Photo: National Archives and Records Administration
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, whose four-decade political career included serving as chief diplomat in China, died Friday at age 94.
Despite serving only a single term as president, Bush was a significant figure in American political life for two generations. He was a World World II hero, an ambassador to the United Nations, director of the CIA, and a two-term vice president under Ronald Reagan.
Bush was president during the tumultuous early 1990s that saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and the first U.S.-led war against Iraq.
But Bush was perhaps best known to China watchers for his role as the top American official in China from 1974 to 1975, serving as Chief of the U.S. Liaison Office, at a time when Washington was moving its diplomatic recognition of China from Taipei to Beijing.
Bush visited China only once during his time as president, in February 1989, when he met with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and Communist Party General-Secretary Zhao Ziyang.