The go to is exceptional 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. Navy communications particularly 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 US and China. However, Blinken stated, Beijing rejected the concept regardless of harmful latest close to misses.
But in Beijing on Tuesday, Li informed Kissinger that he hoped the US will “work with China to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the 2 international locations and promote the wholesome and steady growth 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 gear from Russia’s foremost arms exporter.
Kissinger responded that each the US and China ought to remove misunderstandings, coexist peacefully and keep away from confrontation, Xinhua reported.
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 aimed toward kick-starting cooperation between the world’s two largest polluters.
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 12 months, which led to rapprochement with China. The 2 international locations cast official diplomatic relations in 1979.
Kissinger stays revered in China for these efforts.
“Kissinger has made nice contributions to China-US relations, which may 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, informed the state-affiliated International Instances newspaper on the event of Kissinger’s one hundredth birthday.