WASHINGTON – The United States should “remain open to a policy of coexistence” with China, former US Secretary of State and long-time diplomat Henry Kissinger said recently in an interview published by Business Insider.
In the interview with Mathias Dopfner, the CEO of Axel Springer, a media and technology company, Kissinger discussed US relations with Europe and China, according to the script posted on Business Insider’s website on Sunday.
Noting a prevailing public opinion in the United States that “our main task is to confront it (China) and to reduce its capacity to be a major country,” Kissinger said, “China has been a major country for thousands of years. And in different historical epochs. And so, the recovery of China should be not surprising.”
“Its consequences are that America, for the first time in its history, is facing a country of potentially comparable capacities in economics, and with great historic skill in conducting international affairs,” he added.
However, he pointed out that “this was not the case with the Soviets,” referring to “the current crisis” facing Washington as “a certain nostalgia for the issues of the Cold War.”
The veteran diplomat said it remains the need of the US to coexist with a country of China’s magnitude.
“The Confucian view, which shapes Chinese thinking side by side with Chinese Marxism, implies that if China performs at the maximum level of its capacities, it will generate a majestic conduct which will produce respect in the rest of the world — making it agreeable, at some levels, to Chinese preferences,” he said.
Regarding the belief that Chinese foreign policy must be confronted from all angles, from economics to the country’s internal politics, Kissinger said, “I, on the other hand, believe that such an attitude generates a maximum of resistance.”
“Coexistence in the current world of technology is a necessity, because it is impossible to visualize a war between major countries who have significant AI technology that will not destroy cultural life as we know it,” he added.