Seminar in Beijing marks 40th anniversary of Kissinger's first China visit

08:38, June 28, 2011      

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Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (C), speaks during a seminar commemorating the 40th anniversary of his first visit to China, in Beijing, capital of China, June 27, 2011. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

Forty years after former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's secret trip to China, more than 100 diplomats and scholars gathered at a seminar held in Beijing on Monday to celebrate the mission that paved the way for renewed ties between China and the United States.

"It is very moving for me to be in this building again, as it was my first home in China," Kissinger said Monday morning after stepping into the Diaoyutai Guesthouse.

Kissinger made a secret trip to China in July 1971, which he said was aimed at "reestablishing contact with a country central to the history of Asia with which America had no high-level contact for 20 years."

The visit laid the groundwork for U.S. President Richard Nixon's groundbreaking visit to China in 1972 and the later establishment of China-U.S diplomatic relations.

"Forty years ago, Chinese leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai joined hands with Nixon and Kissinger to open the door for China-U.S. relations," Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo said at the gathering.

"It marked the beginning of a historic chapter in the improvement and development of China-U.S. relations and had an extremely positive and far-reaching impact on bilateral relations," Dai said.

Dai said that both countries should remember the efforts made by several generations of leaders and diplomats and deal with China-U.S. relations from a "strategic and long-term perspective."

Dai called on China and the United States to embark on a path on which countries of different systems, histories and cultures can live in peace and seek common development.

"Even when there are difficulties in our relationship, the spirit that brought us together should guide our actions in the future," Kissinger said, adding that he is confident that the two countries will overcome their differences.

The 88-year-old is optimistic about the future of U.S.-China relations, saying "China and the United States have cooperated for 40 years. I hope this is the beginning of even greater cooperation."

Several former Chinese ambassadors to the United States recalled their experiences in interacting with their American colleagues and shared their observations on China-U.S. relations during the two-hour seminar.

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Source: Xinhua
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