Henry Kissinger, The Rise of China and the Liberation War of Bangladesh

Henry Kissinger, The Rise of China and the Liberation War of Bangladesh

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The American market was open to China. In June 1971, the US lifted its existing trade embargo on China. Even after Kissinger left the scene, the process he had started remained in place. In 1980, China’s ‘Most Favored Status’ was restored. Over the next 40 years, China used this market to successfully achieve unprecedented economic growth. China’s exports to the US grew from almost zero in 1971 to US$18 billion in 1991 and US$530 billion in 2021. Without objection from the US, China became a member of the World Trade Organization in 2001. Based on purchasing power parity, China is now the world’s largest economy. And also in market exchange rate it is going to become the world’s largest economy in the near future.

Along with economic growth has come military capability and global influence and clout. Today China stands as the main competitor of US dominance in the world. This was made possible by American aid that began in the 1970s on Kissinger’s orders.

One thing must be kept in mind and that is that the rise of China in the global scene was inevitable. Apart from US aid, there were several determinants behind this increase. A disciplined and hardworking workforce, political stability, control over corruption, sound economic policy decisions – all contributed to this progress. American aid had created a vast opportunity and China was able to successfully utilize this opportunity. It will take at least another 20 years, some even say 30 years, for China to reach where it is today.

Last month, Kissinger visited China at his invitation. He was accorded a royal welcome in Beijing. Apart from Chinese ministers, he was received by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People. Xi described him as an “old friend” of China and recalled his contribution to the relations between China and the US. There is little scope to deviate from Xi’s words.

It was the people of Bangladesh who became victims of America’s obsession with China in 1971. It was the Pakistani military regime that handled the primary task of diplomacy between China and the US. And in turn, Henry Kissinger and the US administration of the time made no effort to stop the ongoing genocide in Bangladesh. On the contrary, he extended unconditional support to the perpetrators of the genocide. In a broader sense, it was Kissinger’s Pakistani obsession that pushed India into Moscow’s sphere of influence.

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