Taiwan Sensitive to Donald J. Kissinger’s Death, and Why he Didn’t Visit, Until July 1999
Mr. Kissinger is remembered far less fondly in Taiwan, a self-ruled island democracy over which Beijing has claimed sovereignty. There he was blamed for moving America’s diplomatic relations with Beijing from Taiwan and for not obtaining a commitment from Beijing not to seize Taiwan. Over the past half century, Mr. Kissinger has been to Beijing many times, but never to Taiwan.
The choice of venue was highlighted by the significance of the meeting. It was the same building where half a century earlier Mr. Kissinger had met Zhou Enlai, who was then China’s premier: Villa No. 5 of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.
President Trump placed broad tariffs on Chinese goods and imposed stricter limits on high-tech exports to China, as well as increased scrutiny of visa applications from China. Mr. Biden has kept Mr. Trump’s tariffs and further tightened export controls. He has strengthened military agreements with the Philippines and Australia to counter China.
On Chinese social media, Mr. Kissinger’s death dominated search topics. People shared comments on Weibo, a Twitter-like platform, mourning the death of Mr. Kissinger and that on Tuesday of Charles T. Munger, a prominent American investor who was also well known in China.
Professor Lu said it was understandable that he cared about the interests of the United States. Taiwan felt that it was being betrayed by the party in this process. It felt really bad.
The dean of Fudan University’s Institute of International Studies said Mr. Kissinger was a living legacy of the good old days.
In July, Mr. Kissinger also met with China’s defense minister at the time, Li Shangfu, who had rebuffed multiple requests for meetings with his American counterpart. (This prompted John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, to express frustration that a private citizen had more access to the Chinese leadership than the government did.)
State media outlets hailed him as “China’s old friend.” On Chinese social media, people said his death marked the end of an era. They recalled his last visit to the country, in July, at age 100.
But the reason his advice was sought out goes to the depth of his experience: When Mr. Kissinger died on Wednesday, Mr. Blinken was headed to Israel in an effort to win a longer pause in a bloody conflict. Exactly fifty years ago, in November 1973, Mr. Kissinger flew the same path during shuttle diplomacy.
Mr. Kissinger knew that his legacy was in danger if he stayed involved, so he tried to burnish his reputation, by forgiveness of massacres, bombings and deaths of thousands.
The Kissinger conversations were about many other things, such as navigating the downward spiral in relations with Beijing. He was engaged in strategy discussions on Russia, with whom he negotiated SALT I, a major arms-control treaty. He weighed in on artificial intelligence, a passion of his in recent years and a subject he wrote about at length, often with Eric Schmidt, the former Google chief executive who grew close to the former secretary of state.
In an era when it seemed unthinkable that China could become the world’s second-largest economy, Mr. Kissinger gave a speech to the embassy’s staff about the process of opening the relationship.
When Mr. Kissinger was in the United States he was celebrated at the U.S. Embassy.
It was a calculated move. The warmth that surrounded President Richard M. Nixon’s opening to China in the 1970s was something that Mr. Xi wanted to move back toward. The July visit helped to arrange a meeting with President Biden, who is in San Francisco this month.
Vietnam’s 1975 Battle of the Tam Taming of Cambodia, the Birth of Democracy and the Crossover from the Vietnam War to the United States
The fighting between North Vietnam and U.S.-backed South Vietnam did not end until the North’s victory in 1975. The result was the American withdrawal from the country in 1973, which observers said was the result of a cynical policy intended to create space.
“America should not torture itself on the view that it could have had a settlement earlier if their presidents had been more willing,” Mr. Kissinger said during a 2016 event at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum in Austin, Texas. The only thing they could have done to get a settlement was to sell out and withdraw.
In his memoirs he wrote that the bombing campaign was forced upon the Nixon administration by North Vietnam.
In postwar Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen, who spent nearly four decades in power before transferring the premiership to his son this year, long argued that Mr. Kissinger and other former American officials should be charged with war crimes for their role in the bombing campaign.
The rise of the Khmer Rouge, which killed more than one quarter of Cambodia’s population in the 70s, is believed to be the result of the U.S. bombing of Cambodia.
But Mr. Sophal Ear, who escaped the Khmer Rouge as a child, added that Mr. Kissinger was slowly fading from memory in a country where the median age is now only about 27. “I surmise that they cannot blame someone whose name they do not know,” he said.
The Foreign Minister of Vietnam did not reply immediately to the request for comment on Mr. Kissinger. The spokesman for the Cambodian government refused to speak.
The United States frequently called on the government of Mr. Hun Sen to respect human rights and restore fair elections, because of his backsliding on democracy. Cambodia was brought closer to China, by Mr. Hun Sen, who said it was his country’s most trustworthy friend.
In contrast, Vietnam has sought to counterbalance the traditional close relationship with China by establishing better ties with the United States. Vietnam is a one-party state, but it has found common ground with the US over concerns over China.