Former U.S. Secretary of State and long-time diplomat Henry Kissinger on Friday called on the United States and China to settle differences through dialogue and on the basis of mutual understanding for the benefit of the two peoples and the world.
"I hope a serious dialogue starts soon again on major issues between us," Kissinger said while attending an event commemorating the 50th anniversary of his secret trip to China via video link.
Recalling the mission which helped lay the groundwork for U.S. President Richard Nixon's ice-breaking China visit and the eventual normalization of relations between the two long-estranged countries, Kissinger said it remains important for the world and the two countries to understand the premise which led to the visit, which is "still valid, if not more valid than it was."
In the spirit of hoping to see "peace rather than conflict," and engaging with each other would be "great" for both sides, Kissinger's trip strengthened the two countries' understanding of each other on various issues and created the basis for subsequent negotiations.
The two sides, for decades afterward, have moved on the basis of mutual restraint to settle issues between them on a wide variety of topics, he said.
"We will keep in mind on both sides that not every problem can have an immediate solution, but we should start from the premise that war between our two countries will be an unspeakable catastrophe," he added.
Kissinger stressed the importance of bilateral ties between the United States and China, which "remains crucial and, in fact, is more important than 1971," saying that any conflict between the two countries will divide the whole world.
"I hope all the Americans will proceed with this objective in mind that we need peace for our two countries and stability for the world, and China and the United States can make decisive contributions for this," he said.