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Kissinger warning on U.S.-China ties

SHANGHAI, China -- Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has warned the United States that it must not let "needless disputes" upset ties with China.

He made the remarks at a gathering marking the 30-year anniversary of the "Shanghai Communiqué" Monday.

As National Security Adviser, Kissinger helped broker the communiqué during former U.S. President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972.

The document called for increased economic, diplomatic and cultural contact between the two Cold-War enemies.

In his address at Shanghai's Jinjiang Hotel, where the historic document was signed, Kissinger criticized Americans who called for Washington to take a tougher line on relations with China and who viewed the country as a potential future adversary.

"Those who believe that confrontation with China can be a national strategy ... do not understand the dynamics of the current and foreseeable international system," Kissinger said.

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"We have extraordinary opportunities. We must not squander them in needless disputes."

Nixon's landmark visit to communist China was the first by a U.S. president and paved the way for the establishment of formal diplomatic ties in 1979.

Pointing to billions of dollars worth of trade and investment between the two countries, Kissinger said the diplomatic efforts of three decades ago had achieved far more than he had hoped for at the time.

"If anybody had told us that this was possible, it would have been considered a fantasy," he said.


Over the past year, despite two apparently friendly meetings between the two countries' presidents, relations between Washington and Beijing have been rocked by a series of disputes.

In April last year, a collision between a U.S. Navy surveillance plane and a Chinese jet fighter led to a tense diplomatic stand-off as Beijing demanded a formal apology from Washington for the incident.

The crippled U.S. plane made an emergency landing on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, where its crew were held for several days.

The pilot of the Chinese plane was never found and is presumed to have been killed.

Tensions have also arisen over China's inclusion on a Pentagon list of possible U.S. nuclear targets and Beijing's opposition to the controversial U.S. missile defense shield.

Last month China formally protested to the U.S. ambassador in Beijing over what it said was Washington's growing support for Taiwanese independence forces.




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