Ties at key point, Xi tells Kissinger

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China hopes its re­la­tions with the United States will “move ahead in a sus­tain­able and sta­ble man­ner”, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping said on Fri­day while meet­ing with Henry Kissinger.

The for­mer US sec­re­tary of state came to Bei­jing amid un­cer­tain­ties over US pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s China pol­icy.

Kissinger, 93, who helped ar­range the ground­break­ing visit to China in 1972 by thenpres­i­dent Richard Nixon, is be­lieved to be play­ing a key role in map­ping out Trump’s for­eign pol­icy.

Trump will take of­fice on Jan 20.

“Dr Kissinger, your visit is very timely, and we look for­ward to hear­ing your views on China-US re­la­tions go­ing for­ward,” Xi said.

Not­ing that he had met with US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in Lima, Peru, and talked with Trump by phone last month, Xi said that the two coun­tries now face a key mo­ment.

“We are watch­ing the situation very closely. Now is a pe­riod of tran­si­tion,” he told Kissinger.

Xi said that the com­mon in­ter­ests of China and the US far out­weigh their dis­agree­ments, and the two coun­tries should han­dle their dis­putes prop­erly in a con­struc­tive way.

Call­ing him­self “an old friend of the Chi­nese peo­ple”, Kissinger said that the US-China re­la­tion­ship is im­por­tant for both coun­tries as well as for the rest of the world.

The in­com­ing US ad­min­is­tra­tion also ex­pects to push for­ward sus­tain­able and steady bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, he said.

Kissinger said he would like to play a pos­i­tive role in en­hanc­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

On Nov 17, Trump met with Kissinger in New York to dis­cuss “China, Russia, Iran, the EU and other events and is­sues around the world”, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from Trump’s team, and they “had a great meet­ing”.

“I have tremen­dous re­spect for Dr Kissinger and ap­preci- ate him shar­ing his thoughts with me,” the state­ment quoted Trump as say­ing.

Be­fore meet­ing with Xi, Kissinger met with Wang Qis­han, China’s top anti-cor­rup­tion of­fi­cial, on Thursday. He told Wang that he would like to con­trib­ute to the healthy de­vel­op­ment of US-China ties, ac­cord­ing to Xinhua News Agency.

Li Haidong, a pro­fes­sor of US stud­ies at China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity, said Kissinger can serve as a com­mu­ni­ca­tor and bridge be­tween top de­ci­sion-mak­ers of the two coun­tries.

“He can con­vey to Chi­nese lead­ers Trump’s views on bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and vice versa,” Li said, adding that Trump, a po­lit­i­cal novice, needs sea­soned diplo­mats like Kissinger to help him form an ob­jec­tive and bal­anced re­la­tion­ship with China.

Chi­nese lead­ers at­tach great im­por­tance to Kissinger’s visit, re­spect him for his role in pro­mot­ing Sino-US re­la­tions and hope he can fur­ther el­e­vate bi­lat­eral re­la­tions, Li added.

Tao Wen­zhao, a re­searcher of Sino-US re­la­tions at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sciences, said the US is un­der­go­ing a tran­si­tion pe­riod, which cre­ates diplo­matic un­cer­tainty.

As a pi­o­neer who opened the door for Sino-US re­la­tions, Kissinger played such an im­por­tant role that all the pre­vi­ous US pres­i­dents con­sulted him on for­eign poli­cies, Tao said.

He can con­vey to Chi­nese lead­ers Trump’s views on bi­lat­eral re­la­tions and vice versa.” Li Haidong, a pro­fes­sor of US stud­ies at China For­eign Af­fairs Univer­sity

XU JINGXING / CHINA DAILY

Pres­i­den XI Jin­ping meets with for­mer US sec­re­tary of state Henry Kissinger in the Great Hall of the Peo­ple in Bei­jing on Fri­day. Xi called Kissinger’s visit timely, as bi­lat­eral re­la­tions face a pe­riod of tran­si­tion.

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