Kissinger 'fairly optimistic' China, US can avoid catastrophe
Updated 18:53, 11-Nov-2018
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger has said he is "fairly optimistic" that China and the US can avoid further conflict.
"I believe that it is essential for China and the United States to explain to each other what the objectives are that they feel they must achieve and what the concessions are that they must not be asked to make, and the concessions each is willing to make, and not to get lost in a lot of detail before you know where you're trying to go," said the 95-year-old foreign policy guru.
Kissinger, who is widely regarded as one of the top strategists in the world, made the remarks on Tuesday at the inaugural Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.
He said disagreements between China and the US are inevitable. "China has become a substantially new player that can compete with the US in various fields. We are bound to step on each other's toes around the world."
The challenge facing the two countries is to maintain a fundamentally cooperative relationship amid inherent differences in approach, said Kissinger. 
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger speaks at the New Economy Forum held in Singapore, November 6, 2018. /Xinhua Photo

Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger speaks at the New Economy Forum held in Singapore, November 6, 2018. /Xinhua Photo

A fundamental difference between US and Chinese thinking, he said, is that if there is a problem, Americans believe there will be a short-term solution, while the Chinese think problems are never completely solved and every solution is a ticket to a new set of problems.
"I think if the world order becomes defined by continuing conflict between the US and China, sooner or later, it runs the risk of getting out of control," he said.
He also gave his advice on avoiding further frictions between the two and said he was optimistic.
"The objective needs to be that both countries recognize that the fundamental conflict between them will destroy hope for the world order. That objective can be achieved, and I'm fairly optimistic that it will be achieved."
As a trailblazer for China-US ties, Kissinger paid a secret visit to China in 1971 which paved way for the establishment of China-US diplomatic ties in 1979.
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, who also attended the event in Singapore, said that China is ready to discuss with the US on issues of mutual concern and work for a solution on trade acceptable to both sides.