China’s defense chief meets with ex-U.S. top diplomat Kissinger

China’s defense chief meets with ex-U.S. top diplomat Kissinger

On July 18, State Councilor and Defense Minister of China Li Shangfu unexpectedly met with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in Beijing.

The report of the meeting was released by the Chinese defense ministry’s press service, as seen by Ukrinform.

“Human society is facing unprecedented challenges. People of all countries hope that China and the United States will shoulder the responsibilities of major countries, play a leading role, and jointly maintain world prosperity and stability,” the Chinese defense chief told Henry Kissinger.

He added that “the future of our world will be better only when emerging countries and developed countries live in peace and develop together,” however “some people in the United States did not meet China halfway, which caused Sino-US relations to hover at the lowest point since the establishment of diplomatic relations.”

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Li reiterated China’s position that the path of China’s peaceful development is a “blessing” for the world, expressing hope that the U.S. side will make steps toward renewing ties between the defense agencies of the two countries.

Kissinger said the United States and China “should eliminate misunderstandings, coexist peacefully and avoid confrontation.”

According to the former top diplomat, history and practice have continuously proved that neither the United States nor China can afford to treat the other as an adversary.

Understanding and handling U.S.-China relations, especially reversing the current difficult situation, requires broad thinking and historical and philosophical speculation. Both sides need to show wisdom, work together, and develop together. The two militaries should strengthen communication and do their best to create for the development of bilateral relations, Kissinger said, according to the report.

Kissinger, who celebrated his 100th birthday this year, is an American politician, diplomat, and political scholar who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor and is considered one of the most influential U.S. foreign policy strategists of the 1970s.

He is the "architect" of the short-term easing of the West's confrontation with the Soviet Union, which was then called "détente", and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.

Earlier, Beijing has agreed to resume high-level dialogues on political, economic and climate issues with the U.S., while snubbing communication requests coming along the defense line, demanding that the American side lift the sanctions imposed on the Chinese defense minister before his appointment to the post.

In particular, China's Defense Ministry refused the Pentagon's request for Austin to meet with Li last month on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian Security Forum in Singapore, where the two ministers spent several days.

Apparently, one of the goals of the current trip of Kissinger, who is highly respected by the Chinese leadership, as well as his meeting with Li, was to try to once again convey to the Chinese side Washington's concern about the lack of communication between the two countries' militaries and the risks associated with it.

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