The passing of former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at the age of 100 has drawn a spectrum of responses from global leaders. While some praised his diplomatic skills and contributions, many others criticized him as a war criminal, citing the lasting impact of his policies.
Former President George W. Bush expressed admiration for Kissinger, describing him as “one of the most dependable and distinctive voices” in foreign affairs. Bush highlighted Kissinger’s unique background as a refugee who later became a key figure in American diplomacy.
China’s President Xi Jinping conveyed condolences to President Joe Biden, stating that Kissinger would be remembered and missed by the Chinese people. The Chinese Foreign Ministry referred to Kissinger as an “old friend and good friend of the Chinese people” and a pivotal figure in China-U.S. relations.
However, social media witnessed a surge of criticism, with many users denouncing Kissinger as a war criminal. Rolling Stone magazine’s headline referred to him as a “war criminal beloved by America’s ruling class.” Critics cited his involvement in the bombing campaign in Cambodia, attributing it to the subsequent rise of the Khmer Rouge.
While Kissinger’s legacy remains controversial, Nixon’s daughters praised the partnership between Kissinger and their father, noting their role in diplomatic achievements such as the opening to China. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed awe for Kissinger, emphasizing his problem-solving approach to international politics.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog acknowledged Kissinger’s role in laying the cornerstone for peace agreements, especially with Egypt. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken commended Kissinger for setting a standard in diplomacy, highlighting his recent counsel.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized Kissinger as a “wise and far-sighted statesman,” and French President Emmanuel Macron referred to him as a “giant of history.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz praised Kissinger’s commitment to transatlantic friendship, while President Frank-Walter Steinmeier highlighted his contributions to ending the Cold War and facilitating democratic transitions.
The diverse responses underscore the complex legacy of Henry Kissinger, leaving a nuanced and debated impact on global affairs.