Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger paid a visit to Beijing on Thursday, ahead of a top-level diplomatic and security dialogue between China and the United States.
Kissinger, 95, met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during which Wang expressed his commitment to U.S.-China relations, according to Beijing's foreign ministry.
In a press release made available on the foreign ministry site, Wang stressed the importance of bilateral ties amid an ongoing dispute over trade tariffs.
"The United States and China will soon mark its 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations," Wang told Kissinger. "As the last 40 years have shown, the common interests of the United States and China far outweigh the conflicts, and the cooperation between the two countries is the only right choice."
The Chinese foreign minister also said there are "negative voices" in the United States but that China has stood up for a relationship of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
Wang added the current trade dispute can only be resolved through dialogue.
According to the foreign ministry, Kissinger said the countries should view bilateral ties from a big-picture perspective and establish basic rules for the stable development of relations.
Kissinger, who played a pivotal role in 1971 during the Nixon administration's engagement with Beijing, said he does not see China as an enemy, and relations are important to both countries, according to Beijing.
Days before his visit, Kissinger warned both countries an all-out conflict would destroy the current world order.
"It is essential for China and the United States to [talk] to each other about what the objectives are that they feel they must achieve and what the concessions are that they must not be asked to make, and the concessions each is willing to make," Kissinger said in Singapore.
Avoiding conflict is key, he added.