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VOA慢速英语2011--American History: Nixon Goes to China

时间:2011-12-08 05:47来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]
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THE MAKING OF A NATION - American History: Nixon Goes to China

 

STEVE EMBER: Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English. I'm Steve Ember.

Today, we continue the story of the thirty-seventh president of the United States, Richard Nixon.

(MUSIC)

The year is nineteen sixty-nine. Richard Nixon, a Republican, is in the first year of his first term in office. His biggest foreign policy problem is the continuing war in Vietnam. During the election campaign, Nixon had promised to do something to end the war.

The question was: what?

Some Americans want him to withdraw troops from Vietnam immediately. Bring the soldiers home, they say. Others believe the United States should take whatever measures are necessary to win. Expand the ground war, they say, or even use nuclear weapons.

Withdrawing troops would leave South Vietnam alone to resist communist North Vietnam. Yet that was the reason the United States had entered the conflict -- to prevent the communists from capturing the south.

In this Feb 21, 1972 photo, President Richard M. Nixon, left, shakes hands with Chinese leader Mao Zedong during Nixon's groundbreaking trip to China

Expanding the war would not be an easy decision either. Already, by nineteen sixty-nine, more Americans had died in Vietnam than had died during the Korean War.

For Richard Nixon, the war is a terrible test. If he fails, his presidency2 could end the way Lyndon Johnson's presidency ended. Johnson decided3 not to run for re-election after he lost public and political support for his war policies.

Presidents have advisers5, and Nixon's most important adviser4 was Henry Kissinger. Kissinger was an expert on foreign relations. He later served as Nixon's secretary of state. Together, they tried many ways to settle the conflict in Vietnam. It took several years before the involvement of the United States would finally end.

The American efforts were both diplomatic and military. Peace talks were taking place in Paris. But the Nixon administration started secret peace talks in Paris at the same time. The administration also withdrew some troops from Vietnam. Yet -- secretly -- it sent other troops into Cambodia. And it began bombing Laos.

AUDIO: Bombing

The Nixon administration also started bombing North Vietnam again. Lyndon Johnson had stopped the raids a few years earlier.

(MUSIC)

Efforts to end American involvement in Vietnam did not begin immediately. For his first eight months in office, President Nixon made no major policy changes. Then, in October nineteen sixty-nine, he ordered the withdrawal6 of sixty thousand troops.

He said he acted to speed the peace talks. He also ordered American commanders to give the South Vietnamese most of the responsibility for fighting.

Americans were happy that fewer troops would be involved. But many were unhappy that the withdrawal was not complete. Huge anti-war demonstrations7 took place in the United States in the autumn of nineteen sixty-nine. On November fifteenth, several hundred thousand people protested in Washington.

Nixon tried to explain to the American people why he was not ordering an immediate1 withdrawal. In his words: "It is not the easy way. It is the right way.”

In the spring of nineteen seventy, American and South Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia.

RICHARD NIXON: "Tonight, American and South Vietnamese units will attack the headquarters for the entire communist military operation in South Vietnam.”

Nixon described to the American public why he had decided to order the actions in Cambodia.

NIXON: “This key control center has been occupied by the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong for five years, in blatant8 violation9 of Cambodia’s neutrality. This is not an invasion of Cambodia. The areas in which these attacks will be launched are completely occupied and controlled by North Vietnamese forces. Once enemy forces are driven out of these sanctuaries10, and once their military supplies are destroyed, we will withdraw.”

(MUSIC)

Early in nineteen seventy-one, the Nixon administration decided to provide air and artillery11 support for a South Vietnamese invasion of Laos. The goal was to stop supplies from reaching North Vietnam through that neighboring country.

South Vietnamese forces destroyed many enemy weapons. But they also suffered heavy losses, and many American planes were shot down. After six weeks, the South Vietnamese were forced to withdraw.

Many members of the United States Congress were angry. They said the invasion of Laos was another in a long series of failures. Nixon's administration had said the United States was winning the war. Opposition12 Democrats13 in Congress said the administration was lying. Criticism by the American public grew louder, as well.

Demonstrations took place across the country, including on college campuses.

AUDIO: Kent State shooting

On May fourth, nineteen seventy, National Guard troops shot and killed four students during protests at Kent State University in Ohio.

This is what Neil Young means when he sings of "four dead in Ohio" in a famous protest song that he wrote in reaction to the killings14.

(MUSIC: "Ohio"/Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)

President Nixon said again that the United States must not permit North Vietnam to take over South Vietnam. Lyndon Johnson had said the same thing when he was president.

Many Americans had accepted the war, but as it continued, and as more Americans died in Vietnam, public opinion changed.

In nineteen sixty-five, sixty-one percent of those questioned said they approved of the war. By nineteen seventy-one, sixty-one percent said they did not approve of it.

The official peace talks in Paris offered little hope of a negotiated settlement. Over a period of several years, each side made proposals, only to have the other side reject them.

President Nixon wanted to address the public's anger over the war. So he announced that Henry Kissinger had held twelve secret meetings with North Vietnamese officials. But those secret meetings made no more progress than the official talks.

In late March nineteen seventy-two, North Vietnam launched a major offensive. In May, Nixon ordered increased bombing against roads and railways in the north. By the end of August, the communist offensive had been stopped. Yet many lives had been lost. The pressure to withdraw American forces grew stronger.

For the next five months, the Nixon administration continued a policy of official talks, secret meetings and increased military action. Finally, the president announced that an agreement had been reached at the peace talks in Paris. There would be a ceasefire, and negotiators from the United States, South Vietnam, North Vietnam and the Viet Cong would sign the agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, all American and allied15 forces would withdraw from South Vietnam. The north and south would be free to settle their conflict without interference from other countries.

President Nixon announced the news from the White House.

RICHARD NIXON: "At twelve-thirty Paris time today, January twenty-three, nineteen-seventy-three, the agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam was initialed by Dr. Henry Kissinger on behalf of the United States and special adviser Le Duc Tho on behalf of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The agreement will be formally signed by the parties participating in the Paris conference on Vietnam on January twenty seven, nineteen-seventy-three, at the international conference center in Paris. ... The United States and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam express the hope that this agreement will insure stable peace in Vietnam and contribute to the preservation16 of lasting17 peace in Indochina and Southeast Asia."

Yet the fighting continued -- and would continue even after Nixon resigned from office in nineteen seventy-four.

(SOUND) Fall of Saigon: Automatic weapons fire

April thirtieth, nineteen seventy-five, marked the fall of Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, after the withdrawal of American troops. The North Vietnamese had planned a two-year campaign to take Saigon; it would take them just fifty-five days.

(MUSIC Transition)

Another foreign policy issue for the Nixon administration was China. Here was Nixon's chance to shine as a statesman.

Communists took power in China in nineteen forty-nine. The United States, however, did not recognize the Communist Party government on the mainland. Instead, it recognized the Nationalist Chinese government in Taiwan.

In the early nineteen seventies, the Nixon administration began trying to improve relations. It eased restrictions18 on travel to China. And it supported a visit to China by the United States table-tennis team -- so-called "ping-pong diplomacy19."

Then President Nixon made a surprise announcement. He himself would visit China.

(MUSIC)

The historic event took place in February nineteen seventy-two. Chinese Premier20 Zhou Enlai and Party Chairman Mao Zedong greeted the American president. Nixon and Zhou held talks that opened new possibilities for trade. The next year, Nixon sent a representative to open a diplomatic office in Beijing. After more than twenty years, the two countries were communicating again.

They would not establish full relations, however, until nineteen seventy-nine, when the United States stopped recognizing Taiwan.

Many Americans were happy at the easing of tensions with China, even as the Cold War with the Soviet21 Union continued.

(MUSIC)

Many were proud to see their president standing22 at the Great Wall of China. Historians would later it call it the greatest moment in the presidency of Richard Nixon.

In fact, Nixon might have been remembered as one of America's greatest presidents, if not for a break-in at Democratic Party headquarters. It led to a history-changing series of events that came to be known as Watergate.

That will be our story next week.

(MUSIC)

You can find our series online with transcripts23, MP3s, podcasts and pictures at voanews.cn. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at VOA Learning English. I'm Steve Ember, inviting24 you to join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.
___

Contributing: Jerilyn Watson

This was program #218. For earlier programs, type "Making of a Nation" in quotation25 marks in the search box at the top of the page.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 immediate aapxh     
adj.立即的;直接的,最接近的;紧靠的
参考例句:
  • His immediate neighbours felt it their duty to call.他的近邻认为他们有责任去拜访。
  • We declared ourselves for the immediate convocation of the meeting.我们主张立即召开这个会议。
2 presidency J1HzD     
n.总统(校长,总经理)的职位(任期)
参考例句:
  • Roosevelt was elected four times to the presidency of the United States.罗斯福连续当选四届美国总统。
  • Two candidates are emerging as contestants for the presidency.两位候选人最终成为总统职位竞争者。
3 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
4 adviser HznziU     
n.劝告者,顾问
参考例句:
  • They employed me as an adviser.他们聘请我当顾问。
  • Our department has engaged a foreign teacher as phonetic adviser.我们系已经聘请了一位外籍老师作为语音顾问。
5 advisers d4866a794d72d2a666da4e4803fdbf2e     
顾问,劝告者( adviser的名词复数 ); (指导大学新生学科问题等的)指导教授
参考例句:
  • a member of the President's favoured circle of advisers 总统宠爱的顾问班子中的一员
  • She withdrew to confer with her advisers before announcing a decision. 她先去请教顾问然后再宣布决定。
6 withdrawal Cfhwq     
n.取回,提款;撤退,撤军;收回,撤销
参考例句:
  • The police were forced to make a tactical withdrawal.警方被迫进行战术撤退。
  • They insisted upon a withdrawal of the statement and a public apology.他们坚持要收回那些话并公开道歉。
7 demonstrations 0922be6a2a3be4bdbebd28c620ab8f2d     
证明( demonstration的名词复数 ); 表明; 表达; 游行示威
参考例句:
  • Lectures will be interspersed with practical demonstrations. 讲课中将不时插入实际示范。
  • The new military government has banned strikes and demonstrations. 新的军人政府禁止罢工和示威活动。
8 blatant ENCzP     
adj.厚颜无耻的;显眼的;炫耀的
参考例句:
  • I cannot believe that so blatant a comedy can hoodwink anybody.我无法相信这么显眼的一出喜剧能够欺骗谁。
  • His treatment of his secretary was a blatant example of managerial arrogance.他管理的傲慢作风在他对待秘书的态度上表露无遗。
9 violation lLBzJ     
n.违反(行为),违背(行为),侵犯
参考例句:
  • He roared that was a violation of the rules.他大声说,那是违反规则的。
  • He was fined 200 dollars for violation of traffic regulation.他因违反交通规则被罚款200美元。
10 sanctuaries 532347c9fc39e40608545e03c6fe7eef     
n.避难所( sanctuary的名词复数 );庇护;圣所;庇护所
参考例句:
  • The designation of special marine reserves and marine sanctuaries shall be subject to the State Council for approval. 海洋特别保护区、海上自然保护区的确定,须经国务院批准。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • After 1965 he acquiesced when they established sanctuaries on that soil. 1965年以后,他默认了他们在那块土地上建立庇护所。 来自辞典例句
11 artillery 5vmzA     
n.(军)火炮,大炮;炮兵(部队)
参考例句:
  • This is a heavy artillery piece.这是一门重炮。
  • The artillery has more firepower than the infantry.炮兵火力比步兵大。
12 opposition eIUxU     
n.反对,敌对
参考例句:
  • The party leader is facing opposition in his own backyard.该党领袖在自己的党內遇到了反对。
  • The police tried to break down the prisoner's opposition.警察设法制住了那个囚犯的反抗。
13 democrats 655beefefdcaf76097d489a3ff245f76     
n.民主主义者,民主人士( democrat的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • The Democrats held a pep rally on Capitol Hill yesterday. 民主党昨天在国会山召开了竞选誓师大会。
  • The democrats organize a filibuster in the senate. 民主党党员组织了阻挠议事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
14 killings 76d97e8407f821a6e56296c4c9a9388c     
谋杀( killing的名词复数 ); 突然发大财,暴发
参考例句:
  • His statement was seen as an allusion to the recent drug-related killings. 他的声明被视为暗指最近与毒品有关的多起凶杀案。
  • The government issued a statement condemning the killings. 政府发表声明谴责这些凶杀事件。
15 allied iLtys     
adj.协约国的;同盟国的
参考例句:
  • Britain was allied with the United States many times in history.历史上英国曾多次与美国结盟。
  • Allied forces sustained heavy losses in the first few weeks of the campaign.同盟国在最初几周内遭受了巨大的损失。
16 preservation glnzYU     
n.保护,维护,保存,保留,保持
参考例句:
  • The police are responsible for the preservation of law and order.警察负责维持法律与秩序。
  • The picture is in an excellent state of preservation.这幅画保存得极为完好。
17 lasting IpCz02     
adj.永久的,永恒的;vbl.持续,维持
参考例句:
  • The lasting war debased the value of the dollar.持久的战争使美元贬值。
  • We hope for a lasting settlement of all these troubles.我们希望这些纠纷能获得永久的解决。
18 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
参考例句:
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
19 diplomacy gu9xk     
n.外交;外交手腕,交际手腕
参考例句:
  • The talks have now gone into a stage of quiet diplomacy.会谈现在已经进入了“温和外交”阶段。
  • This was done through the skill in diplomacy. 这是通过外交手腕才做到的。
20 premier R19z3     
adj.首要的;n.总理,首相
参考例句:
  • The Irish Premier is paying an official visit to Britain.爱尔兰总理正在对英国进行正式访问。
  • He requested that the premier grant him an internview.他要求那位总理接见他一次。
21 Soviet Sw9wR     
adj.苏联的,苏维埃的;n.苏维埃
参考例句:
  • Zhukov was a marshal of the former Soviet Union.朱可夫是前苏联的一位元帅。
  • Germany began to attack the Soviet Union in 1941.德国在1941年开始进攻苏联。
22 standing 2hCzgo     
n.持续,地位;adj.永久的,不动的,直立的,不流动的
参考例句:
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
23 transcripts 525c0b10bb61e5ddfdd47d7faa92db26     
n.抄本( transcript的名词复数 );转写本;文字本;副本
参考例句:
  • Like mRNA, both tRNA and rRNA are transcripts of chromosomal DNA. tRNA及rRNA同mRNA一样,都是染色体DNA的转录产物。 来自辞典例句
  • You can't take the transfer students'exam without your transcripts. 没有成绩证明书,你就不能参加转学考试。 来自辞典例句
24 inviting CqIzNp     
adj.诱人的,引人注目的
参考例句:
  • An inviting smell of coffee wafted into the room.一股诱人的咖啡香味飘进了房间。
  • The kitchen smelled warm and inviting and blessedly familiar.这间厨房的味道温暖诱人,使人感到亲切温馨。
25 quotation 7S6xV     
n.引文,引语,语录;报价,牌价,行情
参考例句:
  • He finished his speech with a quotation from Shakespeare.他讲话结束时引用了莎士比亚的语录。
  • The quotation is omitted here.此处引文从略。
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TAG标签:   VOA慢速英语  American  China
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