South Korea’s “Han Minzu Daily” article on July 16, original title: Kissinger may be a figure of a bygone era, but his political legacy is still relevant for the present
During July 9-11, 1971, the National Security Adviser of the Nixon Administration, Henry Kissingersecretly visited Beijing. On July 15, the United States and China simultaneously issued a statement that shocked the world: US President Nixon invited to visit China.
On July 9 this year, Beijing held an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kissinger’s secret visit to China. Kissinger, a 98-year-old former diplomat, said in a video that “the conflict between the United States and China will divide the world”, “so I hope that a serious dialogue on major issues will be started as soon as possible.”
Over the past 50 years, Kissinger has had a huge impact on US foreign policy. He has visited China nearly 100 times and is the only American who has seen successive Chinese leaders. He is known as “China’s old friend.”
But today, Kissinger and those affected by him – such as the “Kissinger School” – are no longer popular. From the American point of view, Kissinger was correct at the time, but he is wrong today.
Both the United States and China have benefited greatly from Kissinger’s realistic foreign policy over the past 50 years. But now the United States asserts that China has become a threat, and that the United States is weaving a tight containment net with its allies. China is challenging the United States in cutting-edge technology, military, economic model, and international order.
The United States’ strategy to contain China has completely subverted Kissinger’s approach, seeking to strengthen relations with the Taiwan authorities, to lure Russia away from China, and to exclude China from the high-tech supply chain and international trade order as much as possible.
China is actively developing relations with European countries to prevent the United States’ containment network from becoming too strong. European countries are taking advantage of this competitive situation to obtain various benefits. Even Japan, a key U.S. ally, is doing complex calculations to avoid direct conflict with China and to ensure that bilateral economic relations are not interrupted.
In this context, South Korea should conduct more deliberate diplomatic activities in order to give full play to its role as a “democracy buffer state” in the new world order.