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Henry Kissinger makes shock go to to China, meets protection minister

Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, the 100-year-old who was on the coronary heart of the USA’ rapprochement with China half a century in the past, stated throughout a shock go to to Beijing that the 2 international locations should be taught to coexist peacefully and keep away from confrontation.

Kissinger met Chinese language Protection Minister Li Shangfu in Beijing on Tuesday, in response to a report by the official Xinhua Information Company that was additionally posted on the ministry’s web site.

The go to is outstanding not simply due to Kissinger’s age and historical past with China, but in addition as a result of it comes at a time of heightened tensions between the 2 international locations. Army communications specifically are so fraught that Li refused to satisfy U.S. Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin at a regional safety discussion board in Singapore final month.

Throughout a go to to Beijing final month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to get an settlement to renew direct military-to-military communications between the USA and China. However, Blinken stated, Beijing rejected the thought regardless of harmful current close to misses.

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But in Beijing on Tuesday, Li advised Kissinger that he hoped the USA will “work with China to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the 2 international locations and promote the wholesome and secure improvement of relations between the 2 international locations and their militaries,” Xinhua stated.

Li has been beneath U.S. sanctions since 2018 over China’s buy of fight plane and tools from Russia’s important arms exporter.

Kissinger responded that each the USA and China ought to get rid of misunderstandings, Xinhua reported.

“Historical past and apply have repeatedly confirmed that neither the US nor China can afford the price of treating one another as opponents,” Kissinger stated, in response to the Chinese language account. “If the 2 international locations go to warfare, it is not going to deliver any significant outcomes to the individuals of the 2 international locations.”

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Kissinger’s go to coincides with that by one other former American secretary of state: John F. Kerry, now the Biden administration’s local weather envoy, is in Beijing for talks geared toward kick-starting cooperation between the world’s two largest polluters.

The State Division was conscious that Kissinger was touring to China, spokesman Matthew Miller advised reporters in Washington Tuesday.

“It really got here up within the conferences that Secretary Blinken had once we have been in China,” Miller stated. “The Chinese language officers talked about that he was planning to come back, as he has executed numerous instances over time as a non-public citizen. I’ll say he was there beneath his personal volition, not performing on behalf of the USA Authorities.”

Kissinger has had shut ties with Chinese language officers since he secretly visited Beijing in 1971 to put the groundwork for President Richard M. Nixon’s historic journey the next yr, which led to rapprochement with China. The 2 international locations solid official diplomatic relations in 1979.

Kissinger stays revered in China for these efforts.

“Kissinger has made nice contributions to China-US relations, which could be seen as one in all his profession highlights, beneath the precept of placing apart ideological variations and dealing with China relations based mostly on actuality and respect with an emphasis on equality,” Li Haidong, a professor on the China International Affairs College, advised the state-affiliated World Instances newspaper on the event of Kissinger’s a centesimal birthday.


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