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Reading Jeremy Suri's introduction to this most interesting roundtable, I was struck by his comments on the way the Vietnam War served as an obstacle to improved relations between the United States and China. It is certainly true that the Vietnam War posed difficulties, but we should also notice two ways in which the Vietnam War smoothed the path for improved relations. First, American worries about the danger that China might intervene in the Vietnam War gave the United States a powerful motive for avoiding provocation of China. This showed itself concretely in declining American enthusiasm for paramilitary attacks against the Chinese government (both by Tibetan rebels and by Chiang Kai-shek's forces), and symbolically in the decision to stop insulting the Chinese government by calling its capital city "Peiping." (The Chinese characters that are now transliterated "Beijing," and during the 1960s were transliterated "Peking," mean "Northern Capital." The United States government up to 1965 had been pretty consistent about refusing to call the city "Peking" because using that name would have implied that it was the capital of China.) The fact that the United States had cut back on gratuitously provocative behavior would have made it easier for Chinese leaders, a few years later, to consider a serious relaxation of tensions. Second, by far the biggest barrier to improved relations, on the American side, had been the fear that any American president who opened up relations with China would be accused of being "soft on Communism." Richard Nixon was very strongly protected against such criticism by the fact that he was killing so many Communists in Vietnam. Edwin Moise Clemson, SC --