Kissinger urges more efforts on partnership
Updated: 2011-09-28 11:12
By Chen Weihua (China Daily)
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger speaks during the Global China Summit on Tuesday in Washington on Tuesday. He said US leaders must deal with the fundamental challenges, instead of concentrating on immediate effects of elections. Zhang Yuwei / China Daily
WASHINGTON - Henry Kissinger, known as the architect of the China-United States relations, called on both countries to find a way to build international order to avoid potential chaos.
"We cannot tell what the rest of the world should do, but the rest of the world will find it hard if they are confronted by conflicts between China and the US. That is my concern," Kissinger told a crowd of some 150 people Tuesday at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington.
The former US Secretary of State acknowledged China's concern of an American containment, as the US did to the Soviet Union in the Cold War years as well as the US' concern these days that Asia will be dominated by one power.
"If we have an adversary relationship, both the nightmares are going to plight each other. If we have a cooperative relationship, then the nations of Asia do not have to choose between China and the United States," said Kissinger, who has made more than 50 trips to China over the past four decades.
Calling the bilateral relationship the "key single element of international stability," he said with no historical precedent, the two countries have to deal with each other at a time when they have to come to grips with their own domestic challenges.
Kissinger said he doesn't view China-US relations exclusively from the point of military power.
"I believe countries have to be judged by their overall performance as human beings," he said, adding that includes cultural and many other factors.
He described people who emphasize military confrontation with China as going the "wrong way that could lead to self-fulfilled prophecy".
He said China is bound to gain military capacity as it becomes more powerful economically, but he said the idea of the Chinese army marching around and dominating by use of force has no precedent in its thousands of years of history.
He believes, however, China will influence its surroundings by its performance, economically and politically.
Kissinger called on US politicians to look at the bilateral relationship beyond the presidential campaign.
"There is no doubt that the American public are concerned with the loss of jobs in this country. It is easy to blame foreigners and in particular the Chinese but leaders must look beyond the immediate effect of elections and deal with the fundamental challenges," he said.
Rhetoric has heated up as US presidential campaign warms up. Republican candidate Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, has repeatedly called on sanctions on China for its currency practices.
Kissinger said while the US sees China as a rising power, he believes the Chinese think they are just reclaiming their prior status. China was the largest economy in the world until the 18th century and was left behind in the 19th and early 20th century after missing the Industrial Revolution.
He said he has no fundamental problem with the objective of the current administration's China policy, although he would have advised less lecturing.
"I have been supportive and tried to be helpful," he said, adding that the China policy is the most bipartisan policy of the prior eight US presidents.