“A peaceful relationship, a cooperative relationship between the U.S. and China is essential for peace and progress of the world,” said former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry A. Kissinger on Tuesday.
“I’m confident all of you here agree that peace and progress between China and the U.S. is in the self-interest of each country and of the world,” said Kissinger in his speech after being honored at the annual Gala Dinner of The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations (NCUSCR) in New York City.
All guests gave the distinguished centenarian a standing ovation when Kissinger was wheelchaired onto the stage. And most of them kept standing up until he finished his over 10-minute speech.
“I’ve spent literally half of my life working on the U.S.-China relations … I like the Chinese people, I’m impressed by Chinese culture,” he said.
Kissinger said he is convinced that China-U.S. relations depend on “an understanding that the two countries have a unique ability to bring peace and progress to the world, and they also have a unique ability to destroy the world if they’re not together.”
He expressed confidence that the world’s two largest economies will find ways to straighten the strained relationship. “I believe now, as I believed 50 years ago, that we can find our way through these difficulties.”
Kissinger warned that the United States has to properly handle the Taiwan question in light of the “Shanghai Communique,” a historic document that became a key political foundation for the two countries to establish diplomatic ties.
“We in America have to avoid giving the impression that we are walking away from the one-China concept to which we committed ourselves … that was a real commitment in the Shanghai Communique,” said Kissinger.
NCUSCR President Stephen A. Orlins delivered the opening remarks and former U.S. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, now chairman of Warburg Pincus, presented the U.S.-China Friendship Cup to Kissinger at the gala.
The NCUSCR is a nonprofit organization and advisory body founded in 1966 to enhance understanding and cooperation between the United States and China.