Former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger yesterday warned that an armed conflict could break out between the United States and China if they fail to resolve their trade war. The sober remarks from Kissinger, who was instrumental in normalising diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing, came at a conference in Beijing on the future of the two economic giants. China and the US have been caught in a trade dispute for 18 months, with the two sides struggling to reach an agreement despite a series of negotiations. Tensions have also been running high on the diplomatic front. Beijing has lashed out at Washington over US naval operations in the disputed South China Sea, US criticism of China’s mass detention of ethnic Uighurs and US Congress support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.