June 12 will be marked in history when the two leaders will meet in Singapore after decades of rift. Will they shake hands?
Nearly 50 years ago, Richard Nixon surprised the world by flying to Beijing to meet with Mao Tse-tung and completed a diplomatic masterpiece. In 1972, after 25 years of fro-zen relations between the two nations, Nixon went to China.
The seven-day official visit to three Chinese cities was the first time a US president had visited the PRC; Nixon's arrival in Beijing ended 25 years of no communication, nor diplomatic ties, between the two countries and was the key step in normalizing relations between the US and China. Nixon visited China to gain more leverage over relations with the Soviet Union.
Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in 1988 was an “ice breaking” trip and played a very important role in resuming and developing friendship between the two countries. Gandhi was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit China since 1954.
It was 10.30am in the morning of 22 December 1988. China’s ‘Paramount Leader’ Deng Xiaoping appeared at the Great Hall of China wearing a grey Mao coat. The handshake lasted quite a while, says then Minister of State for External Affairs, Natwar Singh, in his book. The visit laid the basis for ‘peace and tranquility’ on the border, the phrase written into an agreement during a successor Prime Minister’s visit to China five years later.
After months of secret negotiations in Norway, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat stood in the South Lawn of the White House on September 13, 1993 to witness the signing of the Oslo Accords. President Bill Clinton introduced the two leaders to the crowd of invited guests in front of the White House.
The handshake - the first ever in public between the two former arch enemies - marked the signing of a Declaration of Principles for peace between the Arabs and Israelis. By their side, were former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George Bush who had vigorously campaigned for peace during their terms in office.
At a memorial service for Nelson Mandela in 2013, US President Barack Obama made headlines when he shook hands with Cuba's Raul Castro, the first such public greeting between leaders of the bitter neighbours after decades of enmity.
Within months, there was a rapid thaw. Full diplomatic relations were restored in July 2015, followed by once-unthinkable steps to mend ties after more than half a century of enmity. Obama visited Cuba in 2016 - the first such trip by an American president in 88 years.
After decades of estrangement following a traumatic split at the end of a civil war in 1949, the presidents of China and Taiwan met for the first time ever in Singapore.
In unprecedented scenes, China’s Xi Jinping and Taiwan’s Ma Ying-jeou shook hands for more than a minute and smiled for a mass of reporters before holding talks. The summit led to the setting up of a hotline between Beijing and Taipei and a lowering of tensions between the self-ruled island and the mainland.
When the leaders of North and South Korea reached across the Military Demarcation Line to shake hands on Friday, they symbolically -- if fleetingly -- united a peninsula that has been divided for decades.
The handshake between the two leaders, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, marked the latest milestone in a rapid rapprochement after months of global fears about a nuclear conflict.