News

National Security & Defense

Kissinger Warns U.S. and China in ‘Foothills of a Cold War’

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger looks up during his meeting with President Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, October 10, 2017. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned on Wednesday that the U.S. and China were in the “foothills of a Cold War” and could be headed toward a conflict worse than World War I.

Kissinger flew to Beijing in 1971 to begin trade talks with China when he served as Richard Nixon’s secretary of state. He presented his views on U.S.–China relations at Wednesday’s Bloomberg New Economy Forum, held in Beijing.

“If conflict is permitted to run unconstrained the outcome could be even worse than it was in Europe,” Kissinger said. “World War I broke out because a relatively minor crisis could not be mastered.”

The former secretary of state asserted that it was “especially important that a period of relative tension be followed by an explicit effort to understand what the political causes are and a commitment by both sides to try to overcome those . . . It is far from being too late for that, because we are still in the foothills of a cold war.”

The U.S. and China are in the midst of strained relations resulting, in part, from an ongoing trade war. President Trump has imposed tariffs on a range of imports from China, to which China has responded by ceasing imports of U.S. agricultural goods.

Trump has sought to sign a trade deal with China to relax certain tariffs. However, reports emerged on Wednesday that the first phase of the deal may not be inked until the coming year.

“Everybody knows that trade negotiations, which I hope will succeed and whose success I support, can only be a small beginning to a political discussion that I hope will take place,” Kissinger said at the forum.

Chinese vice president Wang Qishan, who spoke at the beginning of the forum, called for better relations with the U.S.

“Between war and peace, the Chinese people firmly choose peace. Humanity cherishes peace,” Wang said. “We should abandon the zero-sum thinking and cold war mentality.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Elections

On Kamala Harris

Joe Biden has named his 2020 running mate: authoritarianism. American prosecutors wield awesome and terrible powers that lend themselves easily to abuse, and Senator Kamala Harris, formerly the attorney general of California, is an enthusiastic abuser of them. Harris was a leader in the junta of Democratic ... Read More
Elections

On Kamala Harris

Joe Biden has named his 2020 running mate: authoritarianism. American prosecutors wield awesome and terrible powers that lend themselves easily to abuse, and Senator Kamala Harris, formerly the attorney general of California, is an enthusiastic abuser of them. Harris was a leader in the junta of Democratic ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Someone might want to remind Joe Biden, who’s just picked progressive California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, that his vice-president-to-be believes Catholics are unfit to serve in our nation’s courts. (Biden, of course, as I considered at length on the homepage today, has spent his entire ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris’s Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Someone might want to remind Joe Biden, who’s just picked progressive California senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, that his vice-president-to-be believes Catholics are unfit to serve in our nation’s courts. (Biden, of course, as I considered at length on the homepage today, has spent his entire ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris Is No Moderate

Kamala Harris, they assure us, is a “moderate.” A moderate what? Moderate compared to whom? Senator Harris is a moderate autocrat. During the Democratic primary debates, she vowed to ban so-called assault weapons by executive order. When Joe Biden pointed out that the president has no such power and is ... Read More
Elections

Kamala Harris Is No Moderate

Kamala Harris, they assure us, is a “moderate.” A moderate what? Moderate compared to whom? Senator Harris is a moderate autocrat. During the Democratic primary debates, she vowed to ban so-called assault weapons by executive order. When Joe Biden pointed out that the president has no such power and is ... Read More