Secretary Clinton Speaks on U.S.-China Relations

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 14, 2011

Setting the stage for the upcoming state visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao on January 19, 2011, Secretary Clinton spoke today on "A Broad Vision of U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century."

Her remarks inaugurate the Richard C. Holbrooke Annual Lecture series, a tribute to the memory and accomplishments of one of our nation's finest diplomats and most dedicated public servants. The annual lecture will provide a forum to discuss challenging and important foreign policy issues like those Ambassador Holbrooke grappled with and left an indelible mark upon throughout his distinguished career, including as Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1977-1981.

Prefacing a more detailed discussion of U.S. regional engagement, as well as U.S.-China cooperation on economic and security issues, the Secretary said: "For nearly half a century, as a young Foreign Service officer in Vietnam, as the tireless negotiator of the Dayton Accords, as the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke grappled with some of the most difficult and important challenges of American foreign policy. And he left an indelible mark on this Department, on our country, and on the world. Because of his efforts, America is more secure, millions of people around the world have had the opportunity to live up to their full God-given potential. And we are honoring Richard's legacy in many ways, and this afternoon, many of us will gather at the Kennedy Center to share stories and remembrances. And one of the ways we have chosen is this new lecture series, which reflects Richard's passion for serious policy questions and his conviction that they deserve serious discussion.

"Richard had a hand in nearly every crucial foreign policy challenge of the last 50 years. If he was not invited to have a hand, his hand was there anyway. And I look around this room not only at Americans, but at many of our friends from across the world, and many of you know what I'm talking about. He was tireless, he was relentless, he would not take no for an answer, because I would give him no over and over again, and it was not the answer he wanted. He worked with many of us on these important issues. And today, I would like to focus on one that he knew well and that is on everyone's mind as we prepare for the important arrival of President Hu Jintao: the future of U.S.-China relations.

"...America and China have arrived at a critical juncture, a time when the choices we make -- both big and small -- will shape the trajectory of this relationship. And over the past two years, in the Obama Administration, we have created the opportunity for deeper, broader, and more sustained cooperation. We have seen some early successes and also some frustrations. And moving forward, it is up to both of us to more consistently translate positive words into effective cooperation. It is up to both of us to deal with our differences, and there will be always differences between two great nations. We need to deal with them wisely and responsibly. And it is up to both of us to meet our respective global responsibilities and obligations. These are the things that will determine whether our relationship delivers on its potential in the years to come.

"...These three decades of relations between our countries have also been three decades of impressive growth for China. When Richard Holbrooke and his colleagues first visited China, its GDP barely topped $100 billion. Today, it is almost $5 trillion. Trade between our two countries used to be measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Today, it surpasses $400 billion annually.

"China's transformation, made possible primarily by the hard work of its people and the vision of its leaders, was also aided by an open and dynamic global economy and by the American power that has long secured stability in the region. It has lifted hundreds of millions out of grinding poverty and now helps drive global prosperity. The United States has welcomed this growth, and we have benefited from it. Today, our economies are entwined and so are our futures.

"...History teaches that the rise of new powers often ushers in periods of conflict and uncertainty. Indeed, on both sides of the Pacific, we do see some trepidation about the rise of China and about the future of the U.S.-China relationship. Some in the region and some here at home see China's growth as a threat that will lead either to Cold War-style conflict or American decline. And some in China worry that the United States is bent on containing China's rise and constraining China's growth, a view that is stoking a new streak of assertive Chinese nationalism. We reject those views.

"In the 21st century, it does not make sense to apply zero-sum 19th century theories of how major powers interact. We are moving through uncharted territory. We need new ways of understanding the shifting dynamics of the international landscape, a landscape marked by emerging centers of influence, but also by non-traditional, even non-state actors, and the unprecedented challenges and opportunities created by globalization. This is a fact that we believe is especially applicable to the U.S-China relationship. Our engagement -- indeed, I would say our entanglement -- can only be understood in the context of this new and more complicated landscape.

"I said when I first went to China as Secretary of State early in my tenure that there was an old Chinese saying that when you're in the same boat you have to row in the same direction. We are in the same boat, and we will either row in the same direction or we will, unfortunately, cause turmoil and whirlpools that will impact not just our two countries, but many people far beyond either of our borders.

"This is not a relationship that fits neatly into the black and white categories like friend or rival. We are two complex nations with very different histories, with profoundly different political systems and outlooks. But there is a lot about our people that reminds us of each other: an energy, an entrepreneurial dynamism, a commitment to a better future for one's children and grandchildren. We are both deeply invested in the current order and we both have much more to gain from cooperation than from conflict.

"Now, that doesn't mean that we will not be competitors. That's the nature of human endeavors. It is who we are as people, but there are ways of doing it that are more likely to benefit than not. A peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific region is in the interests of both China and the United States. A thriving America is good for China, and a thriving China is good for America. Our friends and allies across the Asia-Pacific region would agree. They also want to move beyond outdated, zero-sum formulas that might force them to choose between relations with Beijing and relations with Washington.

"So all of this calls for careful, steady, dynamic stewardship of this critical relationship, an approach to China on our part that is grounded in reality, focused on results, and true to our principles and interests. And that is how we intend to pursue a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China. Now, I am sure you will hear that phrase quite a bit over the next week: positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship, because that really does capture our hopes for the future, and that is how our two presidents have described this relationship.

"But you cannot build a relationship on aspirations alone. That is what makes this a critical juncture. As I said at the outset, the choices both sides make in the months and years ahead and the policies we pursue will help determine whether our relationship lives up to its promise, and it is up to both of us to translate high-level pledges of summits and state visits into action, real action on real issues. To keep our relationship on a positive trajectory, we also have to be honest about our differences. We will address them firmly and decisively as we pursue the urgent work we have to do together. And we have to avoid unrealistic expectations that can be disappointed. This requires steady effort over time to expand the areas where we cooperate and to narrow the areas where we diverge, while holding firm to our respective values.

"As we build on our record of the past two years and shape the future of our relationship, the Obama Administration is pursuing a strategy with three elements that all reinforce one another. We are practicing robust regional engagement in the Asia-Pacific, we are working to build trust between China and the United States, and we are committed to expanding economic, political, and security cooperation wherever possible."

The complete transcript is available here.



Horus Z.
January 14, 2011

Horus Z. writes:

Friends with China?; fine. But no deceptive schemes for the Zionists please. I really am not interested in watching. Stop ties with Zionist Jewish lobby groups. Cut AIPAC out & shut the 'Israeli' installment in Congress OUT!. Got that? Then we won't have any problems; we'll be going forward straight to progress.

New Mexico, USA
January 14, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Sec. Clinton and the good folks @ State,

You'all knew Amb Holbrooke better than I obviously, but in all the time I watched him explain policy and give updates on trips, I sort of got to get a sense of the man and what he was about. Along with his humor.

So call it my gut instinct if you will, but as it regards a lecture named in his honor he might just wonder from the realms of the spirit;

"What are you folks standing around talking for in my honor? Do something!"

But I also think you'all have your hearts in the right place with this.

Now, I hear some talk from certain quarters about a phenomena called "China bashing"...not that I know the definition as practiced.

But I'm certainly guilty here on Dipnote for having tried to knock some common sense into the Chinese leadership on more than a few occasions, and posed a few ideas that might have accelerated that notion, along with a change of mindset.

It is of rational mind that what China says, China must do, and nothing passive/agressive about such a policy will the American people consider acceptable, and much concern has been expressed by our leadership to address this.

Whether it be Mil. to Mil. relations, Diplomatic ones, or with regards to currency.

What does it mean to be a "stakeholder", and/or where's the beef?

And I certainly would echo the thought;

"And with regard to China, we agree that we need to encourage - the entire international community needs to encourage China to behave in a cooperative manner with the international community as a responsible power." - Minister Kitazawa, Japan

Along with the following;

"And it's time for people across the world to stand against extremism and violence. There is just so much we can do together, and so many opportunities, particularly for young people that we can create, that we cannot allow a small, vocal, violent minority to intimidate the vast majority of people who have moderate views, who want to live their own lives, and who do not want to be put in a position where they are forced to keep silent or to follow a certain religious or political ideology. But people have to be willing to stand up against that." -Sec. Clinton

As it may regard "lil Kim in North Korea or any other ethical infant.

Speaking of which Madam Secretary, it would be good of you to convince the President of Pakistan tommorrow while he meets with our's that it is in his national interests as much as ours to allow the US to put combat boots on the ground in his country to bring bin laden to justice and that rather than it be a violation of his nation's soveregnity, this would serve to preseve it for the long term.

There should be "no daylight" between our efforts (to quote the VP slightly out of context)

In closing Madam Secretary, I submit the following question in the hopes you will answer this directly as "America's face to the world" and in regards to who we are and what we do as a nation of "nation builders".

"If this isn't "nation building", what do you call it?"

Best regards,


January 14, 2011

Sok T. in Cambodia writes:

hello usa.

we need you help:
- real demoncrasy
- development
- freedom

Jim J.
Illinois, USA
January 14, 2011

Jim J. in Illinois writes:

Good speech. What was the program that Secretary Clinton mentioned -- the one in which mid-level government employees of both countries cooperate? I am a spoken Mandarin Coach and I'd like to be able to help US Mandarin speakers (of whom there are many). My accent (when I speak in Mandarin) is very very good. Thanks.

South Korea
January 18, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

crisis situation in Europe is now showing what about the case, I think. A lot of people make money in Europe, where he settled in, or return the system was back to his homeland, a broken several chukjung Ginny, lost balance, the system collapsed state the incident occurred, I think. Southern Europe, Europe itself solve the problem I think is too late. Asia's economy while tackling the increasingly likely to think bigger.

Ashim C.
January 15, 2011

Ashim C. in India writes:

Hugely benefitted by globalisation, China has progressed and has truly arrived in the world stage as a consequential power. It's internal governance which relates to issues like human rights, political pluralism, open and free elections are matters, which should be left to be decided by Chinese people. But as a major power in the world now, how China conducts it's relations with nations in South Asia and far east leaves much to be desired. Is it mere coincidence that countries, which are involved in proliferation of nuclear and missile technolgy have received so much encoragement from China that it can be held squarely responsible for such proliferation. These countries also have strong links with millitant fundamentalism and are known to export terrorism too. Very little is known about China's effort in dealing with terrorism. US is directly engaged in tackling terrorism while hosts of other countries have suffered from terrorism. China too is affected by it. Therefore, it is to be hoped that US and China shall discuss how China can contribute to eliminate terrorism and contain religious fundamentalists. This is important because China exerts lot of influence on Pakistan.

US must also impress upon China that it is too big to indulge even in agressive postures under pretext of it's historically clouded territorial claims anywhere. Present boundaries have evolved through a historical process during times when frankly an unified China as it has emerged now did not exist. Therefore, it should work with nations around China to make the territorial boundaries irrelevant by trade commerce and people to people contacts at all levels. This necessarily has to be preceded by a great deal of confidence building initiatives on the part of again China. However, overwhelming importance of commercial and financial issues from the point of view of USA over the strategic interest of friends and of USA in South Asia and Asia Pacific may prove to be dampener unless US realises that China needs US and for that matter other nations to help her with all kinds supports as USA needs an important economy like China now. Secretary of State has touched on many of these issues but nations in South Asia and Asia Pacific region shall watch the developments and outcome of US/China summit.

January 15, 2011

W.W. writes:

Kissinger report is about right about China

Must extend non proliferation to china

China and its gov. is one of the major responsible for the international economic massive crisis

South Korea
January 16, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Dear to,

Just saying..

China's steady economic growth in order to find a new middle class, middle class back to the United States lost its seat to be sent to resolve economic challenges, politically suspect him to ensure a stable future. Chi-Wood as the new China? Consumption in the normal way to facilitate a relatively easy job-generating services to the industry (professional sports, there are good examples to think.) Actively market and the U.S. monetary policy outside the real economy, investing in a cost subject to find (the Chinese seupseongsang distinctive looks, rather than the collection of a lot of money, i think. bank?) would need to persuade them to think. Cooperation is considered conclusion. Of course, human rights issues are important, but through cooperation and dialogue, if there is war, both countries to resolve the problem, remove the internal complaint, the disposition of stock, and get rid of the new Challenger, rigid thinking of the people sikyeoseo Tues, all citizens are wary of each other, i-phone to use the same stuff that's the spa or to throw it into a furnace .. The spending power of American ingenuity and China, still working as part of the talks.

PS (Crime and Punishment)

South Korea keeps a boat hijacked by Somali pirates, which were addressed, I say that? I left (of course, but it should help nimdeul two) to compensate for it difficult and foreign supporters (They gonna be hard ..), and how hungry people are used to Also I think. Increase the number of hungry people is going to be more betting rounds to Korea money 100.

Korea ship hijacked by Somali pirates in my thinking about, I do not have any at all. The river flows into the highest to lowest, is thought to reach the sea. Gus diffusing Russia should be punishment for the act think. However, if the image resolve this issue I think is quite elevated.

I need to talk more, I do not remember it. Meeting broke up life, I think.

Not like me, but bore the courts are supposed to start again. President of the political line or there would be no solution to the problem aside, the picture of Korea to the conclusion that those who complained are too comfortable. It needed help from the outside I think. The problem with this woman, the real political power in the political haneunge influential enemies who oppose even that they also feel inside. Still, I need help, I can not force anything. Http://

Finally, a woman working in a big market in Korea casher to pay to the chair, until that day, I do not live?

Nowadays, I do not know what you post on here. Why?

Thank You.

New Mexico, USA
January 16, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"Hu knows?"

The Communist become a capitalist, seeking to find a nation's soul,

The Marxist Kim , self-anointed illustrious idiot-so-ill; seeking the reason for continued existance, threatens nuclear war.

Probable cause for the determination of nations to protect populations, in the face of such political stupidity.

Seek we not the grand bargain, only a joint statement, "'Lil Kim don't get to do that."

To which the promise of prosperity depends, that the starving may be fed something other than fear.

What we have here, is a failure to communicate with deeds.

So then in matters of war and peace, what promise of democracy, equality and human rights we may plainly speak?

Life is good and then you get one being utterly self evident,

Feet point forward and eyes be in the front of heads for a reason.

To not look backwards while walking the path to peace.

Opposing thumbs we have to build nations with.


South Korea
January 18, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

Even if you know me, I asked about Korea or Koreans may be interested even though I think the 1% and, never forget it, please. By means of coercion or subtle, and press play, After some rather disturbing to me to masters. Andoendago of my position to think that people gajyeoseo conglomerates and their minions in power by a bunch of people bothering to think. Never, perhaps you think of the story is going to solve problems. Now, what about Korea and Koreans do not want to ask him questions to try. For example, my free will, even if such behavior, but operated by someone else I think. Moreover, they give a favor, for it to nimdeul the financial ability to compensate even ppaetatah discarded. You may forget to think. 23 trillion won and deserved more, but in Seoul, South Korea and the Korean people to where I am going to Japan, what it does, by providing information, lose my motivation and people are one nation. Disappear belief.

Similar types of problems, labor problems or access to a carefully considered but the other problem is that I do not want but they are. Believe it or not
-Tenants know the situation and just try. Ruling party or opposition parties, everything ... Would like to continue to be taken advantage of?

South Korea
January 18, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

China demands the United States, the biggest yisyujung an appreciation of the yuan, I think. To assume that. However, China's leaders have promised to raise the yuan went to the U.S. if the U.S. succumbed to the Chinese people that China will significantly sway the committed person's political status must be considered. Asia's political system, not the law, people gathered around the demolition on the situation, a collective leadership system to think that he would not forgive. Moreover, about human rights issues, yet does not accept leaders - perhaps, political, .- People will not talk yet, too little, very little thought to Lal hat. But, the fight between the two countries, other countries to fight to separate the sides, and easy to manage, but the president of the ruling ideology is a little difference?

I felt strong control of China and China as global control over the radio that a few seconds to think. In this country, to weaken the control of foreign demand for 100% of the way that the negotiations, the leaders of the deposed think is highly likely to lead to long ago in China .- I, Dalian, Tianjin, Beijing and went, public security (police) and customs officers and soldiers have received the impression that even know me when you talk to the people of ...?- countries, to suspect him of providing what is needed is provided. If you provide a satisfaction, by providing motivation ,,,,?

The effective appreciation of the renminbi and the same action if China and then used jeoljeokhage - Americans complain too much imported products of China becoming resentful of their job dissatisfaction is encroaching on China, such complaints should be addressed to the Republican Party to Why? I do not know why the Democratic Party that - products and services in the United States to China to make more income to meet each other to take action,,,
China's wages are expected to continue to rise. China raised the underground economy, the factors that properly controlled and foreign trade balance this incentive to invest in improvements and offered to the privileged nimdeul If you come by tangible results if not necessarily a reason to impose monetary policy I think. You're strong currency policy is a little dangerous side, China's financial markets to the amazing, but still think there is a risk factor.

I think China is a strong state control, and I think there's still no deal. A little annoying, but it is a fear of commitment possible, I think. In China, life is more important than . If you lose, people do not live in the mountains, go dig a cave to live on and a candle.

New Mexico, USA
January 18, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Palgye,

American consumer confidence in Chinese products is at an all-time low. It either doesn't last, doesn't work or is toxic in the case of many goods imported from China.

When folks here say "Buy American." it isn't so much a factor of correcting a trade imbalance, it's because if you are going to spend money on something, you might as well get your money's worth out of it.

With respect to both Japan and your country, your industry has learned this lesson about the American market place and over the years has exported better and more reliable products and in all this it is because of an attitude present that "taking advantage" generally hurts the one who tries more than us. Karma has a way of coming back to folks.

If China wishes to take an arrogent stance that "America is in decline, the all-mighty dollar will be replaced by the Yuan...blah , blah..add infinitum, this is extremely wishful thinking and serves no potential investment or return on such an attitude.

"Investment is a coward" and instability breeds economic resentment. Yet America invests more in attitudes than infrastructure or any nation's development potential.

Why should we the American consumer invest in bad product tossed into our stores with a bad attitude attached?

And then take our awareness of China's support for North Korea over many decades and it becomes simply a question of whether China wants to shoot itself in it's other foot as well and lose 100% market share in our economy should 'lil Kim continue to have tyranical designs on your country's well being, or worse yet, fail to act in time to prevent him from starting a war.

The elasticity of American economy is not in question, and many underestimate the strength of our ability to bounce back into shape when temporarily distorted.

If worse came to worse, Walmart can always find a new supplier, and that decision alone would put China on the brink of economic collapse, with millions out of work.

Hopefully Hu's visit will help change attitudes in China about a lot of things, if as I suspect all this and more will be presented clearly to him.

As a nation, we've invested trillions over many decades in exporting peace and security to promote the prosperity of nations and those that threaten the returns on that investment stand to lose most of all.

I ask, when folks speek of a 14 trillion dollar US deficit-"I'm sorry, you better crunch the numbers again, the world owes us at least three times that, and maybe we should call in the markers at this point."

Exactly who do we owe anything to anyway while we continue to provide a little hope and sanity on this planet to everyone?

I hope Congress will put this in their pipe and light the legislative match to it on a bi-partisan basis.

If I'm wrong in my assesment here, I invite all the experts to poke holes in it.

Is what I've been saying starting to make sense now to anyone out there in the Dipnote community?


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