WASHINGTON -- Nearly 40 years after then US secretary of state Henry Kissinger's landmark visit to China in 1971, an institute bearing his name and dedicated to promoting US-Chinese relations was inaugurated in Washington Tuesday.
"China and America no longer have a common enemy, but a common opportunity," Kissinger said in a speech at the launch of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger arrives at the Woodrow Wilson Center's inauguration of the Kissinger Institute on China and the US in Washington, DC. July 29, 2008. Kissinger was honored with the dedication due to his accomplishments in US-China foreign relations. [Agencies]
"An adversarial relationship between the United States and China is unfortunate for the whole world; positive relations are beneficial to everybody," said Kissinger, whose secret visit to China in 1971, when he met with Chinese premier Zhou Enlai, marked the beginning of a rapprochement between the two countries.
"China and the United States have an opportunity to help lead the world on common policies," he said.
The aim of the Kissinger Institute will be to improve American knowledge about China and Chinese knowledge about the United States, mainly through academic exchanges, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars research institute, which houses the institute, said in a statement.
The institute would help to "inspire more people to join in the worthy cause of advancing China-US relations and strengthen the voice of those calling for stronger relations between China and the United States," Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Yiechi said.
"Dr Kissinger is himself an institution," Yang added.
"He will go down in history as a man who charted the course of the Chinese-US relationship, which brings benefits to so many of us," he said.