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Kissinger: with a US-China clash there is a risk of catastrophe comparable to the First World War

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Kissinger: with a US-China clash there is a risk of catastrophe comparable to the First World War

Current geopolitics needs “Nixonian flexibility” to ease the conflicts between the US and China and Russia and Europe. Without Washington putting too much pressure on Beijing. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State and advisor to President Richard Nixon, expressed in an interview with Bloomberg all his doubts about an approach that is too invasive with respect to the policy of the Chinese opponent. On the one hand, Kissinger stresses that China should not become a “global hegemony”. On the other hand, he reiterates that Biden must avoid overlapping US domestic policy with “the importance of understanding the permanence of China“. In other words, “it is important to prevent the hegemony of China or any other country – he said – but it is not something that can be achieved with an endless battle”.

US-China clash, a «catastrophe comparable to the First World War

Kissinger, 99, has already called on the White House to adopt a less confrontational strategy towards Beijing, arguing that an escalation of tensions between the two giants risks translating into a “catastrophe comparable to the First World War.” The example cited is that of Nixon, the US president who led a fiercely anti-communist battle in the 1960s, only to decide to speak with Mao Zedong and visit Beijing in 1972. An attitude that could be useful today, in the face of a ‘ an escalation that risks definitively precipitating relations between Washington and Beijing.

Timing doesn’t help. The warning from the US diplomat came a few days before the visit to Taiwan of the speaker of the US House, Nancy Pelosi, condemned as a “serious provocation” by Beijing. Pelosi stressed that the visit serves to reaffirm the White House’s support for Taiwan’s “vibrant democracy”, defending its interests from the interference threatened by Beijing. China responded by accusing the US of “treason” and a violation of its political sovereignty. Kissinger had already stated that he “did not foresee” a direct invasion of China on the island, although he believed it likely that Beijing would weaken or otherwise seek to weaken the island that it has claimed for more than two decades as its territorial property. The US objective should remain to avoid a head-on confrontation with China, keeping the confrontation on more diplomatic levels.

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