Next year will mark 50 years since U.S. President Richard Nixon traveled to China to meet with Communist Party of China Chairman Mao Zedong and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai — a major step toward restoring relations after decades of estrangement and hostility.

A half-century later, the progress they launched has been all but lost, and U.S. President Joe Biden is partly to blame.

The ideological differences between the United States and China in 1972 could not have been starker. But both sides recognized the vast benefits of a detente. By isolating the Soviet Union, they hastened the end of the Cold War. And by enabling China to shift its focus to peaceful economic development, they bolstered global prosperity for decades to follow.