Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said geopolitics today requires “Nixonian flexibility” to help defuse conflicts between the US and China as well as between Russia and the rest of Europe.
While warning that China shouldn’t become a global hegemon, the man who helped reestablish US-China ties in the 1970s said that President Joe Biden should be wary of letting domestic politics interfere with “the importance of understanding the permanence of China.”
“Biden and previous administrations have been too much influenced by the domestic aspects of the view of China,” Kissinger, 99, said in an interview Tuesday in New York with Bloomberg News Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait. “It is, of course, important to prevent Chinese or any other country’s hegemony.”
But “that is not something that can be achieved by endless confrontations,” he added in the interview produced by Intelligence Squared US and How To Academy. He’s previously said the increasingly adversarial relations between the US and China risk a global “catastrophe comparable to World War I.”
Geopolitics and great-power relations are a central theme of Kissinger’s new book, “Leadership: Six Studies in World Strategy,” that focuses on six key leaders: Germany’s Konrad Adenauer, France’s Charles de Gaulle, Nixon, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Singapore’s influential first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.