February 19, 2008
KISSINGER: CHINA A POTENTIAL PARTNER
SPIEGEL: Is China still a partner or primarily a rival?
Kissinger: China has to be treated as a potential partner. We must use all ingenuity to create a system in which the great states of Asia -- which really are not nation-states in the European sense but large conglomerates of cultures -- can participate. We have no choice.
SPIEGEL: Does the fact that "guided democracies" like Russia or China are currently more successful in economic terms undermine the attractiveness of Western-style democracy? Is that a new model that is becoming attractive for young people?
Kissinger: The problem of guided democracies is that they have great difficulties solving the problem of succession and of giving access to the widest possible pool of talent. China has come closer to solving that problem than any other undemocratic system. I believe that the democratic model is better and more durable for the future but not automatically. It depends on our vision and determination.
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