Secretary Clinton: U.S. Strengthens Pacific Partnerships

February 16, 2009
Dignitaries Greet Secretary Clinton Upon Her Arrival to Tokyo

About the Author: Hillary Rodham Clinton serves as the U.S. Secretary of State.

I am delighted to post my first entry to the DipNote community upon arriving in Tokyo, the first stop on my first trip as Secretary of State.

In addition to Tokyo, I will also be visiting Jakarta, Seoul, and Beijing this week where I hope to demonstrate America's sincere intention to develop broader and deeper relationships with nations throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Over the past 30 years, I've had the privilege of traveling to a very different Asia. Today, Asia is on the cutting edge of so many of the world's innovations and trends. In making my first trip as Secretary of State to Asia, I hope to signal that we need strong partners across the Pacific, just as we need strong partners across the Atlantic. I have become fond of saying that America is as much a transpacific power as it is a transatlantic one.

The Obama Administration believes that the futures of the United States, countries in Asia and around the world are increasingly inextricably linked. As you may know, I spoke from the Asia Society in New York City on Friday afternoon where I outlined the opportunities that I see for stronger bilateral, regional, and global cooperation and ongoing collaboration to deal with the economic crisis, to strengthen our alliances, to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and to build on efforts to face challenges like climate change, clean energy, pandemic healthcare crises and so much more.

As I've said before, America cannot solve the problems of the world alone, and the world cannot solve them without America. A Chinese aphorism says, "When you are in a common boat, you need to cross the river peacefully together." The wisdom of that aphorism must guide us today.

During my travels, I intend to take advantage of new social media tools so the State Department can share its diplomatic work with a broader audience. I invite you to use these tools and become a part of this conversation. Be sure and visit DipNote throughout the week for updates from the trip. If you have questions for me during my trip and beyond – send me a question through the newly launched Ask the Secretary feature at www.state.gov.

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
February 18, 2009

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Dear Secretary Clinton,

It's a real pleasure to have you aboard the good ship "Dipnote"!

Now I understand that a policy review is underway and I don't expect official comment on the subject till its finished, but I've been doing a little review of my own. Perhaps you'll see fit to factor a few thoughts on missile defense into the mix.

>Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 19:41:48 -0700
>>To: president@whitehouse.gov, vice.president@whitehouse.gov, secretary@state.gov, senator@biden.senate.gov, senator@enzi.senate.gov, jesse_helms@helms.senate.gov,senator@billnelson.senate.gov,senator@dodd.senate.gov, senator_frist@frist.senate.gov ,dana@mail.house.gov, public@defenselink.mil
>>From: Eric from New Mexico (address deleted for posting)
>>Subject: "Powell Doctrine"-Exit Options(part2-"Isotope Road")

"We have an opportunity to preserve this momentum of international cooperation as it is reflected in this country's long term security, and the world's.

Our commitment to this is only going to be fully manifest by the replacement of the ABM treaty with one that builds on the progress made, and prevents the militarizing of space. Without this as a goal, it's like quitting a job with none to go to.

As for the proposed missile defense plan, M. A. D. is still a better defense in my opinion, and if we had only 50 warheads apiece, it would serve just as well (without threat of sharing the dinosaur's fate), to deter rogue nations. The U.S. and Russia must lead by example, Pakistan and India must not continue on their present course. Only by world opinion can the stage be set for that change. Otherwise Kashmir will suffer Afghanistan's agonies, or worse.

If there are to be trillions spent on the development of the missile defense system, rather than dealing with the reasons for its need in the first place, then we've missed the point that was so rudely made, that a terrorist will use whatever is conveniently available as a weapon. This technology may prove useful in one way however, to address a threat as deadly to the planet as nuclear war, pointed outward and equipped with the warheads that we no longer point at each other, some defense against asteroid impact is possible. With shared expense, a shared defense, for all nations, or scrap the plan, in my opinion. I shudder to consider the effects of unilateral deployment of an expensive, questionably practical system at the expense of the international good will and respect that we see today, resulting in a continued arms race."

Madam Secretary,

A very long time ago I met both you and your husband during your last capaign stop before he became president. A bitter cold morning in Alb. NM, and the woman and child in front of me were being crushed by the crowd despite my trying to shield them, you all were greeting folks and shaking hands and your husband noticed the woman's predicament and had security help her through the chain link fence "backstage" out of harm's way, then shook my hand. Prior to this I had asked security if it would be ok to give your husband a book my grandmother wrote about Los Alamos called "Inside Box 1663". His Press Secretary accepted it on his behalf. Still have the letter President Clinton sent during the transition saying thanks and that, " Things are a little hectic around here right now, but I look forward to reviewing it."

I wrote a personal note on the inside front cover, which included the following:

" This is a slice of times past, to give perspective on the present, so that in the future we can eliminate the threat of nuclear war. The greatest threat we face today is that terrorists will obtain nuclear weapons."

I'm probably among a dozen or so people in the world still living, who has held a piece of "trinitite" in my hands. This is the fused sand from the first atomic explosion; bubbled green glass encased in leaded crystal, given to the department heads and leading scientists at Los Alamos at the end of WW2, including my granddad. The rest has been bulldozed underground at the site in White Sands. It is the most concrete example I can show any one of the risk of nuclear war, or the results of it. Any leader holding this potential future in hand, will have something to remember, and think about. If it would serve to inspire peace, among world leaders, to see and hold it in hand, I believe he'd appreciate that as much as I would. I think granddad would also, were he with us today.

World leaders absolutely need to see the end results of failed diplomacy in a way that does not involve the massive loss of life as further example.

If you need someone to deliver the message on a uniquely personal level -- ala "my family to your's" so to speak, I'll be happy to have a chat with the Russians if you see fit, and help get this dysfunctional mess sorted out once and for all. It's really just "a Dad thing." As an investment in a whole lot of kid's futures, including mine.

Deborah S.
|
China
February 19, 2009

Deborah in China writes:

Dear Madame Secretary: There is an opportunity for the United States and China to find common ground on climate change. China has a national climate change program, and over the past several years has developed a system to track its energy use. The result has been a significant gain in energy intensity per unit GDP as well as absolute improvements in energy efficiency. In negotiating an international agreement it may be useful to look at these sorts of programs developed in developing countries that are relatively simple to monitor and report. My colleague Hilary McMahon and I outline these ideas further in our piece for the World Resources Institute: http://www.wri.org/stories/2009/02/measuring-climate-change-progress-china.

Josh
|
New York, USA
February 17, 2009

Josh in New York writes:

Good luck Madame Secretary,

I supported you during the primaries, and I support you now. I know it is you who will restore our standing in the world, not President Obama.

Have a great trip!

Thomas B.
|
California, USA
February 17, 2009

Thomas B. in California writes:

It is great to finally have an abundance of information about our government agencies and events, and official. Three cheers for "openness"!

Naomi
|
New York, USA
February 17, 2009

Naomi in New York writes:

Madame Secretary Clinton,

You are an inspiration to women everywhere. Thank you for your wisdom, leadership and vision. And, the blog is fantastic.

Respectfully,
Naomi

Mary
|
Wisconsin, USA
February 17, 2009

Mary in Wisconsin writes:

Thank you for this information and good luck on your trip. Your success is very important to us here at home.

Betty
|
New Zealand
February 17, 2009

Betty in New Zealand writes:

From far off New Zealand I will be keeping myself updated on your Travels and your dealings with the leaders around the world.

Best wishes over the next four years.

Helen
|
Pennsylvania, USA
February 17, 2009

Helen in Pennsylvania writes:

I am very excited to see Madam Secretary visit Japan and Asia. I know that Secretary Clinton will serve this Country proudly and with honor.

Benjamin
|
North Carolina, USA
February 18, 2009

Benjamin in North Carolina writes:

Madame Secretary,

I pray your trip is successful and we are all in support of the work you are doing on behalf of President Obama and the US. Good Luck.

Rodney R.
|
California, USA
February 18, 2009

Rodney R. in California writes:

Great, Glad to see the new administration is going to try and embrace social media and become somewhat transparent. At least sharing the updates here is a good start.

Hoping you have a successful trip.

Sid I.
|
Illinois, USA
February 18, 2009

Sid I. in Illinois writes:

Thank you for this timely visit to Asia where it has been long overdue a U.S. personality presence like yours. I watch the video of your Tokyo trip it is promising.

Sincerely,

Sid

Monique
|
California, USA
February 18, 2009

Monique in California writes:

Thank you for your posting on your recent trip to Asia. I look forward of hearing about your trip to Indonesia and other Asian countries as the U.S. help strenghten the relationships and partnerships with the Asian countries.

Eli
|
California, USA
February 18, 2009

Eli in California writes:

Our country is arguably in a more perilous position than ever before, but still I am more confident than ever that our best days are ahead of us. Undoing the missteps of the previous Administration will not be easy. Changing not just our tone, but our course, will send a powerful signal to our allies and non-allies around the world.

Helen
|
Taiwan
February 18, 2009

Helen in Taiwan writes:

Welcome to Asia! I wish that you have great and successful trip. I also wish I can give you and USA the help you need soon. Moreover, I wish that I will invite you and your husband to Taiwan while I am inaugurated as President.

Robby
|
Indonesia
February 18, 2009

Robby in Indonesia writes:

Madame Secretary Clinton,

As part of Indonesian citizens, i would like to welcome you to Indonesia.

May we, Indonesian and American people, can have closer friendship and growing partnership each other.

Good luck and thank you so much.

Greg H.
|
District Of Columbia, USA
February 18, 2009

Greg H. in Washington writes:

You are doing a great job! Keep it up!

Wendy
|
California, USA
February 18, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

In an informal haiku-esque mode re the lovely and important Chinese aphorism:

Same boat,
Row, don't rock,
Shared horizons,
Peace brings plenty.

Thank you and state dot gov for sharing this wonderful transpacific journey.

Jeffrey P.
|
Maryland, USA
February 18, 2009

Jeffrey P. in Maryland writes:

Madame Secretary,

Once you arrive in China, enjoy the stay first, work and then enjoy your stay again (smile)

My thoughts of the Chinese government was never in a positive light; however, the Chinese people is extremely resilient. Their record over 4000~5000 years proved it. Our economic recovery and global environmental issue will need them.

Mary
|
Illinois, USA
February 18, 2009

Mary in Illinois writes:

Hi,

I hope that you will be focused on North Korea and the mess over there. We need to resolve that issue, I believe before we can move forward.

God' Speed

Kind Regards,
Mary

Marsha
|
Vermont, USA
February 18, 2009

Marsha in Vermont writes:

Madame Secretary, I continue to be impressed with your depth and breadth of knowledge and I particularly want to applaud you for demonstrating "smart power". Through your presence you are embodying it and bringing it to life. As you know, we have much to repair in terms of relationships and reputation throughout the world. I also want to comment on your highlighting of two outstanding Japanese women upon arriving in Toyko. This is a signal that women's issues remain high on your list of priorities. Thank you.

Brenda
|
Florida, USA
February 18, 2009

Brenda in Florida writes:

Madame Secretary,

You are such an inspiration to all of us women.

Thank you for keeping us informed about your travels on this blog... I look forward to hearing more about your travels as you represent the U.S. seeking diplomacy to resolve some of the worst problems and threats that we face in humankind.

God Bless You,

Brenda

Michelle S.
|
Indiana, USA
February 18, 2009

Michelle S. in Indiana writes:

Madame Secretary,

Empathy for the Chinese is so very important, not only are they experiencing troubled economic times as we are, but they also have an extensive drought, even more serious than California's. It is my understanding that there is an aquifer, perhaps miles deep, I believe somewhere near the Gobi desert, that could be tapped, to prevent catastrophe. Is there any way we can help the Chinese develop this source of life-giving water?

I just want to say how thriled I am that you were appointed to this important position and I know you will shine as Secretary of State.

My Very Best Wishes for your Success,
Sincerely,
Michelle S.

tony
|
District Of Columbia, USA
February 18, 2009

Tony in Washington writes:

It is an interesting first visit to Asia by a Scretary of State.

Patty
|
West Virginia, USA
February 18, 2009

Patty in West Virginia writes:

I personally would like to see greater trade with Japan and South Korea. We should become greater trade partners with them rather than China. I have respect for them. God Bless you Sec. Clinton. May HE be with you in boldness, clarity and safety.

Danielle M.
|
Ohio, USA
February 18, 2009

Danielle M. in Ohio writes:

Dear Mrs. Clinton,

You might remember a trip to Warsaw, Poland, in June 1996 where you met a group of teachers at the U.S. Embassy -- we were traveling with Ben and Vladka Meed on a Holocaust Seminar. I was in that group of teachers, exhausted from travel as you must be now. I am thinking about you and appreciate all your hard work. Take care of yourself!

Deirdre
|
Massachusetts, USA
February 18, 2009

Deirdre in Massachusetts writes:

Just a quick note to thank you for this -- for reaching out and connecting to all of us in this fashion. It's wonderful to see you thriving in this position -- and see you glowing and sharing the U.S. around the world. Thank you for being you. And for bringing us along for the ride.

Tommye J.
|
Texas, USA
February 18, 2009

Tommye Jean in Texas writes:

Madame Secretary,

I stumbled upon this site, having saved U.S. Dept of State to Favorites, to try and keep up with you, as I miss you! I have followed you and supported you for years and respect all you have done and are doing now. Thank you for this site. You are perfect for the tasks at hand at State. My prayers and best wishes are with you. This site will make State less "Foggy". I wish I were with you on your travels and this way, we can all follow you. Godspeed.

Rhet
|
Virginia, USA
February 18, 2009

Rhet in Virginia writes:

Madame Secretary:

Thank you for taking the post of Secretary of State. You do America an honor in your life and work. Help us heal the divides that have been wrought by the malice and greed of the last eight years.

Steven
February 18, 2009

Steven writes:

Hillary would have made a great president.

Phil B.
|
New Hampshire, USA
February 18, 2009

Philip B. in New Hampshire writes:

Dear Madame Secretary,

Congratulations for your first trip as Secretary of State. It is so wonderful to have you as part of Obama's team to not only restore America but also our place in the world.

I thank you Hillary and God Bless.

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