Dr. Hill and students

Nixon brother to speak Thursday about historic China trip

May 3 event to highlight 40th anniversary of historic opening to China

Nixon Brothers 382x255
The Nixon brothers: Edward, Richard and Donald

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Edward C. Nixon, brother to the late President Richard M. Nixon, will speak on Thursday, May 3, at Wofford College, describing how he retraced his brother’s footsteps on his historic visit to China 40 years ago and discussing the future of U.S.-China relations.
  The program, which will include a lecture and a question-and-answer session, will be held at 7 p.m. in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building. It is free and open to the public.

The lecture is the second event under Wofford’s endowed Hipp Lecture Series on International Affairs and National Security; the first was the Republican Presidential Candidates Debate held on campus in November 2011, presented by CBS and the National Journal.

“Wofford is an excellent setting for me to discuss the importance of my brother’s historic trip to China 40 years ago and the future of U.S.-China relations,” Nixon says. “The college has placed an emphasis on its Chinese Language and Studies program, as well as on the importance of its students participating in study abroad activities in order to better understand the world and to become good global citizens. Many Wofford students learn about China in their studies, while the college’s administration supports undergraduate faculty who are writing books on U.S. foreign policy. Wofford has set itself apart as a highly regarded institution where important conversations are taking place, such as the GOP’s Commander-in-Chief Debate held there this past fall.”

During his recent trip to China, Nixon was honored at a state dinner attended by Mao’s daughter.

Dr. John Farrenkopf, associate professor of government at Wofford who teaches a course titled “China: Politics, Economy and Foreign Relations,” notes that 2012 is the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s “historic opening to China. His famous visit to what had hitherto been a staunch Communist adversary was a milestone in the history of post-World War II American foreign policy. It helped set the stage for the establishment of full diplomatic relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China in 1979 under the Carter administration and the initiation of a foreign policy of engagement with China – a policy which all subsequent American presidents have followed. Engagement with China strengthened America’s hand in dealing with the Soviet Union in the Cold War and played a role in facilitating the remarkable economic rise of post-Maoist China.”

Dr. Li Qing Kinnison, associate professor of Chinese Studies, says Wofford’s program would not exist without President Nixon’s historic trip. “The Chinese people love him as an old friend of China for his contribution to the normalization of diplomatic relationships between China and the U.S.A., and for opening the door for both Chinese and American people to learn from each other and build up a strong friendship, which has mutually benefited both sides in every aspect, including education. Wofford Chinese Studies is the result of the long-lasting impact of his China trip. With more and more American students going to China with the knowledge in language and culture, Nixon’s legacy will be carried on.”

Wofford alumnus Van D. Hipp Jr., who established the Hipp Lecture Series on International Affairs and National Security, says, “The purpose of our lecture series is to highlight issues of national and international interest, and to bring in speakers who are well-versed on these issues for students. In keeping with that purpose, Ed Nixon remembers his brother’s barrier-breaking trip to China 40 years ago – China then and China now. We are pleased to be able to host this event and highlight Wofford’s commitment to Chinese studies as well.”

Hipp, a former chairman of the South Carolina Republican Party, now is chairman of American Defense International Inc. in Washington, D.C., and is on the board of directors of the American Conservative Union and the National Capital Board of the Salvation Army. He is the former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Army, where he oversaw the bulk of the mobilization for Operation Desert Storm.

Edward Nixon, who co-authored “The Nixons: A Family Portrait” with Karen L. Olson in 2009, is the president of Nixon World Enterprises Inc. and the chairman of the Pyron Solar Advisory Board in San Diego, Calif. In the book, “by reflecting on heritage, education, extensive world travel, plus the encouragement of his older brother,” Nixon “tells the story of an ordinary family striving to make a positive difference in the world,” according to the book’s website. “Their global mission aims to inspire more young Americans to reach for a new threshold of greatness for the country.”

He has spent decades pursuing the responsible use of natural resources around the globe. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in geology from Duke University and master’s degree in geological engineering from North Carolina State University, he embarked on a successful career working for and serving as an adviser to several cutting-edge companies in the field of earth science.