Henry Kissinger made headlines on January 5 by proclaiming Barack Obama to be the architect of a "New World Order." He told CNBC that "His task will be to develop an overall strategy for America in this period when, really, a new world order can be created. It's a great opportunity, it isn't just a crisis." But even more important than this eye-opening statement was where Kissinger made itÂ¯the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Kissinger, a former Secretary of State, was alongside Stephen Orlins, president of the U.S. National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, and two Chinese officials, as Orlins rang the market bell and declared that the 45 Chinese companies with a market capitalization of $802 billion that are listed on the NYSE were "emblematic of the economic integration of the two countries."
The opening bell event, which is seen by 100 million viewers on CNBC and other media outlets around the world, illustrates a point in Bill Gertz's new book, The Failure Factory, which declares that "Beijing's influence on the U.S. Government is so pervasive that most Americans remain entirely ignorant of the danger." Gertz, a defense and national security reporter for the Washington Times, describes Kissinger as a lobbyist who exerts "enormous influence on U.S. leaders" and a source of multiple "misguided policies" that benefit China and other U.S. adversaries.
In a chapter titled, "The Sellout of Former Officials," Kissinger is given a special section because of his influence with Chinese officials that benefits U.S. corporations.
But Gertz is not alone in raising concern about the U.S.-China relationship. The 2008 annual report of the U.S.-China Security and Economic Review Commission found that, "Since China joined the WTO [World Trade Organization] in 2001, the United States has accumulated a $1.16-trillion goods deficit with China and, as a result of the persistent trade imbalance, by August 2008 China had accumulated nearly $2 trillion in foreign currency reserves. China 's trade relationship with the United States continues to be severely unbalanced."
The commission also found that "The significant expansion of the Chinese government's involvement in the international economy in general and in the U.S. economy in particular has concerned many economists and government officials due to uncertainty about the Chinese government's and the Chinese Communist Party's motivations, strategies, and possible impacts on market stability and national security."
Corporate members of the U.S. National Committee on U.S.-China Relations are not named on the group's website. But they are said to "find that association with the National Committee is often helpful in their own dealings with Chinese authorities and it provides avenues to articulate policy concerns."
Board members include prominent Republicans and Democrats, including former Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Republican Rep. Jim Leach, who spoke on Obama's behalf at the Democratic National Convention and was one of his personal representatives to the G-20 meeting in Washington on the international financial crisis.
For his part, Obama raised eyebrows during the campaign when he praised the Chinese state-directed economic system in connection with the staging of the Olympic Games. Indeed, Obama was captured on tape saying that Chinese infrastructure was superior to that of the U.S.
While telling CNBC that he expected Obama to build a New World Order, Kissinger praised Obama's "extraordinary" appointments in the "international and financial fields."
Besides talking to CNBC, Kissinger gave an exclusive interview to the official Chinese news agency on the occasion of his visit to the New York Stock Exchange and said that the U.S. and Chinese governments will have to work together to rebuild the global economic system.
Kissinger spoke with "emotion" as he described the achievements of the Chinese people under communism and is regarded as "an old friend of the Chinese people," Xinhua said.
Indeed, China seems to be in the driver's seat as a result of the financial and economic crisis and Kissinger's policies.
At the recent official Strategic Economic Dialogue between the U.S. and China , a Chinese official, Vice Premier Wang Qishan, told Washington to "take the necessary measures to stabilize the economy and financial markets, as well as to guarantee the safety of China 's assets and investments in the United States ."
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who was in the audience to hear these remarks, has been trying to do so, having fashioned federal bailouts of U.S. financial institutions that have benefited China 's investments in the U.S. Paulson was the keynote speaker at the annual gala of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations on October 21 in New York. "While some see China as a threat that must be countered or contained, I believe that the only path to success with China is through engagement," Paulson said.
Before that, on June 18, the National Committee had honored Vice Premier Wang Qishan.
Kissinger used to run the firm Kissinger McLarty Associates, which is now just McLarty Associates, named for former Clinton chief of staff Thomas F. McLarty. The firm's website consists of one page and no names of any clients, who are said to be "in every region of the world."
Although one event held in 2006 for members of Congress under the auspices of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations was described as off-the-record, Neil King of the Wall Street Journal and Carol Giacomo of Reuters were said to have been invited to attend as observers, and King did produce a short, four-paragraph story about some of what was said. King reported that the basic message of the event, which featured Kissinger and Albright as speakers, was that Communist China meant no harm to the U.S.
David R. Gergen, a senior political analyst for CNN, is identified as being on the board of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations. In his official bio, however, Gergen lists membership in the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission but no affiliation with the pro-China group.