Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger warned on Tuesday that the US should not seek to thwart China's drive towards superpower status, but should work with Beijing in the interests of mankind.
Kissinger made the remark in an address to members of Washington's National Press Club to mark the 30th anniversary of the Shanghai Communique, one of the bedrocks of Sino-US relations, which he and former US president Richard Nixon negotiated with Chinese leaders. Kissinger served as Nixon's national security advisor.
The Shanghai Communique was issued on Feb. 28, 1972. It established the framework of US-China relations, leading to the establishment of formal diplomatic ties.
Among other undertakings, the US recognized in the communique that Taiwan was part of "one China."
Kissinger emphasized that the US "one China" principle remained important as the cornerstone of US policy toward China and Taiwan.
He said the idea of "one China" remains as valid today as it was three decades ago at the height of the Cold War and was essential to the prospects for stability in East Asia.
Kissinger pointed to Taiwan's prosperity and democracy as proof of the "one China" policy's success. "The test is not whether Taiwan should prosper and progress and become democratic," he said. "The test is whether the principle of one China is maintained."
Noting that "many feelers" have been put forward about revising US policy toward Taiwan, Kissinger said stability in US-China relations depended on three factors, including whether the US maintains the principle of "one China," "which we must do".
Secondly, "whether China understands the seriousness of our concern for a peaceful evolution, which we also believe is taking place." And the third test, he said, was "whether some restraint is exercised ... by other parties, including Taiwan, from not pushing issues to a point that risk confrontation."
"If these three principles are maintained," Kissinger added, "I am hopeful for a constructive outcome."
Kissinger noted that many people feel China will become a superpower if it continues at its present rate of growth and he said the US should not try to halt its progress.