The Foreign Service Journal, September 2012

28 F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L / S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 2 SJ: Do you think that the Chinese, in light of how far they’ve come and what they’ve done in other situations, would prefer or be willing to foreswear any use of force? HK: Probably not. They may be willing to not use force, but they may not be willing to foreswear it. Nor would we. SJ: Which analysts or agencies do you find to be the most reliable sources of information on developments in China, during your time in government and now? HK: In my time in government, there was so little con- tact with China at first. We had no diplomats there. I oc- casionally would talk to visitors who had been in China, and also learned something on visits to Hong Kong and from Hong Kong reporting. The CIA was fairly good, as well. Although as late as July 1971, when I was already on the way to Beijing, they published a report that said: “Yes, the Chinese may want to open toward the United States, but never while Mao is still alive.” I relied mostly on State Department personnel, with some reliance on the CIA. But when I was in government, the CIA wasn’t very elaborated in China. When GeorgeW. Bush was president, he arranged for me to get CIA brief- ings, and I thought the CIA was very good. But so was the political division at the embassy. They work so closely to- gether anyway. SJ: Is there any final point you’d like to make, either about our relationship with China or the importance of diplomacy? HK: I’ve made my basic point on the need for a con- ceptual apparatus, and for creating a core of people who are nonpartisan and who can provide continuity in American foreign policy. Certainly one of the key aspects of foreign policy has to be reliability, so that other countries can gear their actions on the expectation of your own, or our own, conduct. And for that, the Foreign Service is essential. SJ: Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us, Dr. Kissinger. F OCUS