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To paraphrase Chou En-Lai, might it not be too soon to suggest that the Nixon entente with China was a brilliant diplomatic stroke? After all, it was that maneuver which set the stage for massive foreign inward investment in China, which has created an economic juggernaut that bids fair to bedevil the U.S. for decades to come, as recent events in outer space suggest. Is not contemporary praise for Nixon's diplomacy akin to a Paris commentator complimenting the Foreign Ministry in the late 18th century for its foiling of London by backing the rebelling colonists in North America? In other words, is praise for Nixon's diplomacy today -- insofar as it served to flummox the former USSR -- somehow missing the point? Gerald Horne UNC-Chapel Hill