Henry Kissinger On China Summary

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Henry Kissinger, On China (Penguin Books, 2011, 623 pages, Rs. 699, Paperback)
Reviewed by Jigyasa Singla
On China is a non-fiction book written by Henry A. Kissinger that talks in detail about the author 's account of the history of China and the US-Sino relationship on a political level. Henry Kissinger was the key person in effecting President Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972, which initiated Sino-American relations after a hiatus of two decades. Kissinger’s arrival in Beijing quickly led to the reopening of relations between China and the United States of America. Henry Kissinger is known to be a great statesmen and a connoisseur of fine diplomacy, and was a Nobel Peace Laureate in 1973. He is best known for his works Diplomacy, World Order and On China.
Kissinger has made more than fifty trips to China in his lifetime and his book distils his unique experience and long study of China. Kissinger’s book On China is
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“That China and the United States would find a way to come together was inevitable given the necessities of the time. It would have happened sooner or later whatever the leadership in either country.” Kissinger draws on the Chinese game of wei qi, a patient contest of encirclement where checkmate is preferred over ultimate victory. Chinese strategists view the quest for a decisive outcome as illusory. Instead, they play a game of combative existence, seeking to improve their relative power position amid the ever changing forces of world politics. This is a perfect metaphor for Kissinger’s “balance of power.” With a firm conviction of permanent revolution, Mao Zedong’s courting of America was purely tactical, while Zhou Enlai’s was for a longer-lasting alliance; both felt the potential threat of Soviet expansion. Because he crossed the line in befriending imperialist America, Zhou fell from Mao’s grace and was replaced by Deng

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