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Page last updated at 09:02 GMT, Saturday, 21 May 2011 10:02 UK

Henry Kissinger warns of 'strategic suicide'


Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, is the architect, for good or ill, of so much of the modern global politics. So what does he make of the world as it stands today?

"The rise of China and the shift of the centre of gravity of the world from Europe to Asia will be the big historic drama of the next generation," he told Justin Webb.

"I want people to understand that a clash between China and the US is something that would hold back progress and stability in the world."

On the Middle East, he said that President Obama was right to urge Israel and the Palestinians to first work out the issue of borders before tackling Jerusalem.

But he cautioned that world leaders had to balance their approach to the Arab Spring between freedom and stability.

"One has to find a balance between doing as much as one can for ones human values, but not committing strategic suicide," he said.

"What if we go to far and absolute chaos results?"

On Afghanistan, he was not optimistic that coalition forces could withdraw without turning the country over to the Taliban.

"This could easily lead to an Indian - Pakistan war," he warned.

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