There has perhaps been no more polarizing figure in the realm of U.S. foreign policy than Henry Kissinger, who died last week at age 100. His realpolitik approach undoubtedly led to some success. But it also led Kissinger to advocate for policies whose moral grounding was dubious and whose foreign policy value was questionable.
Beijing’s recent diplomatic moves have fueled the growing chorus of voices raising the alarm over China’s alleged desire to use the Israel-Hamas war to fundamentally challenge the U.S. role in the Middle East. However, it would be a mistake to perceive China as anything other than an opportunistic actor in the Middle East.
Though the recent meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping was short on concrete outcomes, its key accomplishment, according to some observers, was to set a floor on U.S.-China relations. But even if setting a floor was the goal of the meeting, it’s concerning just how low the floor sits.