Henry Kissinger: US and China will form new economic relationship

The former official and realist scholar believes the two countries will resolve trade frictions

Kissinger in Beijing speaking to Peking University students, Nov. 2018 (Image from Peking Univ.)

Kissinger in Beijing speaking to Peking University students, Nov. 2018 (Image from Peking Univ.)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Veteran U.S. statesman Henry Kissinger announced his prediction yesterday (Jan. 1) that the U.S. and China will resolve conflict and form a new economic relationship.

Kissinger believes the two states are able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, but the time in which they ought to do so is limited, as other states are seeking ways in which they can gain from the dispute.

During the 2018 end-of-year conference of U.S. think tank National Committee on United States–China Relations, committee vice-president Kissinger said China and the U.S. have arrived at a key juncture in their relationship. Quoted in Voice of America, the former official suggested the fundamental issue at stake right now is not whether trade disputes can be resolved, but how the two nations plan to coexist in a new international political environment.

Kissinger said the fundamental question is whether the U.S. and China can define their new relationship. Of course, there will be differences, he conceded, but surmounting the zero-sum game mindset, improving relations and emphasizing the importance of coexistence is something that can be achieved.

The former official said the current situation is a unique departure from a historical trajectory, but the two countries will resolve differences and a new economic relationship will emerge.

Kissinger commented that his prediction is not simply an abstract dream but a realistic assessment of the need to achieve stability in developments that technology cannot control.

Henry Kissinger is a long-time advocate of “realpolitik”—a term used to describe a foreign policy system in which solutions to political issues are pragmatically produced and executed, rather than developed on a particular ideological or ethical premise. He was influential in the U.S.’s decision to reduce support for Taiwan in favor of China.