, the level of those supplied in the years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, and that it intended to reduce gradually its sales of arms to Taiwan, leading over a period of time to a final resolution. In all three communiqués the United States emphasized its acceptance of the "one China" principle, which provideda political basis for the healthy development of Sino-US ties.

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