Home > Analysis > Kissinger, ‘On China,’ looking for harmonies in the China-U.S. relationship

Kissinger, ‘On China,’ looking for harmonies in the China-U.S. relationship

I continue to like how Henry Kissinger discusses the China-U.S. relationship; not in the sense that he is capable of articulating the Chinese leaders point of views but much more in a way that seeks for mutual benefits for the two countries. For example, in his discussion on MSNBC couple of weeks ago (video below), he thought a sudden U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan would leave a vacuum for India and Pakistan to conduct their proxy wars with each other, and with a resurgent Al Qaeda presence would also be a destabilizing force for China’s western regions. China and U.S. are the two single largest countries, and they will tend to “inject” themselves at each other around the world purely given their sizes. As in the case with Afghanistan (and others like climate change), U.S. and China need to seek alignment.

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  1. pug_ster
    June 13th, 2011 at 08:21 | #1

    Kissinger seems to be one of the few Americans who knew the economic reforms from 1979 eventually caused the the protests in 1989.

  2. kvs
    June 13th, 2011 at 09:12 | #2

    Did anyone skim through the comments on that YouTube page? Absolutely shocking.

  3. June 13th, 2011 at 10:52 | #3

    @kvs

    Kissinger was a hawk during the Cold War and pushed the U.S. towards an all-out confrontation with Soviet ‘Communism.’ His brand of international relations is realpolitiks.

    The following conversation was between Nixon and Kissinger which shed light on the U.S. participation in the overthrow of Pinochet: (source: Wikipedia)

    On September 16, 1973, five days after Pinochet had assumed power, the following exchange about the coup took place between Kissinger and President Nixon:
    Nixon: Nothing new of any importance or is there?
    Kissinger: Nothing of very great consequence. The Chilean thing is getting consolidated and of course the newspapers are bleeding because a pro-Communist government has been overthrown.
    Nixon: Isn’t that something. Isn’t that something.
    Kissinger: I mean instead of celebrating – in the Eisenhower period we would be heroes.
    Nixon: Well we didn’t – as you know – our hand doesn’t show on this one though.
    Kissinger: We didn’t do it. I mean we helped them. [garbled] created the conditions as great as possible.
    Nixon: That is right. And that is the way it is going to be played.

    My emphasis above.

    The type of U.S. foreign policy during the Pinochet overthrow is no different than today. For example, the Obama public announcement of taking down Qadhafi. There is no ‘Communism’ there to speak of, but today’s language is that of ‘protecting civilians’ in the interest of ‘human rights.’

    What I worry the most is the U.S. continuing to believe she needs to invade foreign countries all the time. Kissinger didn’t think it was a good idea for the U.S. go bomb Libya in the first place.

    The thing to remember is that despite being such a hawk and all the meddling in foreign countries by the U.S. under Kissinger’s influence, his final analysis in the U.S.-China relationship is still that both sides must seek a course of peaceful co-existence.

    Plus, the guy is really old. If I am him, I would at this stage atone my past ‘sins’ and leave behind a legacy of building world peace. Some may argue those are not ‘sins,’ because the Soviet Union was truly interested in pushing that ideology and Kissinger was working to stop it.

    In my view, he is trying to steer China and U.S. away from confrontation down the road.

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