Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, Nov. 22, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Ye)
(Bloomberg) — Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said the U.S. and China must establish rules of engagement for their increasingly tense competition or risk recreating the uncertainty that characterized global politics leading up to World War I.
“Our leaders and their leaders have to discuss the limits beyond which they will not push threats,” Kissinger, 97, said Wednesday in a virtual discussion hosted by the Economic Club of New York. “And then they have to find a way of conducting such a policy over an extended period of time.”
“You can say this is totally impossible,” he added. “And if it’s totally impossible, we will slide into a situation similar to World War I.”
WNU Editor: In a ideal world Henry Kissinger’s warnings make sense. But in the current situation I have doubts that this is workable. China has adopted a position to not compromise on key issues. China’s position in regards to Taiwan is a textbook example on why Kissinger’s hope that limits can be agreed upon will not work. To China the issue of Taiwan is non-negotiable. Taiwan is a renegade province that must be reincorporated back into China. Any moves by Taiwan to assert its independence and/or form deeper alliances with countries like the U.S. will mean war. In that environment how can you set limits to avoid a blow-up? There is none with the exception of one and that is bowing down and accepting China’s demands. And if that is what happens you can then take this to the bank …. China will then want more.