Published: 10:33, November 30, 2023 | Updated: 18:56, November 30, 2023
Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger dies at age 100
By Xinhua

Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, speaks at the annual gala dinner of the National Committee on US-China Relations in New York in 2019. (ZHAO HUANXIN / CHINA DAILY)

NEW YORK - Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger died on Wednesday at home in Connecticut at the age of 100, Kissinger Associates, Inc said in a statement.

As Secretary of State under presidents Nixon and Ford, Dr Kissinger "played central roles in the opening to China, negotiating the end of the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East, and helping to bring America's role in the Vietnam War to a close," said the statement.

Dr Kissinger has written 21 books on national security matters, it said. "Considered one of America's great statesmen, Dr Kissinger was regularly consulted by American presidents of both political parties and scores of foreign leaders after he finished government service in 1977."

Fifty-two years ago when China and the United States were at a crucial inflection point, Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, President Richard Nixon and Dr Kissinger, made the right decision for China-US cooperation and launched the process of normalizing the China-US relationship.

I've spent literally half of my life working on the US-China relations ... I like the Chinese people, I'm impressed by Chinese culture.

Henry Kissinger, Ex-US Secretary of State

Kissinger visited China more than 100 times, the most recent one being in late July this year, about two months after he celebrated his 100th birthday, during which Chinese President Xi Jinping met him in Beijing.

On Oct 24, Kissinger was honored at the annual Gala Dinner of The National Committee on US-China Relations in New York City.

All guests gave the distinguished centenarian a standing ovation when Kissinger was wheelchaired onto the stage. And most of them kept standing up until he finished his over 10-minute speech.

"A peaceful relationship, a cooperative relationship between the US and China is essential for peace and progress of the world," said Kissinger at the event.

"I'm confident all of you here agree that peace and progress between China and the US is in the self-interest of each country and of the world," he said.

"I've spent literally half of my life working on the US-China relations ... I like the Chinese people, I'm impressed by Chinese culture," he said.

Kissinger said he is convinced that the US-China relations depend on "an understanding that the two countries have a unique ability to bring peace and progress to the world, and they also have a unique ability to destroy the world if they're not together."

He expressed confidence that the world's two largest economies will find ways to straighten the strained relationship. "I believe now, as I believed 50 years ago, that we can find our way through these difficulties."

Henry Kissinger, former US secretary of state, speaks at the New Economy Forum in Beijing on Nov 21, 2019. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Kissinger warned that the United States has to properly handle the Taiwan question in light of the Shanghai Communique, a historic document that became a key political foundation for the two countries to establish diplomatic ties.

"We in America have to avoid giving the impression that we are walking away from the one-China concept to which we committed ourselves ... that was a real commitment in the Shanghai Communique," said Kissinger.

Born in Germany in 1923, Kissinger was survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Nancy Maginnes Kissinger, two children by his first marriage, David and Elizabeth, and five grandchildren.