Only Nixon could go to China.
~ American Proverb, Vulcan [18350]

Nixon Mao 1972-02-29

By White House Photo Office (1969 – 1974) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

President Richard Nixon's record of anti-communism was well-known. Prior to Nixon's visit, Mao Tse Tung had isolated China from most of western world. When Nixon opened diplomatic relations, it was heralded as a pivotal moment in political history.

The reason Nixon was considered the "only" person who could go is because any other politician with any less of a record of anti-communism, would not have been able to make such an impact.


In the movie, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Spock jokingly claims this American expression to be an "old Vulcan proverb." The alluded comparison was to Enterprise Captain James T. Kirk opening talks with the Federation's most feared enemies, the Klingons.

Photo of Leonard Nimoy
By Beth Madison
(_DSC5611-1 crp)
[CC-BY-2.0],
via Wikimedia Commons