Kissinger deplores 'cheating' China campaign ads

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is sharply criticizing both U.S. presidential candidates for appealing to American suspicions of China in their campaigns.

Kissinger said Wednesday the candidates have used "extremely deplorable" language, labeling China a cheat.

Last week both campaigns issued ads promising to get tough over alleged Chinese trade violations often blamed for major U.S. job losses.

Kissinger was the architect of U.S. re-engagement with Beijing 40 years ago. He still advocates better relations between the superpowers.

Kissinger has endorsed Mitt Romney but made clear Wednesday he opposed the candidate's promise to designate China a currency manipulator, saying virtually all China experts oppose it.

He said "theoreticians" advocating that step, lacking experience with China, have turned it into a crusade.

Kissinger spoke at the Wilson Center in Washington.