Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Henry Kissinger in Beijing

Beijing, China - Chinese President Xi Jinping has received former US secretary of state and national security advisor Henry Kissinger in Beijing, amid heightened geopolitical tensions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, attend a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, attend a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China.  © China Daily via REUTERS

China will never forget Kissinger's contribution "to the development of Sino-American relations and the strengthening of friendship between the two peoples," Xi said at the meeting with the centenarian on Thursday, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Kissinger, who has faced criticism over his links to human rights abuses and authoritarian regimes around the world, made a secret trip to the People's Republic in July 1971, initiating the first steps towards normalizing relations between the two countries.

This, Xi continued, had been the right decision. Kissinger had initiated the process of normalizing Sino-American relations, "which benefited both countries and changed the world."

China warns of impending war with Taiwan as military moves continue
China China warns of impending war with Taiwan as military moves continue

"The relations between our two countries are linked to world peace and the progress of human society," Kissinger said at the meeting, according to CCTV.

He thanked Xi for holding the meeting in the same state guest house where he first met the then-Chinese leadership more than 50 years ago.

US and China see heightened tensions

During his stay in Beijing, Kissinger also met with Defense Minister Li Shangfu and top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi.

Relations between the two countries are at a low point due to various issues.

US President Joe Biden's administration sees China as the biggest geopolitical challenge and is taking a hard line against Beijing.

China, in turn, accuses the United States of striving for hegemony.

Several high-ranking members of the US government have traveled to Beijing in recent weeks, in a move that observers see as a slight easing of tensions.

Cover photo: China Daily via REUTERS

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