tv Henry Kissinger Discusses Diplomacy with China CSPAN August 11, 2021 11:21pm-11:59pm EDT
>> spin shop.org -- c-spanshop.org is c-span's online store. there is a collection of c-span products. your purchase will support our nonprofit operations and you still have time to order the congressional directory with contact information for members of congress and the biden administration. >> thursday, the centers for medicare and medicaid services administrator discusses the biden administration health policy priorities. live coverage begins at 1:00 p.m. on c-span come online at c-span.org or you can listen on the c-span radio app.
i was privileged on a couple of occasions to be together with henry kissinger and john mccain one memorable trip overnight across the atlantic. in which we spoke on many topics and there was a way in which john and i were enthralled by hearing henry stories of the remarkable privileges he had to be involved in the making of american foreign policy. becoming a member of the harvard
faculty and then becoming involved in politics national security advisor and secretary of state under president nixon and president florida. not just the titles. a remarkable series of accomplishments that in my opinion make him the most successful, eminent diplomat statesman of our age. i'm not just praising a friend but think about it. he paved the way for the detente with the soviet union. he opened discussions with china in 1971 and that led with his leadership to the summit between president nixon and chairman mao in 1972. the opening of relations with china that was formalized later in 1979.
he successfully concluded the paris peace conference and the vietnam war. he has continue to be a source of great leadership and counsel. on behalf of sidney mccain and the entire family, i thank you, henry, for being with us. the topic of this year's sedona form is defending democracy, which of course mattered to john. and if i may, i would like to -- and they want us to focus on the pivotal relationship with china, between the u.s. and china. in some ways even more important, a bilateral relationship to manage to avoid
-- i wonder if you would reflect a bit on those historic opening discussions you had that led to the beginning of the u.s.-china relationship and compared to where we are now. what your goals were then in whatever goals were -- what our goal should be no. >> a prisoner in vietnam. he had been a prisoner for many years. at the end of the vietnam war, i was in hanoi to conclude the final negotiations.
said to me you can take commander mccain home on you -- home with you on your plane as a sign of goodwill. i did not think it was such a great sign of goodwill ahead of the commander in pacific would come home with me on a presidential plane. in any case, i refused to take it. and i was wondering in the four months that intervened before i met him, which was at a white house reception and john mccain came up to me and said thank you for saving my honor.
we became good friends. through all the years afterwards, in all of the positions he had until he became senator. i had not known no person similarly dedicated to the importance of america and the lessons he drew from his experiences, democracy as an important commitment of the united states and security.
of american importance. i was born in democratic germany and then in nazi germany as a member of a discriminated minority. to me, america about which i knew nothing except it was a symbol of freedom to me and that -- and i was a great admirer of president roosevelt, of whom i also knew nothing. except that he was the president of the country. to which my family had emigrated out of europe.
i preach your treatment to john, which i know comes from your heart and i thank you for it. we are at a point again and you bring a lot of history to it. we are effectively managing our relationship with china. it is they could tickle element of our foreign policy. one of the more challenging aspects of it goes to the heart of the theme for the sedona conference, which is defending democracy. just last month, tighe terry of stay blinken met with the -- secretary of state blinken met with china in anchorage. the differences came right to the surface. blinken said china was threatening the rules-based order that maintains global stability and yang said the u.s.
had to stop advancing its own democracy on the rest of the world. on capitol hill and in this administration, the biden administration, there is a lot of concern about cheney's treatment of the uighurs -- about chinese treatment of the uighurs and yet we all know there is a desire to figure out how to manage our relationship with china in a way that is mutually beneficial and not -- there is not an open military conflict. how do we bring all that together? how do we remain in any way true to our values of freedom and human rights and still managed to live successfully in a world
at the same time, the greatest threat to the united states was the soviet union. it was the only other country that had nuclear weapons of any magnitude and it was developing its military. it was actually engaging in flights over berlin for the entire cold war. the additional challenge we had was the vietnam war, which we in the nixon administration inherited.
of a power that is beyond what anybody imagined. out of the nuclear issue, the high-tech issue. which in the field of artificial intelligence is at its essence based on the fact that man becomes a partner of machines. machines can be developed at our own judgment. a military conflict between high-tech powers --
it is usually one side or the other. that is the essence of the relationship that challenged the administration. i think alaska was a good example of that because it is not usual the opening statement of a diplomatic conference -- [indiscernible] but it also has the advantage of showing where we are and what we need to do.
[indiscernible] the soviet union had no economic capacity. they had military technological capacity but they did not have the capacity china does. cheney is a huge economic power -- china is a huge economic power. it is a very challenging task for america. it is important we unite on that. and don't divide ourselves into one group that is in favor of the moral aspect and another in
favor of the strategic aspect. the two have to be linked. sec. lieberman: that was an excellent statement. realistically balanced and very wise. who are faithful to our national values but also made clear how much is at stake in managing this relationship and make sure it does not break into open conflict and continue to talk to the chinese. i arrived in the senate in the late 1980's and i was at the middle of the discussions about china. the clinton administration in which the president and administration fought to integrate china into the global economy both for mutual economic
benefit but also with the hope it would create a more democratic china. the fact it has not created a more democratic china has today led some people to want to break away from the economic relationship. i'm sure you agree the economic relationship with the integration of china has not only been good for the chinese but it has been very beneficial for us. the fact it has not led to as much democracy as we hope it would within china should not lead us to walk away from what you described as a necessity of constant dialogue. we have a few minutes left and i want to ask you a question that was much more strategic than about democracy. one of the things you did brilliantly in the early 1970's in opening our relationship with china was to work within the
context of the tension between the soviet union and china. and to form a strong alliance but also to maintain a pretty decent u.s.-soviet detente. today, it appears that this soviet -- russia and china, president putin and president xi are coming closer and closer together and i wanted to ask you to reflect on how that may complicate america's desire to improve and peacefully manage our relationship with china. sec. kissinger: china and the united states, china and the
politics. sec. lieberman: i agree. that is a great agenda really, a challenge to this administration to -- and i am taken with it. not only to continue the dialogue with china but to try to restart in an honest way a dialogue that has not existed for quite a while with russia. it is in our interest -- we have used our time. we could go on for hours. you are a real inspiration. it is a blessing you continue your not only able but willing to share the lessons of your
extraordinary life. you're just a source of great wisdom for a lot of us. i cannot thank you enough again on behalf of the memory of john mccain and specifically cindy mccain. thanks for all you brought to this discussion today. i pray god will bless you and your family with only good things for a glatt more -- for let more years to come. be well. see you soon. >> c-span's washington journal. every day, we are taking your calls live on the air on the news of the day and discussing policy issues that impact you. coming up thursday morning, we will talk about student loan debt and potential changes to forgiveness and repayment programs with a student loan attorney and a forbes contributor. then we turn to immigration policy with america's voice
executive director frank sherry and later, the center for innovation studies director. watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 eastern thursday morning and be sure to join the discussion with your phone calls, facebook comments, text messages and tweets. >> sunday night on q&a, journalist elizabeth becker, author of you do not belong here, tells the story of female war -- female vietnam war correspondence at a time when covering where was a male profession. >> there was no embedding like we have now. there was no military censorship. it was probably the first and last uncensored american war. it was for women, a gift. because it was only because of this lack of codification, this
openness that women could get through what had been the biggest barrier as a war correspondent that you were not allowed on the field. >> journalist elizabeth becker sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. you can find all q&a interviews wherever year podcasts. -- wherever you get your podcasts.