Despite his political and diplomatic wisdom, Kissinger is frankly a somewhat outdated figure in the United States, at least in the eyes of the mass media and young people, and has received little attention from the general public in recent years, except for scholars and students at the School of Professional Media and International Relations. Politicians in the White House and Capitol Hill occasionally listen to his views, which are still there, but the actual policy impact is difficult to say. This is also the reason why Kissinger has visited China more than 100 times over the decades, because in China he seems to find a more presence.
The Chinese bought Kissinger's account mainly because he made pioneering contributions to Sino-US relations, promoted the resumption of diplomatic contacts between China and the United States in the 70s of the last century, and created the necessary external conditions for the later establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States and China's reform and opening up.
In the eyes of the Chinese, Kissinger is different from other ordinary US secretaries of state, let alone those secretaries of state who shout and kill China, but an old friend who has helped China open the door to Sino-US relations and Sino-Western exchanges.
Kissinger, an American, is the US secretary of state and assistant to national security, and the starting point for his initial advocacy of engagement with China is, of course, for the sake of American interests and to unite China against the security pressures of Soviet expansion.
However, no matter what, no matter whether he is for the interests of the United States or for any other interests, no matter what he has done between the United States and other countries, and no matter how people in other countries evaluate him, there is no doubt that he is a person who has made pioneering contributions in the field of Sino-US relations, a person who advocates Sino-US friendship, and a person who has helped China when it is facing international difficulties.
Kissinger's death: Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Seattle on September 2015, 9. （Reuters）
That's why he gets an extraordinary reception every time he goes to China, and that's why the Chinese appreciate him. The Chinese read this feeling, not whether he has a prestigious position after leaving the White House. A superficial, snobbish person may never understand the logic behind this.
A few decades ago, the impact of the transformation of Sino-US relations was overall and historic, and if it had not been for Kissinger's secret visit to China, the transformation of Sino-US relations might not have been possible at all, and it might have been many years before it could have been initiated. And without a change in Sino-US relations, with the dominant position of the United States in the post-war world, there is no way to talk about opening up to the outside world.
Think again, what would China be like now if it hadn't opened up to the outside world? What will the general standard of living and social outlook of the Chinese look like? How many people who really came from that era would like to live in such a state of constant movement, extreme poverty and external isolation?
Reform and opening up is a key move to change China's destiny and the poverty of more than a dozen Chinese. It laid the foundation for China's rise and rejuvenation, and transformed China from a poor and backward agricultural country into a country that has basically achieved industrialization, urbanization, and informationization.
Kissinger first served as Nixon's national security adviser and secretary of state, and after Ford took over as president, he held two positions until 1975 and 1977, respectively. （Richard Nixon Presidential Library/Handout via REUTERS）
In this trick, in addition to the wisdom, sacrifice and sweat of the Chinese, the help of old friends is also indispensable, and Kissinger is one of such old friends.
With the rise of China profoundly changing the world pattern, China-US relations have encountered severe challenges in the past few years, and bilateral relations have fallen into a historic trough with constant conflicts, which should not be the standard state of China-US relations, do not meet the world's expectations for China-US relations, and do not conform to the interests of the two peoples.
In this process, Kissinger has always been the one who sounded the alarm bells. Over the past few years, he has used his refined diplomatic language to warn of the enormous risks associated with the deterioration of U.S.-China relations, and on more than one occasion he has tried to persuade the leadership of both sides to show wisdom and lead the two countries out of a new Cold War situation in which both countries lose. His last visit to China a few months before his death was to entrust him with this matter.
It is not so much that Kissinger is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people in China, but rather that people expect that Sino-US relations will be deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. Although anticipation doesn't always happen.
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