Nixon arrived in Beijing 35 years ago this week in what is considered the breakthrough in modern U.S.-Chinese relations.
China's Xinhua news agency said Saturday that the man who acted as translator for the visit remembers being at the airport and watching as Nixon and Premier Zhou Enlai shook hands.
"Nixon's tour was a significant chapter in Sino-U.S. relations, during which the two countries ended two decades of conflict and started the process of normalizing diplomatic ties," said Ji Chaozhu in interview with Xinhua.
The official government news agency noted that the two pandas China sent to the United States after the visit grew old and died in the 1990s while the larch saplings Nixon presented to his hosts have propagated and now grow in several locations in China.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]