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Over two days in late April 2023, The Economist spent over eight hours in conversation with Dr Kissinger. Just weeks before his 100th birthday, the former secretary of state and national security adviser laid out his concerns about the risks of great power conflict and offered solutions for how to avoid it. This is a transcript of the conversation, lightly edited for clarity.
A new geopolitical and economic order is being written through the emergence of China as an economic, military and diplomatic superpower and threatening the status of the United States. We are heading towards a multipolar world in which the search for strategic autonomy is changing the dynamics of international trade for the worse. Nothing will be more determinant to the world’s destiny over forthcoming years than the relationship between Beijing and Washington. Europe risks being a mere bystander.