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Kissinger: Tensions between Washington, Beijing Could Escalate into Military Confrontation

Sun 28 May 2023 | 06:38 AM
Taarek Refaat

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said that the escalation of tensions between the United States and China could escalate into a military confrontation between the two parties.

"I think that China, given its strength, is a potential and dangerous adversary [of the United States]," Kissinger said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, who turns 100 on Saturday. He added, "I think this could turn into a conflict. We have two societies with world historical views, but different cultures competing with each other."

The former foreign minister expressed the view that the "problem" in the South China Sea could be a cause for conflict. "I would like to understand if we can find ways to solve it based on the principle of freedom on the high seas. If we fail to do so, clashes cannot be avoided," he stressed.

At the same time, he noted that a potential conflict between the United States and China, given existing weapons, could threaten to "destroy civilization."

Kissinger emphasized: "Now the most important will be the dialogue between the two leaders, where they agree that they have the most dangerous means in the world and that they will manage their policy in a way that reduces [the possibility of] a military conflict breaking out between them, and the use of these means."