Officially, the People’s Republic of China hated the USA, and the USA did not acknowledge the existence of communist China. Yet, culminating in February 1972, the two sides unexpectedly came together. This is the story of how and why.

Paul Letters is a historian, journalist, educator and novelist. See for more history, including a daily ‘On-This-Day-75-Years-Ago’ feed, with photographs. Plus the novel that combines: the real history of the Allies’ first strike against Nazi Germany; Paul’s granny’s escape (as a teenager) from 1939 Poland to 1940 Paris to wartime London; the ‘Double-Cross System’, the Special Operations Executive and assassination in Prague.

Each month on Noreen Mir’s 1-2-3 Show (RTHK Radio 3), Paul Letters examines events from this month in history. Recorded at Radio Television Hong Kong Studios, Broadcast Drive, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Cover work by Gill Bertram.