Former U.S. national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (L) speaks with Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankaion Nov. 16, 2016 at a screening of a film about late Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping's U.S. visit in 1979. (Xinhua/Bao Dandan)
WASHINGTON, May 27 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Embassy in the U.S. sent condolences to Zbigniew Brzezinski's family on Saturday over the passing of the former U.S. national security adviser.
Brzezinski, former national security adviser to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, died at age 89 on Friday.
In a statement, the Chinese embassy calls the late statesman "an accomplished strategist and diplomat, and a long-time friend of the Chinese people," adding that his passing is "a loss for both China and the U.S."
"He made an important contribution to the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the U.S., and to supporting and promoting China-U.S. relations throughout his career," said the statement.
In May 1978, Brzezinski paid his first visit to China to lay the groundwork for the normalization of the relationship between China and the United States.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua in 2009, Brzezinski said that the establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the United States and China, of which he was a strong proponent, was "more than just normalizing relations."
"We gave it a strategic significance which I think contributed to greater international stability," he then said.
Maintaining and developing a healthy and stable China-U.S. relationship is in the interest of both the Chinese and the American people, and the international community as well, the Chinese embassy said in the statement.
"With the joint efforts of both sides, we hope to honor Dr. Brzezinski through continued cooperation between China and the United States," it added.