Kissinger served as secretary of state and national security adviser under Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford during the 1970s.
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Veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger said on Monday that Washington and Beijing must find a way to avoid placing Taiwan at the center of their strained diplomatic relationship, adding that the two largest economies The world needs to avoid direct confrontation for the sake of global peace.
His comments came shortly after President Joe Biden said the US would be prepared to intervene militarily if China invaded the democratic, self-governing island.
Biden’s remarks appear to mark a break with Washington’s longstanding and deliberate tradition of “strategic ambiguity” over Taiwan. The White House quickly sought to downplay the comments, saying they did not reflect the change in policy.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum during a rare edition of the spring in Davos, Kissinger said: “The United States should not be by way of demotion or by a gradual process of developing a ‘two China’ solution. , but China will continue to be patient. That has been done until now.”
“A direct confrontation should be avoided and Taiwan cannot be at the core of the negotiations because it is between China and the United States.”
Earlier, on Monday, Mr. Biden told reporters at a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida that the US would be prepared to defend Taiwan should Beijing invade.
The comments prompted a backlash from China’s foreign ministry, which expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the comments.
Under the “one China” policy, the cornerstone of diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing, the US openly acknowledges China’s position that there is only one Chinese government.
However, the United States also maintains an “unofficially strong” relationship with Taiwan, and Washington supplies military equipment to the island under the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979. This action does not require the United States to intervene. military intervention to defend Taiwan should China invade, but introduced a policy of ensuring the island had enough resources to defend itself and deterring Beijing from unilaterally reunifying the island.
China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has pressured the democratic island to accept its rule.
“At the heart of the negotiations, it is important for the United States and China to discuss principles affecting adversarial relations, allowing at least some scope for efforts,” Kissinger said. cooperate”.
“It is important to the United States and China for the United States and China to minimize their hostile relationship,” he added.
Kissinger, who turns 99 on Friday, served as secretary of state and national security adviser under Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the 1970s.
A controversial and polarizing political figure, Kissinger influenced some of the most important turning points in US foreign policy during his time in office. This includes the adjustment of the US relationship with China.