Kissinger talks Sino-US military ties with Chinese Defense Minister
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger meets Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu and insists that China and the US must overcome miscommunications since neither can "afford to treat the other as an adversary."
China's Defense Minister Li Shangfu told US Veteran diplomat Henry Kissinger, on Tuesday, that the US must employ sound strategic judgment while engaging with China.
According to the Chinese Defense Ministry, Li told Kissinger that Beijing had been committed to developing "stable, predictable, and constructive Sino-US relations" wherein China hopes the US would cooperate and work alongside China to promote "the healthy and stable development of the relationship between the two militaries."
The discussions between the two officials took place as the US-Sino high-level talks reached a stalemate and US military deployments around China and across East Asia increased in what has sometimes been understood to be a precursor to a possible containment strategy.
Li then explained to Kissinger, according to the statement released by the Chinese Defense Ministry, that "some people on the U.S. side have failed to move in the same direction as the Chinese side, resulting in China-United States relations hovering at a low point since the establishment of diplomatic relations."
Moreover, the Chinese Minister stressed that "We [China] have always been committed to building stable, predictable and constructive Sino-U.S. relations, and we hope that the U.S. will work with China to implement the consensus of the heads of State of the two countries and jointly promote the healthy and stable development of the relationship between the two militaries."
In turn, the Former US Secretary of State and National Security Advisor emphasized that "the United States and China should eliminate misunderstandings, coexist peacefully, and avoid confrontation," adding that "History and practice have continually proved that neither the United States nor China can afford to treat the other as an adversary."
War between US and China over Taiwan is probable: Kissinger
Kissinger said in an interview with Bloomberg, earlier in mid-June, that the US is facing the risk of becoming increasingly isolated if Washington continues to prioritize its sole interests over those of the global community.
"In the present period, the debate had shifted to extremes in which there is an extreme theory of America first, which is applied on both sides, but in such a way that it focuses too much on American interests and not on global interests," Kissinger told Bloomberg. "That is a challenge. But anyone who wants to conduct a serious American foreign policy must balance the two. Or America will become isolated."
According to Kissinger, a military war between the US and China over Taiwan is likely, given the current state of the two countries' ties.
"On the current trajectory of relations, I think some military conflict is probable," Kissinger said in an interview. "The current trajectory of relations must be altered."
It is now up to both parties, in Kissinger's words, to step back from "the top of a precipice."
At 100 years of age, Kissinger is the last surviving member of the Nixon administration.