Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi hailed on Wednesday former United States secretary of state Henry Kissinger's historic contributions to the icebreaking development of China-U.S. relations, and stressed that it is impossible to remold, contain or encircle China.
At a meeting with Kissinger in Beijing, Wang, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said the 100-year-old former diplomat has played an irreplaceable role in promoting mutual understanding between the two countries.
Washington now needs Kissinger-style diplomatic wisdom and Nixon-style political courage in its China policies, Wang said.
"China cherishes its friendship with old friends," Wang, who is also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.
Their meeting, which came after a series of visits to Beijing by senior U.S. officials, was the latest effort made by the world's two largest economies to reopen high-level communication and stabilize their ties.
Kissinger has made nearly 100 visits to China since his first secret trip to Beijing in 1971, when he was assistant for national security affairs to then U.S. president Richard Nixon. That trip set the stage for Nixon's visit to China in 1972, which reopened the door to Sino-U.S. exchanges.
He noted that China's policy toward the U.S. maintains a high degree of continuity and follows the fundamental and long-term principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping.
They are also the right way for the two big countries to get along with each other, Wang said.
Noting that China's development has strong endogenous momentum and inevitable historical logic, Wang said it is impossible to attempt to remold China, and even more impossible to block and contain China.
The senior diplomat also elaborated China's position on the Taiwan question. He stressed that one China is the fundamental status quo of the Taiwan question, and the one-China principle established in the Shanghai Communique must be abided by.
"If the U.S. sincerely hopes for stability across the Taiwan Strait, it should clearly and openly oppose 'Taiwan independence' and draw a clear line with 'Taiwan independence' separatist activities," Wang said.
Kissinger underlined the importance of a stable U.S.-China relationship for world peace, stability and the well-being of humanity, saying that both the U.S. and China have the ability to influence the world.
Regardless of difficulties, both sides should treat each other as equals, and maintain contact, and any attempt to isolate or cut off the other side is unacceptable, he said.
Kissinger also said that the one-China principle is a solemn commitment made by the U.S. in the Shanghai Communique, and expressed his belief that this commitment will not be shaken or abandoned.
The veteran diplomat said that although he has left office, he is still concerned about U.S.-China relations and supports the two sides' recent efforts to improve their ties.
Li Haidong, a professor of U.S. studies at China Foreign Affairs University, said the fact that Kissinger made a visit to China at such an advanced age shows how complicated and challenging it is to ease tensions in the China-U.S. relationship.
"Both sides should cherish the bonds established by the older generations and ensure that China-U.S. relations will not further deteriorate," Li said.
However, while China is committed to developing bilateral ties in a responsible way, Washington, guided by a mindset filled with competition and confrontation, is very calculating in handling its relations with China, showing no respect for the past achievements, Li said.
Despite the recent high-level interactions between the two countries, which led to a positive momentum in their relationship, Li said it is yet to be seen whether Washington will take concrete actions to improve bilateral ties with sincerity instead of calling for decoupling.
Wang and Kissinger also discussed other affairs including the Ukraine crisis and artificial intelligence.