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China Honors a “Most Valued Old Friend” – Farewell to Henry Kissinger

The passing of Henry Kissinger, America’s veteran statesman and an old friend of China has been mourned with sorrow in Beijing. The 91-year-old who is celebrated for his successful diplomatic efforts between the US and China in the 1970s marked a milestone in the two nations’ relationship. Kissinger made his first visit to China forty-nine years ago, in 1971. The visit was lavishly welcomed by the Chinese people and marked the beginning of a historic rapprochement between Washington and Beijing. He and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai became iconic ambassadors for overcoming decades of tensions between the two countries. President Xi Jinping remembered Dr. Kissinger as “a good friend of the Chinese people” and praised his contributions to Sino-U.S. ties. He also said in public that Kissinger had urged him on several occasions to pay attention to Sino-U.S. ties, saying its development is of great importance in global strategic stability and world peace. Apart from his diplomatic efforts, Kissinger is remembered in China for participating in the economic reforms that sparked the miraculous lifting of the nation out of poverty. He even traveled to multiple Chinese cities and shared his economic ideas. Kissinger advised setting up Special Economic Zones and encouraged the authorities to back infrastructure projects, such as the Three Gorges Dam. The role Kissinger played in the growth of Sino-U.S. relations is incalculable. He wrought a rapprochement between two countries that would have otherwise been locked in a cold war with one another. He will be remembered as the rock that held steady while the two countries went through a course of turbulent globalization. In the past few decades, Kissinger has continued to be an old friend of the Chinese people, speaking highly of the progress of China and its people on many occasions. Returning the sentiment and with great respect and gratitude, the people of China are mourning the passing of Dr. Henry Kissinger, a most valued old friend.