Nixon plays chopsticks: Shanghai, 1972

US President Richard Nixon learns how to use chopstiks whie dining with Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai in Shangai, 1972 © Getty

At a lavish banquet in Shanghai, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai (second from left) demonstrates the proper etiquette for using chopsticks, as US President Richard Nixon tries them for himself.


The meal came during a week-long summit, which Nixon described as “the week that changed the world”. It was the first official visit to the People’s Republic of China by a US President and made significant moves to thaw relations between the two nations after 25 years of division.


Plans for the trip began in the wake of ‘Ping Pong Diplomacy’, when US and Chinese table tennis teams extended the olive branch with invitations to each other’s country.