September 26, 2023

Henry A. Kissinger, the century-old former secretary of state who pushed america towards a extra conciliatory method to China, made a shock go to to Beijing, the place he met with China’s protection secretary.

The beforehand unannounced journey of Mr. Kissinger, who helped pave the best way for diplomatic relations between america and China beneath President Richard M. Nixon greater than 50 years in the past, coincided with a string of visits by US officers to China.

On Tuesday, the day Mr. Kissinger met with Protection Secretary Li Shangfu, President Biden’s local weather change envoy John Kerry met with China’s prime minister and prime international coverage official. In latest weeks, present Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen have additionally traveled to Beijing to attempt to stabilize US-China relations.

However whereas Chinese language officers or state media greeted these officers with various levels of coldness or swearing, reflecting geopolitical tensions, the Protection Division’s description of the assembly with Mr. Kissinger was hotter. It’s noteworthy that Mr. Kissinger met Mr. Lee in any respect: China final month turned down Mr. Lee’s request to satisfy with US Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin on the Singapore summit. (China blamed Mr. Li for lifting US sanctions.)

Throughout Mr. Blinken’s go to final month, Chinese language officers once more turned down a request to renew direct channels of communication between the army.

At a gathering with Mr. Kissinger, Mr. Li stated he hoped america would work with China to advertise “a wholesome, secure growth of relations between the 2 nations and the 2 army forces,” the Protection Division stated in a press release.

Mr. Li additionally criticized “some folks in america” for not “going together with China,” noting that the environment for pleasant communication has been “ruined.”

In accordance with the Protection Division, Mr. Kissinger stated he was “right here as a pal of China” and that the 2 nations ought to “take away misunderstandings, coexist peacefully and keep away from confrontation.”

It was not instantly clear how lengthy Mr. Kissinger could be in Beijing or whether or not he would meet with different officers, together with Chinese language chief Xi Jinping. Mr. Xi and Mr. Kissinger met in Beijing in 2019, when Mr. Xi informed Mr. Kissinger that he hoped that he “dwell for a lot of extra wholesome years to return and proceed to be a propagandist and participant in Sino-US relations” . Xinhua, China’s state information company.

Chinese language state media have lengthy showered reward on Mr. Kissinger, particularly in distinction to the extra aggressive stance towards Beijing taken by latest US presidential administrations.

In a Might op-ed commemorating Mr. Kissinger’s one hundredth birthday, the tabloid-run International Instances acknowledged that Mr. Kissinger was “legendary” and “nonetheless retains his razor-sharp thoughts on US-China relations.” , clearly warning Washington in opposition to hostile relations.

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