Winner 1999

Playing the China Card (Nixon’s China Game)

Brook Lapping Productions for Channel 4, London,

In February 1972, the world watched in awe as “cold warrior” Richard Nixon made his historic visit to China. This revealing documentary describes one of the world’s oddest international relationships-the unlikely courtship between the United States and China. The motives and techniques of U.S. diplomacy at the highest level have never before been so penetratingly revealed. Drawing on news footage, home movies of Nixon’s visit and remarkable access to many of the most critical players, executive producers Brian Lapping and Norma Percy, series producer Mark Anderson and producer-director Michael Simkin, with producer and writer Bill Lattanzi for The American Experience, take us behind the scenes of one of the boldest diplomatic maneuvers in history. Previously unseen extracts from television interviews with President Nixon add crucial historical details, as do interviews with U.S. officials who traveled to China during the delicate negotiations. The combination of painstakingly researched events, along with revelations of the frantic and often bumbling antics that occurred among diplomats on both sides, qualifies this work as an important historical narrative worthy of the Peabody Award.