Wang Qishan’s Surprising Words on the 50th Anniversary of Kissinger’s Visit to China

Since the U.S.-China dialogue in Alaska ended in failure, a substantive dialogue between the United States and China seems to be out of reach, not pragmatic, but reticent or possible. While the nearly 100-year-old Kissinger seemed reluctant to do so, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, who had little occasion to express himself, used the occasion to harshly accuse the United States of making China “an imaginary enemy” and to warn the United States to “recognize its own fate.

At a commemorative event organized by the official Chinese People’s Association for Foreign Affairs at Diaoyutai in Beijing with the assistance of a U.S. think tank, Kissinger recalled the secret visit to China in 1971 that paved the way for President Nixon’s visit to China, known as the “ice-breaking trip,” when the U.S. side had the intention of joining forces with the Soviet Union to isolate the Chinese side, which had already been at odds with the Soviet Union. The U.S. side had the consideration of joining with the Soviet Union to isolate the Soviet Union, thus opening the door to the world for an isolated, poor and backward China, and opening the era of U.S.-China contacts.

Kissinger recalled that Nixon proposed that the United States and China establish contact after 25 years of confrontation, but 50 years later it seems increasingly difficult to establish a Nixon model. Kissinger spoke with regret and reluctance, but also with some faint hope.

Wang Qishan’s speech was a bit unexpected, as he first briefly mentioned in principle that “the current Sino-US relationship is at a critical moment, and the way forward is of great concern to the people of the two countries and the international community”, and then said that we should “properly manage differences and avoid misunderstandings and miscalculations. “.

Wang Qishan suddenly turned, apparently prepared, accusing “the U.S. side in the name of competition to build China as a hypothetical enemy, deliberately creating suspicion of confrontation, victory and defeat duel atmosphere, may lead to strategic misdirection, inducing strategic misjudgment, strategic misjudgment let strategic misdirection, the U.S. side should recognize its own fate, the biggest challenge is not outside, not to mention China, it can be said with certainty, in the United States itself! !” Wang Qishan spoke firmly enough, and reminded the United States to “recognize its own destiny”, the words inside the threat component is in fact heavy enough, but Wang Qishan is still not hesitant to accuse the United States of misjudgment and misguidance, the United States’ biggest challenge is not China.

Wang Qishan’s counter-accusation that the United States treats China as an imaginary enemy is, according to an analysis, actually a logical continuation of Xi Jinping’s speech at the Party Congress, which treated the United States as an imaginary enemy and China as a “victim” and warned the United States, without naming it, that if it dared to “bully and enslave If the Chinese people dare to “bully and enslave” China, they will let them “bleed”. Wang Qishan is just pretending backwards. In fact, Xi’s speech is clear: China sees the United States as an imaginary enemy.

Analysis of Wang Qishan’s remarks, especially on the 50th anniversary of Kissinger’s secret visit to China, is problematic and somewhat “backwards”. Fifty years ago, the United States began a strategy of engagement with China, and China subsequently began a process of modernization. But the reason why relations are now increasingly hostile is not so much the result of U.S. “building” as the fact that the U.S. side finally realized that the engagement policy had failed after Xi Jinping took power and became more authoritarian.

A richer China under Xi Jinping’s rule has moved further and further away from a modern political system, becoming increasingly authoritarian and violent, reneging on its promise of one country, two systems in Hong Kong, massively repressing the Uighurs in Xinjiang, threatening Taiwan, expanding in the South China Sea, and reducing China’s diplomacy to war-wolf diplomacy, all of which are important reasons for the failure of the U.S.-China dialogue in Alaska. While U.S. Secretary of State Blinken criticized China’s human rights and other issues during the Alaska talks, China’s Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi immediately hit back forcefully, saying that China does not eat that U.S. approach. The accusation was that the U.S. had lost its representation.

Wang Qishan, as China’s vice president, has the power to “backtrack” on such commemorative occasions, which is not likely to do much to ease Sino-U.S. relations. However, he did not forget to wish Kissinger of the United States a “long and healthy life” at the end of his speech.