In surprise Beijing visit, Kissinger calls for China, US to ‘coexist peacefully’

Beijing, Jul 19 (EFE).- Former United States secretary of state Henry Kissinger has met with China’s defense minister during a surprise visit to Beijing, the defense ministry reported Wednesday.

Kissinger, 100, told Li Shangfu, 65, on Tuesday that challenges and opportunities coexist and that the US and China “should eliminate misunderstandings, coexist peacefully and avoid confrontation,” according to a readout released by China’s defense ministry.

The veteran politician, who described himself as “a friend of China,” hoped that the two powers would do their best to achieve positive results in the development of their relations in order to safeguard world peace and stability.

“History and practice have continuously proved that neither the United States nor China can afford to treat the other as an adversary,” Kissinger said, according to the readout.

Li, for his part, said people around the world hope that China and the US will shoulder their responsibilities as major countries and jointly uphold global prosperity and stability.

The minister, sanctioned by Washington in 2018 for buying military aircraft and equipment from Russia, urged the US to work with China to “implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state and jointly promote the healthy and stable development of the relationship between the two countries and the two militaries.”

Kissinger’s unannounced visit coincides with the China visit of US climate envoy John Kerry, who was also secretary of state between 2013 and 2017 during part of Barack Obama’s presidential term.

Kerry, who concludes his stay in Beijing on Wednesday, has throughout the week met with the Premier Li Qiang; the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi; and Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change.

Kissinger’s trip comes as relations between the two powers are at historic lows and after a year of bilateral tensions on account of the Taiwan issue and their trade war, among other issues.

The former national security adviser and secretary of state for presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford is considered the architect of the normalization – four decades ago – of relations with China, a country that he has visited on numerous occasions and where he has met several times with its President Xi Jinping. EFE


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