By Wen Xian and Li Boya
“What’s the most important for China and U.S. both is to base their policy on the recognition that they are two great countries who need to work in cooperation, not in confrontation, that is the key thing,” said Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State of the United States in an exclusive interview with the People’s Daily on September 10.
“They should apply this conclusion to a number of concrete issues and I’m very hopeful that progress would be made,” Dr. Kissinger stressed.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to the U.S. in late September.
“I have had many conversations with President Xi, he is a man of great determination who has strong lessons from the experiences of his life. So I think he is among the rank of the most significant of China,” said Dr. Kissinger.
Kissinger opened the great relation between China and U.S. and has witnessed the development of this relation for more than 40 years. When the relationship started, China was at the very beginning of its economic development.
“If anybody had shown me in 1971 a picture of what Beijing and Shanghai look like today, I would have said that this is crazy, it can not happen. And it’s been achieved so tremendously. I always look at china with the memory of 1971, though there had been enough economic difficulties and they’ve been overcome and so I don’t pay too much attention to it,” said Dr. Kissinger.
“In the relation between U.S. and China, when we started the relationship, we had a common adversary. But now we don’t have a common adversary, we have common opportunities, if we don’t work together, many of them can’t be reached. Some of the problems cannot be solved alone by either China or the U.S., like the climate, environment or weapons of massive destruction, and so on. These are all the things we need to deal with together. Some of these are totally new, like cyber, so of course there will be problems,” Dr. Kissinger stressed.
“I am very hopeful that President Xi’s visit to U.S. will show progress in some of these field and show progress in dialogue.”
Some critics argued that whether the U.S. could ultimately accept China’s rising as an equal is a blind spot and some say U.S.-China relations in a “tipping Point.”
Dr. Kissinger said, “China will be growing, whether we accept it, or don’t accept it. And it is a reality. So therefore, of course we should accept China becoming what its population and its resources entitle it to be, that should not even be a debate. We are obliged to work together.”
“A confrontation between China and U.S. would be very unfortunate for both sides, neither side can meet such a confrontation, so in the nearly fifty years now that I’ve seen this relationship, people talk about a lot of tipping point, but the fact is that eight American presidents have carried out the same policy, five Chinese leaders have carried out the same, so we are obliged to work together, and we should work together,” Dr. Kissinger stressed.
Speaking of the “new type of major-country relations” proposed by President Xi, Dr. Kissinger said, “I think both of the presidents of U.S. and China have a focal point in their offices for relations with the other. ”
“China and U.S. should cooperate on maintaining the peace in the world, especially in Asia and that is a joint enterprise,” Dr. Kissinger noted.
He gave some advices for President Obama to handle the U.S.-China relations in his remaining time in his presidency.
“My view is always be, for every president, it is to tell them to talk honestly to the Chinese, to tell them what their concerns are and to learn Chinese concerns and try to solve one or two of the obvious problems,” Dr. Kissinger said. “I’ am sure they are going to do this, I am very confident.” (The Daily Mail – People’s Daily news exchange item)
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