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Mourning an Unforgettable Old Friend: China Remembers Kissinger

On Sunday (September 2nd, 2018), the world was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Henry Kissinger. He passed away at the age of 97. During his career as a diplomat, Dr. Kissinger played an extremely influential role in the geopolitical landscape of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. He was instrumental in the negotiation of Nixon’s historic visit to China and the eventual creation of the Shanghai Communique in 1972. For this, and for his tireless diplomatic work, Dr. Kissinger was honored with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty of 2005 and the Nobel Peace Prize of 1973. The news of Dr. Kissinger’s death has been met with tremendous feelings of grief and admiration across the globe, with particular attention being paid to China. In China, Dr. Kissinger has long been seen as a “friend of China” and a symbol of goodwill diplomacy. While his term as the U.S. Secretary of State has come to an end many years ago, his legacy has been an indelible part of the pursuit of friendship, understanding, and peace between the U.S. and China. China has announced a week-long mourning period, with flags around the country being flown at half-mast and the Chinese premier sending a telegram to express his condolences. In Beijing, the flags of the United States and China flew alongside one another in a show of solidarity and respect. In Shanghai, a memorial service was held in honour of Dr. Kissinger, with officials of both China and the United States of America in attendance. Dr. Kissinger’s passing marks a significant loss for the diplomatic community, one that will surely be felt keenly by the citizens of China and their partners in the U.S. and elsewhere. As the world continues to mourn, they also take the time to reflect on the legacy of a great man whose friendship towards China has crossed all kinds of boundaries and borders, and whose diplomatic work has earned him the respect and admiration of nations across the world.

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