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Diplomatic Thaw: Xi Jinping and Henry Kissinger Meet amidst US-China Relations Efforts

US climate change envoy John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen also visited China

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CHINA: US Secretary of State John Kissinger meets Chinese President Xi Jinping! Kissinger visited China, a 100-year-old former secretary of state, to break diplomatic isolation in the 1970s. Although he is a private individual, his influence in China could serve as a backchannel for talks between the US and China. Kissinger was greeted by President Xi Jinping.

Xi emphasized Kissinger’s 50-year visit to Diaoyutai, a key event in US-China relations. He emphasized the importance of respect, cooperation, and peaceful coexistence between the two superpowers, highlighting the need for a conciliatory tone and warm delivery.

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Kissinger emphasized the importance of global peace and progress, stating that neither the US nor China can afford to treat each other as adversaries. Chinese media praised Kissinger’s tenacity, while some online users criticized Americans for sending centenarians to strengthen ties and criticized the lack of wise politicians.

The State Department acknowledged Kissinger’s trip and would not be surprised if he informed them upon his return. Kissinger’s freedom as a private citizen allows him to express US concerns candidly with Chinese authorities and interact with individuals like Li, who has faced US sanctions since 2018 for acquiring Russian weapons.

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Kissinger visited China to resolve a situation he had attacked in an interview, claiming that US administrations led by Trump and Biden are stymied by Chinese injustices. Despite visiting over 100 times, the trip comes at a crucial juncture in US-China relations, with diplomatic conversations resuming after months of antagonism.

Kissinger is the only US official who has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, besides Secretary of State Antony Blinken, last month. This showcases the respect China holds for the diplomat.

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US climate change envoy John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen visited China, but not met with Xi. Chinese diplomat Wang Li believes Kissinger’s diplomatic wisdom and Nixon’s political courage are needed for US-China policy.

While Kissinger has a contentious reputation in other areas of Asia due to his involvement in the Vietnam War, he is still widely valued in China for helping the country reengage with the rest of the world.

In 1971, Henry Kissinger secretly visited Beijing to arrange a trip for US President Richard Nixon, leading to increased diplomatic ties and economic opening in China.

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