Former secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger said yesterday that he would not have advised President Bush to send two former employees of Kissinger Associates, his consulting firm, on a secret mission to China to initiate a change of policy "with which I'm partly identified." National security adviser Brent Scowcroft and Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger made the trip to China last weekend to conduct the first extensive high-level meetings with Chinese officials since the massacre of student protesters in Tiananmen Square last June. Before they joined the Bush administration, Eagleburger was president and Scowcroft Washington representative of Kissinger Associates, a successful consulting firm whose clients include companies that have extensive economic ties to China. Kissinger has been a critic of the sanctions the United States imposed in response to the Tiananmen massacre, and has repeatedly called for preserving a special Sino-American relationship despite differences between the two countries. Kissinger said yesterday in a telephone interview that he was "wise enough" in the ways of Washington to realize that adding Eagleburger to a mission led by Scowcroft would permit critics to question whether the former secretary of state and his business interests had too much influence over the Bush administration's controversial China initiative. "I was astonished that {Eagleburger} was sent," Kissinger said. He expressed approval of Bush's decision to send a high-level mission to Beijing, but added that he had not recommended such a mission and did not know it was under consideration until Scowcroft called "about two hours before his airplane was ready to go." Kissinger was in Europe at the time and said he looked on Scowcroft's call "as a courtesy" so he would not be taken by surprise if a reporter asked him about it later. "Because two former associates went to China, critics of {the Bush policy} are trying to blacken my reputation," he said. He expressed particular anger at an article published by The Wall Street Journal in September which first laid out Kissinger's extensive business ties to China and raised questions about whether his commercial interests colored his policy views. Kissinger yesterday described as "McCarthyism" any linking of his views on China to his business interests. Several Kissinger acquaintances said yesterday that such accusations were unfair. Winston Lord, a former Kissinger deputy and U.S. ambassador to China during the Reagan administration, said that although he and others disagree with Kissinger's current views on China, "no one can question his motives." "{Kissinger} would not need a cent to take the same positions," Lord said. He pointed out that Kissinger believes strongly in maintaining U.S.-China relations, which he helped open up in 1972. "He believes in standing by old friends," Lord added, pointing out Kissinger's earlier defense of the late Shah of Iran, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos and his Chinese friends led by Deng Xiaoping, the former head of its government. Kissinger is involved in a variety of ventures that have business ties to China and that inevitably benefit from Kissinger's unique, highly publicized activities on the international scene. Kissinger Associates has clients in the United States and abroad that currently have or would like to have business activities in China. The client list is kept secret, but some company names were made public when Eagleburger was up for confirmation by the Senate. Clients such as Coca-Cola Co. and the H.J. Heinz Co. do business with China and, according to one competitive consultant, an official of one of those companies told him that Kissinger is retained "for his help in China." On his frequent trips to China, Kissinger often is accompanied by persons with whom he has a business relationship. In early November, when he traveled to Beijing for four days of meetings with China's top officials, Kissinger brought along Judith Hope, a Washington lawyer with whom he serves on the Union Pacific Corp. board of directors. Also part of the Kissinger group was Maurice R. (Hank) Greenburg, chairman of the board of American International Group (AIG), a large international insurance corporation which has been doing business in China since 1919. Kissinger is chairman of AIG's international advisory board. Kissinger said this trip, which came at the invitation of the Chinese government, was like others he regularly takes to all parts of the world as "someone interested in foreign policy." "It is the way I keep myself informed, stay in touch with old acquaintances. I don't need an ulterior motive," he said. Hope said yesterday Kissinger asked her before she went if she had any business interests or clients in China. When she said there were none, he replied, "That's good." Greenburg has a joint venture in China, the Chinese America Insurance Co, and several other investments. Greenburg yesterday said it was "an unfair allegation" that Kissinger used the trip to to promote business ventures. "There were no business discussions," he said of the meetings he attended but, "when economic questions were raised," he and Kissinger did promote the idea that U.S. investments needed an open door policy to come into China and continued economic reform. Greenburg also said that when he met Deng at the small luncheon given Kissinger and his guests Nov. 10, it was the first time he had met the Chinese leader. Kissinger was supposed to come to Beijing in October as guest of the Chinese government's chief investment bank, the China International Trust & Investment Corp. (CITIC). He was to speak at CITIC's commercial conference designed "to stimulate foreign investment," Kissinger said. But Kissinger canceled that visit as his response to Tiananmen Square and the U.S. reaction to it, he said yesterday. CITIC and Kissinger are involved in a business activity called China Ventures, a Delaware-registered limited partnership to make investments in China. Its existence was disclosed in The Wall Street Journal article in September. The Journal described Kissinger as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the general partnership which was to make investments in China with CITIC. Kissinger said yesterday that China Ventures was started in December 1988, just as Scowcroft and Eagleburger were leaving the firm to join the Bush administration. It would hav been publicly unveiled last June, but the announcement was canceled and no investments made after the Tiananmen Square incidents, Kissinger said. "Our board next meets in late February or early March," he said, "and we will see" whether the partnership goes forward. In 1988, Kissinger made two trips to China that had business implications. He went once as a member of Chase Manhattan Bank's international advisory board which was holding its meeting in Beijing. Kissinger and Chase's board chairman, David Rockefeller, then met with Deng Xiaoping. That same year Kissinger led a group of top U.S. executives to Beijing for meetings with Chinese officials where both sides exchanged complaints about their economic relations, according to Kissinger and Lord, who was then ambassador. On the last day of his latest visit, Nov. 10, Kissinger met with Deng Xiaoping, who had just resigned his last official position, the chairmanship of military commission. After some banter about retirement, Deng said, "You are no longer U.S. secretary of state, but you are still busy with international affairs." "Also as a private citizen," Kissinger said he replied. On Nov. 13, soon after his return to this country, Kissinger went to the White House for dinner with Bush, Vice President Quayle, Secretary of State James A. Baker III, chief of staff John H. Sununu and Scowcroft. On this occasion, Kissinger said yesterday, he reported on what the Chinese leaders had told him, and made recommendations about U.S. sanctions against China, which he declined to describe.