From January 28 to February 4, 1979 at the invitation of American President James Carter, Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping paid an official friendly visit to the United States. It was the first visit to the United States by a Chinese leader since the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Deng Xiaoping and his wife Zhuo Lin attended the welcome ceremony on the south lawn outside the White House held by Carter and his wife. Carter said in his welcome speech:"This year, the historic normalization of our bilateral relations has come true, and today, we are taking another step forward.""This normalization can carry us toward a diversified and peaceful world."Deng Xiaoping said in his thank you speech:"The Sino-US relationship is now reaching a fresh starting point, and the world situation is also undergoing a new turn.""The significance of normalization of the relations between our two countries will go far beyond the borders of our two countries…It will no doubt become an important factor to promote peace in the Pacific region and in the world. "