Ten days after meeting with Donald Trump and reminding him to go to “someone who understands Chinese culture and history” when dealing with China, the 93-year old Henry Kissinger came to China and met with Xi Jingping .
Henry is always welcome in China. This visit is understood by both sides to be unique and purposeful. In keeping with his style, it is likely that the important but unpublicised purpose is to pave the road for strategic US-China dialogues by establishing some special helpful channels.
One channel will provide quick direct access to the short (instead of the usually long bureaucratic) corridors leading to the chief executives on both sides. A second channel will facilitate secured confidential discussions, including some heated arguments, between designated individuals, away and shielded from the respective bureaucracies and their radars. Both channels will be private, until there are definitive outcomes.
People familiar with US-China relations cannot help but sense the anticipation of another Big History moment approaching, for better or ill. As one of the main architects of that Big History moment 45 years ago with the Nixon visit to China, Kissinger seems ready for his last hurrah, to hopefully usher in another half-century of world order.
That is, if Donald knows how to play at that level …