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In an effort to thaw relations with China, Xi Jinping met with Henry Kissinger

As the United States looks to strengthen its ties with China, President Xi Jinping of China has warmly welcomed Henry Kissinger, a former senior official in the United States.

In recent weeks, Mr. Kissinger was one of several high-ranking United States officials who traveled to Beijing, China.

Controversy Over Possible Diplomatic Role

In the 1970s, the former secretary of state, now 100 years old, played a critical role in removing China from its diplomatic isolation.

The United States of America has made it quite apparent that he is traveling alone for this trip.

On the other hand, due to the vast scope of his influence in China, he may act as a conduit for covert communications between the United States and China.

On official television, Mr. Xi greeted Mr. Kissinger with a broad smile and said, “I’m very glad to see you, sir.” He also said those things.

They decided to hold their meeting at the more intimate Diaoyutai State Guesthouse rather than, the more traditional Great Hall of the People, which is generally used for holding these sorts of discussions with diplomats from other countries.

Mr. Xi noted that fifty years ago, during a covert visit to Diaoyutai, Mr. Kissinger met with Chinese authorities, which was a contributing factor in the beginning of the normalization of relations between the United States and China.

He went on to say that we will never forget our old friends and that we will also never forget your historic contributions to the growth of relations between the United States and China and the goodwill that exists between the two peoples.

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Buzz of Social Media

Unsurprisingly, other high-ranking officials echoed Mr. Xi’s kind sentiments regarding Mr. Kissinger he met after his arrival on Monday.

His conversations with senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi and defense minister Li Shangfu were highlighted in official Chinese remarks emphasizing the significance of mutual respect, cooperation, and “peaceful co-existence” between the world’s two most powerful nations. Wang Yi is a senior diplomat in China, and Li Shangfu is the defense minister.

According to the read-outs, Henry Kissinger was quoted as saying that he was a “friend of China,” that “neither the United States nor China can afford to treat the other as an adversary,” and that relations between the two countries would be “central to the peace in the world and to the progression of our society.”

Although his journey has been depicted favorably by Chinese state media, many individuals on social media have marveled at Mr. Kissinger’s stamina. For example, the Weibo hashtag “Kissinger can still fly to Beijing for a business trip despite being 100 years old” has been used to discuss his visit.

Others voiced their dissatisfaction on the internet that the United States was sending centenarians to strengthen relations. “Wise politicians are becoming increasingly rare,” said one reader. “It’s a shame.”

It’s possible that Henry Kissinger’s years of experience and keen insights into international diplomacy will be very beneficial to the United States.

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Visit to China without official permission raises eyebrows

The State Department is aware that Henry Kissinger will be traveling, and earlier this week, a spokesperson for the department stated that they “would not be surprised” if Mr. Kissinger decided to inform them after his return from his trip.

However, they stressed that he was not there “under his own volition” and was not representing the United States government. They said that he was there “under his own volition.”

Mr. Kissinger has more leeway to voice the concerns and wishes of the United States to Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials now that he is a private individual and no longer works for the government.

Hanging around with someone like Mr. Li, who has been subject to US sanctions since 2018 for buying weaponry from Russia, is less of a controversy for him since it draws less attention to himself. Beijing gave Mr. Li no permission to meet with his American counterpart, Lloyd Austin, while attending a meeting in Singapore last month and cited the penalties as the reason.

It is possible that the fact that Mr. Kissinger came to take matters into his own hands should not be such a tremendous surprise.

In a prior interview from December, Mr. Kissinger had expressed his disagreement with the policies that the Trump and Biden administrations had taken toward China. He stated that the present administration in the United States is attempting to have a discourse that “usually begins with a statement of Chinese iniquities,” which has “stymied” negotiations between the two countries.

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US-Chinese Relations Have Reached a Crucial Crossroads

Although Mr. Kissinger is no stranger to China, having been there over a hundred times and meeting Mr. Xi as recently as 2019, this visit occurs when US-Chinese relations are at a critical juncture.

After several months of hatred heightened by the spy balloon incident this year, diplomatic negotiations appear to be back on track. This is evidenced by China greeting a series of top US officials within a few weeks.

Mr. Kissinger is the only notable American Mr. Xi has met with in recent weeks (other than Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who visited last month). This is evidence of the continued high regard that the veteran diplomat enjoys in China.

The United States Secretary of the Treasury, Janet Yellen, and the United States Special Envoy for Climate Change, John Kerry, recently traveled to Beijing; however, they could not meet with the President of China, Xi Jinping.

Wang stated that “the US’ China policy needs Kissinger’s diplomatic wisdom and Nixon’s political courage,” Beijing’s overtly friendly reception of Mr. Kissinger indicated that Beijing wanted friendlier contact and less hostility from the US. Wang stated, “The US’ China policy needs Kissinger’s diplomatic wisdom and Nixon’s political courage.”

Professor of politics at the Australian National University Wen-ti Sung claimed that China would ultimately prioritize matters pertaining to the country’s internal affairs.

He told the BBC that Beijing would consider doing minor things to demonstrate its appreciation for Kissinger and to increase his profile following his visit. He said that this would take place after Kissinger’s visit.

However, this will not considerably change the fundamental dynamics of US-China relations, driven not by personal preferences but by what Beijing perceives to be in its national interests. This will not significantly change the underlying dynamics of US-China relations.

Henry Kissinger’s reputation has been tarnished in some parts of Asia due to his involvement in the Vietnam War; yet, in China, he is still held in very high esteem for his role in aiding China’s re-engagement with the international community.

Although diplomatic ties between the United States and China were officially severed at that time, Henry Kissinger traveled to Beijing in 1971 to arrange a visit for Richard Nixon, who was serving as president at the time.

The next year, Nixon made a trip to China, during which he met with officials from the Chinese government, among them Mao Zedong. It laid the groundwork for opening China’s economy and normalizing diplomatic relations between the United States and China.

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