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China’s Envoy to US Xie Feng Congratulates Henry Kissinger on 100th Birthday

  • Xie travels to Connecticut just days after taking up new post in Washington
  • The two men discuss issues of common concern, embassy says

Xie Feng, China’s new ambassador to Washington, visited US former national security adviser and secretary of state Henry Kissinger on Friday to pass on Beijing’s congratulations on his 100th birthday.

In a brief statement, the Chinese embassy said Xie and Kissinger had an “in-depth exchange of views on China-US relations and international and regional issues of common concern”.

Xie, China’s former vice foreign minister, made the trip to Kent, Connecticut, just three days after arriving in the United States to take up his post.

The embassy did not specify where the meeting took place, but Kissinger has an estate in the town of Kent.

Kissinger, who turned 100 on Saturday, has long ties with China.

His backchannel diplomacy paved the way for the normalisation of ties between China and the United States in the 1970s, and the veteran statesman has maintained connections with Chinese leaders and senior officials over the decades since, regardless of strains in the bilateral relationship.

His last meeting with a senior Chinese official was with then foreign minister Wang Yi in New York in September.

“The Chinese side appreciates that Dr Kissinger has always been friendly to China and has confidence in China-US relations,” Wang said at the time.

“We hope Dr Kissinger will continue his unique and important role in helping bilateral relations return to the right track as soon as possible.”

In a series of media interviews to mark his 100th birthday, Kissinger has voiced his concerns about the prospect of serious consequences of a confrontation between China and the US.

For example, in an interview with historian Niall Ferguson in Spanish newspaper El Mundo in March, Kissinger warned that a second cold war between China and the US would be more dangerous than the first.

Kissinger will also speak via video to a group of American and Chinese corporate leaders in Shanghai next week, with the American delegation led by JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon, according to the Financial Times.

The chief executives of US giants Starbucks and Pfizer, and China’s Baidu and Geely were also expected to attend in person, the report added.

After landing in New York on Tuesday, Xie said relations between the two powers faced “serious difficulties and challenges”.

He met US undersecretary of state for political affairs Victoria Nuland on Thursday.

Source: South China Morning Post