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 meet U.S. Defense 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 america and China. However, Blinken mentioned, Beijing rejected the thought regardless of dangerous latest near misses.
But in Beijing on Tuesday, Li advised Kissinger that he hoped america 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 mentioned.
Li has been under U.S. sanctions since 2018 over China’s buy of fight plane and tools from Russia’s principal arms exporter.
Kissinger responded that each america and China ought to eradicate 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 geared toward kick-starting cooperation between the world’s two greatest 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 will be seen as one in every of 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 Overseas Affairs College, advised the state-affiliated Global Times newspaper on the event of Kissinger’s a hundredth birthday.