China will remember Kissinger for his contributions to Sino-U.S. relations
By Li Wenhan  ·  2023-12-01  ·   Source: Web Exclusive


Former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger (C) attends the annual Gala Dinner of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations in New York City, the United States, on October 24 (XINHUA)  

Former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger on November 29 passed away at his home in Connecticut at the age of 100, Kissinger Associates, Inc. announced in a statement issued later that day.  

As secretary of state under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the 1970s, Kissinger “played central roles in the (U.S.) opening to China,” the statement read. 

The Chinese people will remember Dr. Henry Kissinger for his sincere devotion and important contributions to China-U.S. relations, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on November 30. 

“Henry Kissinger is the most consequential American in the modern history of China-U.S. relations,” Rick Dunham, Co-Director of the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University and a former White House correspondent for Business Week magazine, told Beijing Review.  

“His stealth (July 1971) visit to Beijing paved the way for Richard Nixon’s historic visit to the country (in February 1972). He was a staunch advocate of the one-China policy and a consistent supporter of steady bilateral relations, even during periods of heightened tensions and rising anti-China sentiment at home,” Dunham said. 

Josef Gregory Mahoney, a professor of politics and international relations at Shanghai's East China Normal University, shared with Beijing Review that Kissinger will always be remembered fondly in China for his role in drafting the 1972 Shanghai Communiqué, which set the framework for the further development of Sino-American relations and remains one of the fundamental underpinnings of China-U.S. relations, including the U.S. commitment to uphold the one-China policy with regard to Taiwan Province. 

“Every action undertaken by Kissinger was rooted in U.S. interests,” Zheng Yongnian, a researcher with the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), expressed to Xiakedao, the WeChat account of the overseas edition of the People’s Daily newspaper. “But what set him apart were the methods he employed to pursue those interests. Notably, he had the ability to consider matters from China's perspective, not solely adhering to U.S. viewpoints,” he added. 

In the view of Wu Xinbo, Dean of the Institute of International Studies and Director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai, many researchers in China-U.S. relations studies today lack the strategic wisdom of a Kissinger. 

Wu told that Kissinger is able to think pragmatically, unconstrained by political systems, values and ideologies. 

Kissinger wrote 21 books on national security matters, the statement further noted. “Considered one of America's great statesmen, Dr. Kissinger was regularly consulted by American presidents of both political parties and scores of foreign leaders after he finished government service in 1977.” 

Over the course of his life, Kissinger visited China more than 100 times. 

Copyedited by Elsbeth van Paridon  

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