Henry Kissinger, who opened America's doors to China in the early 1970s, died on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at his home in Connecticut at the age of 100.
Dr Kissinger, then US president Richard M Nixon's national security adviser, feigned illness on a visit to Pakistan in July 1971 and made a secret trip to Peking, as Beijing was then called, to begin the process of a rapprochement between America and China. It was a debt that Chinese leaders have never forgotten.
Even Xi Jinping, China's current supreme leader under whose watch Sino-American relations have plunged to its worst depths since the early 1950s, acknowledged Dr Kissinger's contribution when the centenarian scholar, statesman and celebrity diplomat visited Beijing in July 2023 just weeks after he turned 100.
IMAGE: Xi and Dr Kissinger at a meeting at the Diaoyutai state guesthouse in Beijing, July 20, 2023. Photograph: China Daily via Reuters
IMAGE: Xi and Dr Kissinger at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing March 17, 2015. Photograph: Feng Li/Pool/Reuters
IMAGE: Then US president Gerald Ford and his daughter Susan watch Dr Kissinger shakeshands with Mao Tse-Tung, then chairman of the Chinese Communist party, during a visit to Mao's residence in Beijing, December 2, 1975. Photograph: Gerald R. Ford Library/Handout via Reuters
IMAGE: Then US president Richard M Nixon, then Chinese premier Zhou En-Lai, then secretary of state William Rogers and DR Kissinger have tea during an intermission at a performance of the modern revolutionary ballet, The Red Detachment of Women in Beijing, February 22, 1972. Photograph: Richard Nixon Presidential Library/Handout via Reuters
IMAGE: Nixon and Dr Kissinger speak on Air Force One during their voyage to China. February 20, 1972, here and below. Photograph: Richard Nixon Presidential Library/Handout via Reuters
Photograph: Richard Nixon Presidential Library/Handout via Reuters
IMAGE: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Dr Kissinger at the Kremlin in Moscow, June 29, 2017. Photograph: Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin via Reuters
IMAGE: Nixon and Dr Kissinger stand at an Oval Office window at the White House in Washington, DC, February 10, 1971. Photograph: Richard Nixon Presidential Library/Handout via Reuters
IMAGE: Nixon and Dr Kissinger walk from the Kremlin annex to St Vladimir Hall following the signing of 'Basic Principles of Relations Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' in Moscow, May 29, 1972. Photograph: Richard Nixon Presidential Library/Handout via Reuters
IMAGE: Nixon meets with then vice president-designate Gerald Ford, then secretary of state Dr Kissinger, and then chief of staff Alexander Haig, Jr, in the Oval Office, October 13, 1973 Photograph: Richard Nixon Presidential Library/Handout via Reuters
IMAGE: Nixon and Dr Kissinger meet with then Israeli prime minister Golda Meir in the Oval Office at the White House, November 1, 1973. Photograph: Richard Nixon Presidential Library/Handout via Reuters
IMAGE: Then US president Gerald Ford with Dr Kissinger at Camp David, July 5, 1975. Photograph: Gerald R Ford Library/Handout via Reuters
IMAGE: Then US secretary of state John Kerry, third from right joined by former secretaries of state Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Dr Kissinger, James Baker and Colin Powell for a cermonial groundbreaking for the US Diplomacy Center museum at the State Department in Washington, DC, September 3, 2014. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
IMAGE: With Dr Kissinger at his side, then US president Donald J Trump speaks to reporters after his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the Oval Office, May 10, 2017. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
IMAGE: Dr Kissinger with his wife Nancy arrive for a state dinner for Australia's then prime minister Scott Morrison at the White House, September 20, 2019. Photograph: Erin Scott/Reuters
IMAGE: Dr Kissinger, who liked watching football, and soccer legend Pele at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in London, August 12, 2012. Photograph: John Stillwell/pool/Reuters
IMAGE: Code Pink demonstrators surround former secretaries of state Dr Kissinger, left, and George Shultz, right before the beginning of the Senate Armed Services Committee on global challenges and US national security strategy on Capitol Hill in Washington, January 29, 2015. Photograph: Gary Cameron/Reuters
Photographs curated by Anant Salvi/Rediff.com
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/Rediff.com