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Kissinger Warns Possible Conflict Between US and China May Be More Destructive Than First World War

© AP Photo / Richard DrewFormer U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by Neil Cavuto on his "Cavuto Coast to Coast" program, on the Fox Business Network, in New York, Friday, June 5, 2015
Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is interviewed by Neil Cavuto on his Cavuto Coast to Coast program, on the Fox Business Network, in New York, Friday, June 5, 2015 - Sputnik International
The two countries have been engaged in a major trade war that has seen billions of dollars’ worth of goods being slapped with hefty tariffs of up to 25% since 2018. Washington insists that Beijing has abused some practices in its trade with the US and vowed to impose more and more tariffs until a new trade deal has been inked by the two states.

Former US Secretary of State and expert in international relations Henry Kissinger has warned that the tensions between Washington and Beijing may eventually escalate into a new full-scale cold war if the bilateral issues underlying them remain unaddressed and undiscussed. He added that the conflict between the two states has not gone beyond the point where it can't be resolved.

"That makes it, in my view, especially important that a period of relative tension be followed by an explicit effort to understand what the political causes are and a commitment by both sides to try to overcome those. It is far from being too late for that, because we are still in the foothills of a cold war", Kissinger said.

The veteran diplomat further stated that the negative consequences of potential conflict between the world's two biggest economies could outweigh those of the First World War in Europe. He noted that the latter also erupted due to a "relatively minor crisis" that wasn't "mastered".

Kissinger expressed support for the ongoing trade talks between Washington and Beijing and hoped that they will be successful. He added that if this is the case, then the US and China will be able to proceed to "a political discussion" to address other bilateral issues.

"[States like the US and China] are bound to step on each other’s toes all over the world, in the sense of being conscious of the purposes of the other", he said.

US-China Trade War

Washington and China have been making progress in trade talks recently, reaching an agreement on the so-called "Phase One", with additional trade discussions looming ahead. So far, the sides haven't negotiated lifting the tariffs in bilateral trade.

FILE - In this Nov. 9, 2017, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, right, chats with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing - Sputnik International
China-US Trade War Benefits India, Other Economies: UNCTAD

The trade dispute started in 2018 after the US accused China of abusing existing trade practices, demanded that a new trade deal be negotiated, and imposed 25% and 10% tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminium respectively. Since then, Washington has introduced several additional rounds of tariffs, with Beijing always responding by imposing tariffs of its own on American goods. Currently, billions of dollars’ worth of goods on both sides is affected by the economic measures, which Beijing regards as illegal.

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