Henry Kissinger dies at 100; key figure in China-US icebreaking in 1972
Published: Nov 30, 2023 10:00 AM
Henry Kissinger Photo: VCG

Henry Kissinger Photo: VCG

Henry Kissinger, a key figure in China-US icebreaking in 1972, has died at the age of 100, confirmed Kissinger Associates, a political consulting firm he founded, on Wednesday local time.

Kissinger served as America's top diplomat and national security advisor during the Nixon and Ford administrations and through a secret China visit in 1971, paved way to the important China-US icebreaking in 1972.

Throughout his lifetime, Kissinger visited China over 100 times, with his last visit to Beijing in July 2023 amid the turbulence in China-US relations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with him and praised his role in the bilateral relationship.

The Chinese people value friendship, said Xi. "We never forget our old friends, nor your historic contributions to promoting the growth of China-US relations and enhancing friendship between the two peoples."

Xi said that 52 years ago when China and the US were at a crucial inflection point, Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, President Richard Nixon and Dr. Kissinger, with their extraordinary strategic vision, made the right decision for China-US cooperation and launched the process of normalizing the China-US relationship. The decision delivered benefits to the two countries and changed the world.

During the meeting, Kissinger emphasized that the US-China relationship is essential for the peace and prosperity of both countries and the wider world.

Having survived WWII, Kissinger spent half of his lifetime interacting with China, representing the highest level of diplomatic wisdom in the US, which should be highly valued, analysts said.

Kissinger, a familiar name to many Chinese people, became a hot topic of discussion on social media on Thursday. Many Chinese people mourned the loss of a wise mind who witnessed the world's turbulence and prosperity in the past century, while others expressed their appreciation for his contribution to China-US relations, which is considered the most important relationship in the current world.

Weibo user Chen Wenwen wrote, "Rest in peace, you were a friend of ours forever." Another user wrote, "History will not forget your name."