Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan met Tuesday with former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on the sidelines of celebrations marking the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
Wang first paid tribute to Kissinger for his great contribution to China-U.S. relations.
"It is fair to say you are the only senior official alive who has witnessed the entire course of diplomatic relations between the two countries from the very beginning," Wang said.
Following the "ping-pong diplomacy" that melted the ice between the two nations, then U.S. National Security Advisor Kissinger made two trips to China in 1971, paving the way for the groundbreaking visit of then U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1972.
The two countries established diplomatic relations on Jan. 1, 1979.
"As you are an old friend of the Chinese people, it is of special significance to meet with you on the occasion," Wang said.
"It is a privilege for me to come here on this occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic ties," Kissinger said.
"There is no relationship of the United States that has been consistent in the eight administrations as the relationship with China," Kissinger said.
Wang said China and the United States enjoyed a solid foundation for cooperation.
Given the grim international financial situation, Wang said the two countries should follow the tide of economic globalization, increase dialogue and cooperation, fight protectionism, and promote the establishment of a fair, equitable, tolerant and orderly international financial system.
"China has resources to expand domestic demands," Wang said. "That's why we are hopeful and confident of transforming the difficulties into opportunities."
Kissinger also shared his views with Wang on bilateral relations and the current world financial situation.
(Xinhua News Agency January 14, 2009)