Kissinger gives tips on China

Updated: 2016-10-20 11:47

By Hezi Jiang in New York(China Daily USA)

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Kissinger gives tips on China

The next US president should put a China specialist on his or her personal staff, said Henry Kissinger, who is also a supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership with China on board.

His conversation with Stephen Orlins, the president of the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR), was streamed as part of NCUSCR's 2016 CHINA Town Hall, held at more than 80 venues across 41 states in the US, with several in China, on Tuesday.

The former secretary of state said he believes the anti-China statements emerging in the presidential campaign can have a negative influence on US-China relations.

"Irresponsible statements about China cannot always be ignored as being campaign rhetoric," he said on the night before the last debate. "We have to develop a national ability to bring out public statements in line with our national necessities."

Asked what is the first piece of advice he would give to the next president on the US-China relationship, he answered:

"Put [someone] on their personal staff who knows about China, history and culture, who can act as a liaison to the Chinese government."

He also recommends an early-on dialogue between the next administration and Chinese leaders to discuss "where are we trying to go? What are we trying to achieve? What are we trying to prevent?"

Kissinger, who helped arrange the Ping Pong diplomacy and President Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China in 1972, said that lessons he learned four decades ago still apply today.

"China has a different history and culture," he stressed. "The US should not act like we are teaching them how to behave. Not every problem in the world can be solved by the United States alone."

More than 80 China experts also spoke at local venues on the relationship.

In Baltimore, David Lampton, a professor of China Studies at Johns Hopkins University, said America should have an open heart toward a new rising power.

"We are not going to hold China back, that's a losing strategy. Our only strategy is to increase our national capability," he told the audience, which included some international students from China.

The talk ended with a personal question, with Kissinger revealing that his favorite kind of Chinese food was sweet and sour dishes and Sichuan.

Linda Deng and Yuan Yuan contributed to this story from Seattle and Baltimore.