, November 11 (Lang Lang, Wang Hao, Zhao Yifan, Wang Shanshan, Zhang Xi, Ren Siyu, Fan Fenghui) The snow stopped.

At the end of November, the last snowflakes that fell in Connecticut came from a farewell - Kissinger was gone.

11 photos, 11 mentions of "China", a long statement on the official website, a final wave for Henry Kissinger to the world.

Underneath the news of his death, someone commented that "the person who started history is written into the history books, but it will inevitably become history in the end". It is not difficult to find all kinds of Kissinger's life in all kinds of books, but in addition to the lead-inked paper, there are always some pasts that are worth photocopying in our hearts, thinking about and remembering.

Visiting China, reminiscing and reuniting

In July, a rectangular dining table in Building 7 of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse unfolded a scroll paved with flowers and mountains and rivers, which complemented the lush greenery of midsummer outside the window.

The old birthday star, crane, goldfish, and Ruyi shaped sugar art works surround the picture scroll, and the small buckle on the napkin cloth is a small wood carving gourd that means blessing; At one end of the dining table is a "Baishou Peach" cake, and 9 small Shou peaches surround a large Shou peach with 90 Shou peaches wrapped inside... All kinds of details are expressing blessings and respect for a centenarian Rui.

The picture shows the birthday peach at the luncheon during Kissinger's visit to China in July this year. Source: CCTV News screenshot

As one of the protagonists of the party, Kissinger celebrated his 100th birthday just two months ago.

He may be familiar with the menu of the luncheon, Peking duck, vinegared fish from West Lake, two prawns... And the first time he tasted these things in China was in July 52 years ago.

At 1971 a.m. on July 7, 9, before dawn, Kissinger, wearing a big-brimmed hat and sunglasses, got rid of the media under the pretext of "having a stomachache and needing a break", and set off from the National Guesthouse in Islamabad, Pakistan, in a low-key manner, riding a Boeing 4, to embark on a top-secret itinerary codenamed "Polo-707" that appeared on the front page of world news a week later.

History will always remember this day.

After a flight of 4 hours and 45 minutes and 2400,<> miles over the Himalayas, he and his companions could not hold back their excitement when the plane arrived at Beijing's Nanyuan Airport on schedule.

"The windows were closed, and I looked out from behind the curtains and saw that the street next to it was wide and clean, and there were few cars except for bicycles." This is his first memory of Beijing.

When it was time to attend the luncheon, Kissinger realized that he had forgotten the white shirt he had prepared for the meeting — he knew that photos of his historic meeting with the Chinese leader would surely spread around the world, so he carefully prepared two clean shirts and kept them in separate bags. In a hurry, the bag was lost in Pakistan.

Accompanying personnel said that Kissinger was really angry at that time, so he had to borrow a few white shirts from John Holdridge, who was born at West Point, was tall, and Kissinger, who was much younger than him, wore it very ill-fitting, "walking like a penguin without a neck." ”

Kissinger's trip to Beijing lasted only 48 hours, while he spent 17 hours talking with Premier Zhou Enlai, seven to 7 hours a day.

The picture shows Premier Zhou Enlai meeting with Kissinger in 1971. Source: On China

The first meeting was held at 3 p.m. on the day of his arrival in Beijing, and when he received the notice, Kissinger was surprised and surprised. They did not expect that the meeting would be arranged only two hours after arriving in Beijing, and what they did not expect was that Premier Zhou would personally meet them in Building 5 of the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, where they lived.

Kissinger waited in the downstairs hallway 15 minutes early. When Premier Zhou arrived at Building 5 on time, Kissinger immediately greeted him and warmly shook hands with Premier Zhou.

"It's a great treat... My title as Assistant for National Security Affairs is equivalent to Vice Minister, three levels lower than Premier Zhou. ”

At the beginning of the first meeting, Kissinger could not relax himself, and the whole person behaved very restrained in the meeting, and when he mentioned this meeting later, he still remembered sitting down with Premier Zhou face to face at a table covered with green tweed, Premier Zhou had only two pieces of paper in front of him, and he had a large stack of folders in front of him.

He picked up the materials he had prepared and began to read: "L am very much honour to be here today in the mysterious land..." Premier Zhou interrupted Kissinger's words and said with a smile: "Dr. Kissinger, you will quickly understand that this place is not mysterious, and if you are familiar with it, it will not be mysterious. After listening to Premier Zhou's words, Kissinger closed the folder.

"Why read according to the script? We can exchange opinions more freely and relaxedly. Premier Zhou said.

"Zhou Enlai is the most charismatic person I have met in my 60 years of public service. He is not tall, personable, with piercing eyes and a rich expression. After reading Kissinger's memoirs, some people described him as a "fan brother" of Premier Zhou, frequently mentioning the "light and warmth" he felt in the other party.

The final meeting of the 48-hour trip exceeded the scheduled time, from 8 a.m. to just over 10 a.m., and staff continued to bring wet towels, coffee and strong tea to the conference room. When the door of the conference hall finally opened, the personnel of both sides walked out with smiles on their faces, and four days later, in accordance with the agreement reached by the two sides, China and the United States simultaneously issued an announcement to the outside world that shook the world.

When Kissinger returned to the United States after a secret visit to China, Nixon was greeted by a car to the special plane. Photo by China News Service reporter Jia Guorong

Shortly after this secret trip, he accompanied then-US President Richard Nixon on his visit to China, and at the banquet, Peking duck, West Lake vinegar fish, and two prawns appeared.

Fifty-two years ago, the Wukong Bridge at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse witnessed Kissinger's first secret visit to China; Fifty-two years later, there is also a five-hole bridge on the flower-paved scroll, which echoes the memory of that year and remembers Kissinger's last visit to China.

Spanning half a century, he remains a bridge of friendship between China and the United States.

Where we come from, where we pursue and what we want to do

To become a "bridge", it may indeed be part of the "unintentional insertion" of political strategy, but there must be his mission to pursue peace.

Kissinger was born in Germany in May 1923, and his mother, Paula Kissinger, named him "Heinz". Born into a Jewish family, Kissinger left for the United States at the age of 5 to escape Nazi persecution. At least 15 of his close relatives were slaughtered by the Nazis.

Kissinger rarely talks about his childhood, and when he became secretary of state, he returned with his parents to attend a ceremony to award him a gold medal for local citizenship. However, Kissinger refused to revisit a series of activities in his childhood hometown, "My memories are not so good. ”

Candles are lit on Leipzig Square in Germany to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Kissinger and others attended the ceremony, and many Germans also held candles to participate in the commemorative activities.

Although Kissinger is reluctant to admit that he has been permanently wounded here, from the perspective of an observer, it is easy to find the reason for his untrusting style of conduct and his political philosophy of always seeking order.

When he first arrived in the United States, Kissinger was worried that his accent was too strong, and he did not speak much for a while. However, his ambition to succeed drove him to embrace this strange land, enlisting in the army and joining the German theater of World War II, studying at Harvard University, and staying on to teach.

In the strategist's opinion, "some people become myths, not because they know something, or even because they have something to achieve, but because they set themselves some tasks." ”

In the 1968 U.S. presidential campaign, Kissinger served as Rockefeller's foreign policy adviser, but Nixon eventually defeated Rockefeller and won the election. Nixon admired Kissinger's diplomatic prowess and invited him to serve as the government's national security assistant. In January of the following year, Kissinger officially began his "White House career".

Compared with other titles that Kissinger has won in his life, "old friend of the Chinese people" is more familiar to Chinese.

When Kissinger attended a reception marking the 30 th anniversary of the "Sino-US Ping-Pong Diplomacy" at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, he signed a table tennis racket for Chinese youth. Photo by Li Gang

In the long years of constant change in Sino-US relations, these ordinary people on the other side of the ocean have always maintained a cordial feeling for Kissinger. The "secret visit to China" is, of course, the most colorful stroke of Kissinger's political career, and in addition to this, he has also made many political moves based on the national interests of the United States.

In January 1973, Kissinger completed negotiations in Paris to end the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the "Nobel Peace Prize" with Vietnamese Le Duc Tho. In that year's Gallup poll, Kissinger ranked first under the item of "most admired American", and more than ninety percent of people had a "favorable opinion" of him.

In September of the same year, at the age of 9, Kissinger became the 50th U.S. Secretary of State. At the inauguration ceremony, many of the attendees were moved to tears by the story of going from refugee to secretary of state, but Paula Kissinger smiled from beginning to end, laughing and explaining: "Henry won't let me cry." ”

In the year that his family fled to the United States, Kissinger's name was changed from "Heinz" to "Henry". In the eyes of a mother, whether it is her son who came to the United States with her 35 years ago or her son who is now in the spotlight, "a son is a son".

Chess, game and win-win

Above the government and the opposition, in the comments, Kissinger has switched many identities and images. But what remains unchanged is that there is always a game of chess in his life, playing China and the West, playing the past and the present, seeking to win a peace and a future.

"The longest-standing chess game in China is Go, which means strategic encirclement." "And the goal of chess is to win all, and the goal is to check the opponent to death." In "On China", Kissinger used chess as a metaphor for the difference between Chinese and Western strategic thinking. Published in 2011, Kissinger interprets China's past and future from his own perspective.

Kissinger presented his views on China's rise during a congressional hearing in Washington on January 2015, 1 local time. Photo by China News Service reporter Zhang Weiran

No matter what kind of chess it is, the game is its basic operating logic, which coincides with international politics. The quest for "peace and stability" ran through Kissinger's entire political career. And tracing back to the roots, this concept seems to have originated from his special growth process.

On Kissinger's chessboard, the confrontation between China and the United States has always been the most important theme. "When the initial ambiguity becomes clear, the vast mystery reveals new complexities. This has always been the case in Sino-US relations. In the preface to the 10th anniversary of the publication of On China, Kissinger describes this intricate relationship.

In the decades since his "secret visit to China," Kissinger has visited China more than 100 times to personally promote an active foreign policy between China and the United States. On the important anniversary of Sino-US relations, Kissinger can almost always be seen, and even in his advanced age, he still insists on flying long distances to China.

In 2008, as an honorary member of the International Olympic Committee, Kissinger brought his grandchildren to China to watch the Beijing Olympics. After participating in the opening ceremony, he praised it as "the most wonderful ever, it was just perfect." ”

On the afternoon of August 2008, 8, Kissinger, who came to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games, attended the women's basketball game accompanied by his family. Photo by China News Service reporter Ren Chenming

While in Beijing, the painter Li Yansheng created an ink portrait of Kissinger. At the age of 85, Kissinger had silver hair and was not as light as he was when he was younger, but behind his iconic black-rimmed glasses, his eyes were still bright.

Li Yansheng recalled that after Kissinger flipped through the album of his works, his favorite painting was called "Strong". This ink painting shows the cowherd baby grabbing two horns and the cow wrestling with both hands, and one person and one cow do not give in to each other, "all have a strong strength".

Kissinger's long-term diplomatic activity has led many people to ignore the fact that he retired from politics four years after becoming US Secretary of State. Of course, he has not withdrawn from the international political arena.

"I'm a world-class person. I can't live like a normal professor. Kissinger once said to Harvard Dean Henry Rosofsky.

At the 2019 Innovation Economy Forum held in Beijing, Kissinger attended and spoke at the session of "Special Session – Dialogue: Dr. Kissinger". Photo by China News Service reporter Hou Yu

Ten years ago, when Kissinger participated in a talk show, he had a good conversation with the host: "My grandson can beat me in chess, so I don't play chess with him anymore." I don't know if this is a joke, but what is certain is that in recent years, at the age of 10, Kissinger has been studying the possible impact of artificial intelligence on human society.

Kissinger's footsteps have never stopped.

Friends, no matter how far or near, will not forget

At the age of 100, he once again and for the last time set foot on Chinese soil.

Since 1971, Kissinger has visited China more than <> times, continuously promoting the development and exchange of US-China relations. He is not only the first US special envoy to visit China since the founding of the People's Republic of China, but also an American politician who has visited China the most.

"China is the country with which I have been the longest-standing and deepest, and China has become a very important part of my life. Chinese friends mean a lot to me. He once said.

In July 1971, he came to China as a special envoy to the United States; In July 7, when he visited, he made it clear that he had come as a friend of China.

In response to a reporter's question, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said that the US side was aware of Kissinger's visit to China as an "ordinary citizen" in advance.

Matthew said he believed Kissinger "wanted to go to China on his own, "not on behalf of the U.S. government." He also said that the State Department was not aware of any of Kissinger's plans to talk.

On the evening of January 2023, 1 local time, the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC) held the 18 Chinese New Year Dinner in New York. The picture shows Henry Kissinger delivering a video message. Photo by China News Service reporter Wang Fan

In May 2005, when he visited China, he asked to visit a company that had participated in the Korean War, and someone recommended him "Yang Gensi Company". After listening to the briefing, Kissinger pondered for a long time and wrote a message: "May China and the United States never meet each other."

"What a great achievement it would be if the United States and China could work together to build the world, not shake it!" This is his last sentence in "On China".

There is no distance between each other, and thousands of miles are still neighbors. "The Chinese attach great importance to the handouts, and we will not forget our old friends."


1. Kissinger's biography by Walter Isaacson

2. "On China" by Henry Kissinger

3. "<>th Birthday, <> Visits to China... What are the special arrangements for the luncheon between President Xi and Kissinger? CCTV News

4. "I Participated in the Reception of Kissinger's Secret Visit to China", China News Network

5. "A Hundred Years of Moment丨Kissinger's Secret Visit to China" Communist Party member network