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Kissinger stresses global cooperation
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Former United States Secretary of State Dr Henry Kissinger speaks to the press at a Beijing seminar held to mark 30 years of Sino-US diplomatic relations [Photo: Zhou Jing, China.org.cn] 

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger today stressed the need for international cooperation in the face of the global challenges of nuclear proliferation, energy, terrorism and the financial crisis

Speaking at a seminar to mark 30 years of Sino-US diplomatic relations, Dr Kissinger said the world was moving from an age in which states viewed each other primarily as competitors, into an era in which countries recognized their obligation to their peoples and the world to come to an understanding on issues that required global solutions. He said the four major issues facing world leaders were nuclear proliferation, energy, terrorism, and the global financial crisis.

Financial Crisis

Blaming the financial crisis on "over-speculation and the invention of esoteric financial instruments that nobody could understand," Dr Kissinger said the current global system was based on the proposition that markets would regulate themselves. "This has been proved not to be the case. So therefore we need an international regulatory system to prevent such catastrophes as the 1997 Asian crisis and now the global crisis."

The former Secretary of State said that when the crisis occurred "there were no international political institutions to deal with it and so the crisis got out of control from an international point of view much too fast." He said it was "an imperative" to revisit the World War II Bretton Woods agreement.

On the economic relations between China and the USA, Dr Kissinger said "China made it easier for us to engage in consumption – maybe excessively - by buying our debt. We helped China by encouraging private investment and technological transfer. This relationship is going to continue and it has to be adapted to the new period."

Dr Kissinger said he was encouraged by the willingness of leaders on both sides to seek solutions to bilateral issues. "It's interesting to me that as the crisis has developed the recriminations on both sides have been reduced and cooperative attitudes have evolved," he said.

Dr Kissinger acknowledged that some in the USA are in favor of protectionism and blame China for some of America's economic difficulties. "You have to get used to that. It's part of the American system. But those responsible for American policy are committed to a relationship of friendship. I cannot speak for President Obama because I have only met him once for five minutes. But I know almost all the other members of his administration and I very optimistic that this relationship will continue to develop after next Tuesday."

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