Secretary Clinton Tours Taiyanggong Gas-Fired Plant

Posted by Ingrid Larson
February 21, 2009
Secretary Clinton Visits Taiyanggong Plant in China

About the author: Ingrid Larson serves as the Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China.

We were all very excited when Secretary Clinton decided to meet with a group of students at the Taiyanggong power plant. Reaching out to young audiences and students is an important part of a diplomat's work, and the key message on this trip is to emphasize our commitment to clean energy and our recognition that the U.S.A. and China will need to work together to create a sustainable energy future.

The students and experts who participated in the event today are from China's leading environmental and clean energy research institutions. They were very honored to have a role in Secretary Clinton's first visit to China and that their work was being acknowledged in such a public way. The excitement in the room was palpable as the group was waiting for the Secretary and Todd Stern, Special Envoy on Climate Change, to arrive. While we were waiting for the Secretary to finish her tour of the power plant, the students were deciding who would get to ask the first question... They were nervous, but looking forward to a frank conversation with the U.S.A.'s new Secretary of State.

In case our blog readers would like to know a bit more about the power plant and why it is so important, here is some information:


The one-year old Taiyanggong gas-fired plant is an efficient, low-emission power and heat generation project that uses U.S. high-technology equipment -- General Electric (GE) generators and advanced super-critical gas turbines. Taiyanggong is the first power and heat cogeneration plant in China. The power plant produces heat and power with half the emissions and 1/3 the water usage of an equivalent coal plant in China. This plant, and projects like it, draw on the rich resources of both U.S. and Chinese ingenuity, lead to jobs in both countries, and significantly limit our impact on the environment. Taiyanggong is representative of the fact that economic and job growth can go hand-in-hand with pollution reduction and increased energy efficiency.



California, USA
February 21, 2009

Johathan in California writes:


Illinois, USA
February 21, 2009

Fiona in Illinois writes:

As a student in the sciences & economics... a sustainable future for China and the U.S. is a sustainable future for the world, as of now in the 21st century.

New Jersey, USA
February 21, 2009

Rosemary in New Jersey writes:

Thank you, Ingrid, for keeping us up to date. I am sure those students were excited. Hillary especially enjoys meeting and talking with young people, so she's a natural fit with our diplomatic objectives as you describe them. I know she had as much fun as they did.

Tennessee, USA
February 21, 2009

Jake in Tennessee writes:

Love this comment

"Human rights cannot interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises."

I see where her priorities are.

New York, USA
February 22, 2009

Carolyn in New York writes:

On the occasion of Hillary's first visit to China as SoS, I think back to her speech of September 5th, 1999 that will live on and speak for women for many years to come:

"At this very moment, as we sit here, women around the world are giving birth, raising children, cooking meals, washing clothes, cleaning houses, planting crops, working on assembly lines, running companies, and running countries. Women also are dying from diseases that should have been prevented or treated. They are watching their children succumb to malnutrition caused by poverty and economic deprivation. They are being denied the right to go to school by their own fathers and brothers. They are being forced into prostitution, and they are being barred from the bank lending offices and banned from the ballot box.""These abuses have continued because, for too long, the history of women has been a history of silence. Even today, there are those who are trying to silence our words. But the voices of this conference and of the women at Huairou must be heard loudly and clearly:

It is a violation of human rights when babies are denied food, or drowned, or suffocated, or their spines broken, simply because they are born girls.

It is a violation of human rights when women and girls are sold into the slavery of prostitution for human greed -- and the kinds of reasons that are used to justify this practice should no longer be tolerated.

It is a violation of human rights when women are doused with gasoline, set on fire, and burned to death because their marriage dowries are deemed too small.

It is a violation of human rights when individual women are raped in their own communities and when thousands of women are subjected to rape as a tactic or prize of war.

It is a violation of human rights when a leading cause of death worldwide among women ages 14 to 44 is the violence they are subjected to in their own homes by their own relatives.

It is a violation of human rights when young girls are brutalized by the painful and degrading practice of genital mutilation.

It is a violation of human rights when women are denied the right to plan their own families, and that includes being forced to have abortions or being sterilized against their will.

If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all. Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely -- and the right to be heard."

Connecticut, USA
February 21, 2009

Terry in Connecticut writes:

Thanks for keeping us posted. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, you are doing a great job!

Jeff M.
Illinois, USA
February 21, 2009

Jeff in Illinois writes:

It's pretty clear that CNN took Clinton's comments out of context to heat up the controversy, if you'd like to take a look at my brief comparison of CNN and Reuters' coverage: And Reuters was a day earlier.

Jay N.
Maryland, USA
February 22, 2009

Jay in Maryland writes:

I find it interesting what Secretary Clinton is focusing on in her visit to the People's Republic of China. George Bush focused more on human rights and the Obama Administration apparently wants to focus more on the rights of Mother Earth. China is not serious about either of these matters although it makes appearances that it is. For example, China claims that it allows religious freedom because of its constitution and the fact that it allows state churches. However, at the same time, it tortures and persecutes Protestants, Roman Catholics, and members of the Falun Gong cult, among other religionists. China is not really concerned with cleaning the environment, at least compared to Europe, Canada, and the United States. There are several examples of this such as its rapid construction of coal-powered plants. It was always ironic when Bush went to state churches to promote religious freedom considering that religious freedom was not really practiced at those churches. It is more reasonable for Clinton to visit a "green" power plant. At the same time, human rights are much more important than the "rights" of the earth and human rights groups are right to be disappointed in this trip.

District Of Columbia, USA
February 22, 2009

Susie in Washington, DC writes:

I am very excited to see the United States and China sharing energy technologies. Jobs have been created in both countries, the initiative is being taken to clean the air, and less energy means more money saved. I think it is important to share our advanced technologies with other countries. Sharing fosters reciprocal relationships, so both countries will be willing to share new advances with the other. Teaching new innovations is better than focusing on a single approach and refusing to adopt new ideas. This way, both America and China can be informed of all the heat and power options and decide which works best at a particular time and location.

America and China are also two of the world's most important economic powers. The amount of energy we produce and consume takes a substantial toll on the environment, and it is important take any opportunity to reduce that impact. Involving students and experts is also crucial. China pulled a variety of minds together to create and sustain this new power plant, which is the best way discover new ideas and implement the most innovative developments. Coal power is a common source for China and America, this new power plant is as efficient as the traditional coal fired power plant, with out all of the harmful emissions that coal produces,

Finally, I like to see Secretary Clinton and other political figures taking active roles in addressing climate change. Global warming and other environmental issues are hot topics and the world needs to find solutions. America is the world's most influential country, and we need to be leaders in addressing these issues; in my opinion the new administration has responded quickly and is reaching out to other countries to make environmental solutions a global initiative.

Florida, USA
February 23, 2009

Paul in Florida writes:

Thank you Sec. Clinton for the fantastic job your doing as our top Diplomat! You are making this nation so proud! :)

California, USA
February 23, 2009

Wendy in California writes:

Did Sec State Hillary have any discussions in China about Concentrated Solar Thermal? Concentrated Solar Thermal could be massively deployed in certain areas of China.

Thanks to Carolyn NY for putting in the stupendous 09.09.99 speech.

February 25, 2009

Solomon in Madagascar writes:

Mr president of the United States of the America and Mm secreatry of state gov

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INFO : for the event politic in Madagascar and Africa contunent there are go to on arrange and thank for your mission and thank for your effort help and supoprt me arrange the all
action war and action politic destroy us peaces.

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ECONOMIC : Confurme us execution on system of gestion reinforcement for on creat and extation in all action need for development of remove us rate economic us people and for us country on Inter-comercial for Marketing and for Exchange export and import.

DEFENCE : Confurme and contunie us research for chiantific and for high technology of base nuclear use for reiforcement and confurme of base and fund of strong us Defence use for to defend and iself the world.

WAR : Not quiter us all troup Army in region and country we iself and to defend ,and confurme us armement and material of comunication and transport, every time check us
all command of mussil and Anti-mussil and radar us security defence us country . Evry time open us startover us Ati-mussil and us mussil for protect us country and us people and the all acompany of us in the world. Because we are on time war and on time deliver us true peaces.

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Thank very much
The God us protege
Your coperation

Brad B.
February 23, 2009

Brad B. writes:

This State Department blog is noticeably applying a focus on the activities of the Secretary of State.

The Obama administration seems however, to have limited the activities of this Secretary and there is zero coverage of other foreign affairs activities where big policy changes are occurring.

Massachusetts, USA
February 23, 2009

Wednesday in Massachusetts writes:

I had to escape from my own country Tibet. I can not thank enough to U.S.A. for allowing me to stay here and call this my home. I became a proud US citizen in 1994. I do my civil duties with honor, pay my taxes in time, try my best to raise my two sons as a good citizen. Each and everyday, I treasure and cherish the freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of religion this country provide. There is no price for all of these whatsoever. On the flip side of the coin, people in China and Tibet with no doubt have none of it. Tibet is closed to the world while Mrs. Clinton was in China with the fear that undecleared martial law, torture, suppression, cry for freedom by Tibetans in Tibet would be heard by the world. Millions of people around the globe who yarn for freedom or basic human right once got shut down by Mrs. Clinton comment. I have been democrat since I became U.S. citizen and voted for my party. I regred that I did not vote for republicans last election. What a disgraceful Secretary of States my country has who value human right secondary. Shame of you Mrs. Clinton.

Illinois, USA
February 23, 2009

Jeff in Illinois writes:

@ Brad B. -- check out the Daily Press briefings ( There's a lot of foreign affairs activity described there, and the secretary is absent from most of it.

California, USA
February 23, 2009

Preston in California writes:

Madame Secretary Clinton;

You are doing a superb job for our country and the world.I think you are the smartest and most prudent appointment Pres.Obama has made. I've never been more proud to be an American, thank you. : )\

God Bless you and President Clinton!

Mississippi, USA
February 24, 2009

Charles in Mississippi writes:

I don't know how many comments are actually seen by the Secretary of State, but I hope she sees this one. I am so glad, and comfortable with Ms.Clinton as Sec. of State, I felt so isolated by the previous secretary, by the entire administration as a matter of fact. At once, I think our country's new face with Obama as president and Ms. Clinton as Sec. of State is the right face at the right time. Being a retired military person, I have many friends in Europe, and in the far and middle east, including a few friends here in the U.S. from Israel, and they all echo my sentiments. Thank you Madam Secretary for being the kind of person you are, I just can't think of anyone I'd rather have in your job just now. I am also a big fan of your husband, and I definitely am a huge fan of your boss. Thank you again for taking the job.

California, USA
February 25, 2009

Brian in California writes:

To respond back to "Wednesday in Massachusetts writes:"

Your comments are disrespectful and yes disgraceful. Secretary Clinton is doing what the president asks of her. Secretary Clinton is by far the best and most brilliant Secretary of State that American and the world had. America hasn't had this smart power approach since Madeline Albright, which she too was very competent as Secretary of State.

Madame Secretary Clinton; you are doing a fine job in which I am ever so proud to be an American. Please be safe and God Bless you!

February 26, 2009

Aaron in China writes:

I'm so interested in this Gas-Fired Plant. Since this is the first power and heat cogeneration plant in China, I'm wondering If this has been very popularly in the U.S. And I hope this can also be adopted in other parts of China soon.


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