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Dragon TV Interview: Developing a Comprehensive, Integrated Dialogue With China

Interview

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
Interview With Yang Lan of Dragon TV
Beijing, China
February 22, 2009

MS. YANG: But this is a beautiful Embassy.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Isn’t it? I am so proud and impressed by it. It took a long time to build, but it is very beautiful and very functional. And the architecture is Chinese-inspired, so it’s really a wonderful addition to our embassy community.

MS. YANG: And so you are going back today, right?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. I have to go back today.

MS. YANG: And just in time to celebrate your daughter’s 29th birthday.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s true. She will be 29 on Friday. And I am very much looking forward to seeing her for a birthday dinner.

MS. YANG: Okay. So what kind of path do you like to see her take? I know she has been studying health policy and management at Columbia.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s right. I think she is someone who charts her own path, and I am very impressed and delighted at the choices that she has made. I just, like most mothers, want her to be happy and have a good life. And that is really all I wish for her.

MS. YANG: Does she resemble you in the ways that she does things?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think she is a good combination of both her father and me. She has a very wonderful personality, and she is a hard worker, and she is a good friend and a caring person. So I am just very happy to be her mother.

MS. YANG: I know you have just had a dialogue with the Chinese women. Some of them you have known for 11 years. Well, to the younger generation of women, like your daughters, what kind of advice would you like to give to those who aspire to succeed and lead, but could be afraid of failure?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s a good way of phrasing the question, because I think that overcoming your fears, whether you’re a young woman or a young man, to be willing to take a risk, to try something different, to follow your heart, to pursue your dreams, takes a certain level of courage.

And I just try to tell young people who ask me all the time what I think about the best way forward is to be true to themselves, you know, to listen to their own heart, to do what gives them joy in life, and meaning in their public and professional careers. And I think if you do that, you may change, you may take a different path. But if you can keep focused on what you believe is important, I think that’s the best way to proceed.

MS. YANG: Let’s get back to this trip. In your testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, you suggested that U.S. should use smart power to handle international issues. How is that approach, or strategy, reflected in your Asian trip, especially your trip to China?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is our goal in the Obama administration to reach out to the rest of the world using every tool at our disposal. I like to talk about the three D’s of our foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, development.

We want to emphasize, particularly, diplomacy and development. And what I have tried to do in the month that I have had this position is to make clear that we will represent and defend the interests and the security and the values of the United States, but we want to listen.

We are different countries and different cultures. China and the United States have very different histories. And we need to understand each other better so that we can find more common ground. And I was encouraged by my talks with your leadership, that there are a number of areas we can work on together.

We are constructing, and have agreed, in principle, to a strategic and economic dialogue that will not only include the economic crisis, which is very important, that China and America lead on a recovery, globally, but clean energy and climate change, and more educational exchanges, and people-to-people exchanges, more work on health care, medicine, science.

I want to deepen and broaden the connections, not only between government officials, as important at that is, but between all kinds of Chinese and Americans.

MS. YANG: You know, former Treasury Secretary Paulson used to champion the U.S.-Sino dialogue in the structure of the Strategic Economic Dialogue. Have you convinced President Obama to let the State Department take back the reigns? And, if so, what kind of new framework of dialogue are we talking about?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are going to have a comprehensive, integrated dialogue. It will be co-chaired by myself and the Treasury Secretary, because I think there was an awareness that our prior engagement at the dialogue level, government-to-government, was very heavily dominated by economic concerns, and by traditional Treasury priorities. They are very important but that is not the only high-level dialogue that needs to occur.

So, we have always had a lot of interaction at many levels of our governments. But what we want to do is to integrate those, and to have our two Presidents, when they meet at the G-20 summit in April, announce the mechanism that we will be pursuing now.

MS. YANG: Have you found the terminology to define the relationship between our two countries? Because under your husband’s administration we called it “constructive strategic partnership,” and then, in the Bush administration we called it “stakeholders.” Have you found the new words yet?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I’m not as interested in the words as in the actions. I think that we have evolved dramatically in our relationship over the 30 years that we have had diplomatic relations. China has grown just exponentially in a way that is a real tribute to the people of China.

But what we now need to do is demonstrate that the United States and China can work productively together, not only on those issues that we have bilateral concerns over, but to show leadership to the rest of the world.

If you just take two major issues confronting the world, I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that we will see global recovery without Chinese and American cooperation and leadership. I know that it is not realistic to expect that we can deal with global climate change without the United States and China working together.

So, what we are talking about is very concrete and specific. It is not so much the description, as the reality and the content of what we will do together that we’re focusing on.

MS. YANG: Okay. You quoted Chinese story, (speaks Chinese), which means, “We are in the same boat” to tackle economic crisis.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

MS. YANG: Yet, at the same time, the “Buy American” rhetoric triggered another round of fear of protectionism. How would the U.S. government reconcile the international responsibility with the demand of domestic constituencies?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, President Obama was very quick to act, and to make clear that we are not going to engage in protectionism. And, with respect to the provision that was in the stimulus package, it must be compliant with our international agreements.

We know that a round of protectionism is not in America’s interests. It’s important that we work with countries like China, and others, to establish a framework for renewed economic growth and prosperity.

Now, we also have work to do at home. Not only do we have to stimulate our economy, but we have to be working to enhance our manufacturing base, work on our automobile industry. So we have a lot of internal decision-making that is important to our economic future. And I think China does, too. mean, China is stimulating your economy at the central government level. You are looking to deal with problems like migrant workers who no longer have jobs.

So, we each have our own internal domestic challenges. But we cannot solve those at the expense of generating global growth again, which will benefit both of our people.

MS. YANG: You certainly have your hands full, with all sorts of challenges and problems around the world, from Iraq to Gaza Strip, from nuclear proliferation to climate change. And then, of course, the economic crisis.

How would you set an achievable target for your term, as secretary of state?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s true, that we have come into office at a time of so many problems. You mentioned a few of the most well known. I don’t know that we can pick and choose. It’s one of the reasons why I have advocated the appointment of special envoys, because I think we need, as they say, all hands on deck. Everyone has to work hard together to try to untangle some of these problems, to look for solutions where possible.

So, I don’t have the luxury of saying, “I will only work on this.” I have to be very conscious of everything going on in the world. But I did choose to come, for my first trip, to Asia, because I want to send a clear message that the United States is both a trans-Pacific, as well as a trans-Atlantic power, and that much of what we see as the potential for positive growth and good relations in the 21st century will come with Asian countries like China.

MS. YANG: Thank you very much for your time, although it falls short of my questions. Well, can I squeeze just one more?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Sure.

MS. YANG: Do you think that China should further invest into American treasury bonds? Because there is a debate here – with unclear future, we should stop buying more.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I certainly do think that the Chinese government and the central bank here in China is making a very smart decision by continuing to invest in treasury bonds for two reasons.

First, because it’s a good investment. It’s a safe investment. Even despite the economic challenges sweeping over the world, the United States has a well-deserved financial stability reputation.

And, secondly, because our economies are so intertwined. The Chinese know that, in order to start exporting again to its biggest market, namely, the United States, the United States has to take some very drastic measures with this stimulus package, which means we have to incur more debt.

It would not be in China’s interest if we were unable to get our economy moving again. So, by continuing to support American treasury instruments, the Chinese are recognizing our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together. We are in the same boat. And, thankfully, we are rowing in the same direction, toward landfall.

MS. YANG: Okay. So we have to keep rowing?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

MS. YANG: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

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The U.S. and China Working Toward Clean Energy

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
Online Chat Moderated by Professor Qi Ye, Hosted by China Daily
Beijing, China
February 22, 2009

PROFESSOR QI: First of all, our netizens are very much interested in learning how your family — you know, you, your family, former President Clinton, Chelsea — do the environment – the energy conservation.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, let me thank you for having me be able to speak to the netizens – I like that phrase — and I am so pleased that you are focusing on such an important topic as energy efficiency and climate change.

PROFESSOR QI: Right.

SECRETARY CLINTON: In our own lives, we have tried to be much more conscious of what we should do. So, for example, we use compact fluorescent bulbs, which are less of a drain on the electricity grid. We have installed more high-energy resistant windows, more insulted windows. We have, obviously, insulated our utilities and our homes. We have also recycled, so that we are trying not to add to the landfill waste more than absolutely necessary.

And my husband, of course, with the Clinton Foundation, is running a climate change program with, I think, 40 cities around the world working on higher energy efficiency, and so much else. So, we have tried to do more, but we are constantly asking ourselves what more we can do.

PROFESSOR QI: Great, thank you. And during this trip you have emphasized this cooperative — this positive cooperation. Would you mind to elaborate a little bit on that, you know, how that is going to work for this China-U.S. cooperation on environment, energy, and climate change?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as part of the agreement in principle that we announced yesterday between myself and Foreign Minister Yang, we will enter into strategic and economic dialogues co-chaired by myself and the Treasury Secretary.

And one of the most important tracks will be clean energy and climate change. We wish to create a series of actions and partnerships between our countries, between our businesses, our academic institutions, our citizens. And we hope to work together in the lead-up to Copenhagen at the end of this year, with a new climate treaty. We hope that there will be many opportunities, as I saw for myself yesterday, for partnerships between American companies and Chinese companies to produce cleaner energy. And our new Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu, wants to work to help create more intellectual property that would be jointly designed and implemented by Chinese and American researchers.

So, we are just at the beginning of this cooperative relationship on clean energy and climate change. But I am very hopeful that it will continue to grow.

PROFESSOR QI: Great. Does this mean the 10-year framework, the cooperative effort developed during the strategic economic dialogue is going to continue, and is going to work through all these areas related to environment, climate change, and energy conservation?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, and we are going to build on the 10-year strategic dialogue about climate change and clean energy. We want to expand it even more and I was heartened by the commitments shown by the Chinese government to Copenhagen, that they want to participate and look for how the Chinese economy and the Chinese policies can contribute to lowering emissions.

Historically, as you know, the United States is the greatest emitter. But this year the Chinese surpassed us. And we can’t look at per capita basis, we have to look at absolute emissions, and how we reverse that. So this is going to be an expanded aspect of our dialogue.

PROFESSOR QI: There is no question that China and the U.S. are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. And that is also a very important reason for the two to work together. And when the two governments working hard, trying to get kind of agreement, you know, one of the things is to find a common base.

In the 20 years, the 2 decades from 1980 to the year 2000, the energy efficiency here in China actually doubled. And, according to the current policies and programs, the energy intensity is going to further cut by 20 percent, which means the carbon emission is going to be 3 times — based on that program — it’s going to be 3 times as much as the entire EU commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.

My question is, is this the kind of effort that can build the base for bilateral — maybe a multi-lateral — cooperation, looking into the future, say Copenhagen agreement?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s what we’re going to explore together. One of the challenges is the way that the emissions are calculated, because, as you point out, certainly there has been efficiency achievements here in China, as there has been in the United States. But we are still emitting too much.

And, as China continues to develop — one of your ministers said to me yesterday that more and more Chinese people want more and more appliances, as you should. I mean, you should have a rising standard of living. It is not anything that the United States or any other country should, in any way, criticize. I mean, the people in China deserve to have a rising standard of living.

We just don’t want you to make the same mistakes we made. So that, instead of just building more coal-fired power plants, which may be slightly more efficient but still large emitters, how do we work together so that you get your energy needs met without putting more absolute greenhouse gas emission totals into the air?

So, we are going to explore that. But I was very pleased at the openness that was exhibited yesterday. You know, nobody has all the answers. We have to work together in ways that can discover new answers that will be effective in dealing with this global threat.

PROFESSOR QI: Right. You made this same statement yesterday — which I very much agree on — when speaking to the students and scholars at Tsinghua University. You said, you know, “China and U.S. should work together to avoid the kind of mistakes that the U.S. made in the past.”

I wonder if you could name some of those mistakes, and how we’re going to work together to avoid that.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I will give you one example. Back in the early 1970s, when the price of oil shot up, and the cost of gasoline shot up, individuals and governments under President Carter — and President Ford before him — tried to impose conservation measures, and tried to encourage the development of higher gas mileage cars, and more energy efficiency.

In the early 1980s, the price of gasoline went down. So everybody in America said, “Oh, well, we don’t have to worry about that any more, and we don’t have to have gas-efficient cars, we can continue to have very inefficient cars.” And it was a mistake.

It set us back. Now, if you compare what our entire country did with what one state did — California kept pushing energy conservation. California tried to push higher gas mileage cars. And, today, California still has a lower-per-capita use of electricity because of efficiency measures than the rest of the United States.

So, we made a mistake. People thought, “Oh, we don’t have to worry about it any more.” We know we have to worry and we are trying to be good partners, and coordinate with other countries, including making our own changes.

PROFESSOR QI: Right, right. Well, that’s a great point. Moving into the next phase, Copenhagen. IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, proposed 25 to 40 percent of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for the developed countries in order to avoid a dangerous deterioration of the climate. Do you think that’s possible for the U.S. – that 25 to 40 percent cut by the year 2020?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that a great deal is possible. Very much of it is technically possible. Our challenge now is to make it politically and personally possible. And that is what President Obama is committed to doing, is, with our stimulus money, which was a very significant down payment on modernizing our electric grid, on incentivizing changes in building construction and design, and retrofitting federal buildings.

The science and technology is possible for us to be much more energy efficient. In fact, concentrating on energy efficiency more than renewable energies is a very obvious way of trying to move toward our targets. We just have to convince enough of our fellow citizens to agree with us.

You started by asking what my family does. Well, we have tried to change our mental attitude – turning off appliances, turning off lights. My late father grew up with the belief that you didn’t waste things like electricity. So, we would turn off the furnace at night. We would turn off all the lights when we left a room.

And then, I confess, we got a little bit less aware. And I think most Americans did. So we weren’t paying attention. We had so many utensils, appliances plugged into the walls and draining electricity all the time, and we would walk out of a room with all the lights on, and our big buildings would be lit all night long, and we wasted a lot of energy and we wasted a lot of money. We can’t do that.
And so, being more efficient will take us a long way toward what we need to achieve. But it is also clear that it is not only the developed countries, it is economies like China and India that have to become full partners.

How you do it, given your challenges, is something we want to work on, because we will have different approaches. And Kyoto recognized that. Different approaches to common objectives is how we have to consider the Copenhagen treaty.

PROFESSOR QI: Great. And it is great to see such a great level of optimism. And thank you so much for being with us.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It’s a pleasure.

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Toward a Deeper and Broader Relationship With China

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
Remarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
Beijing, China
February 21, 2009

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter.) Madame Secretary, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to meet you. First of all, I want to once again welcome Secretary Clinton to China.

Just now, Secretary Clinton and I had an in-depth exchange of views on China-U.S. relations on a wide range of issues of mutual interest. The talks were constructive, and produced positive results.

Both the Secretary and I stated that we attached great importance to China-U.S. relations, and cherish the sincere desire to actively promote China-U.S. relations. China believes that, at a time when the international situation continues to undergo complex and profound changes, China and the United States, as the world’s biggest developing country and biggest developed country, have broad, common interests and important common responsibilities on major issues that concern peace and development of mankind.

We should develop broader and deeper relations between the two countries in the new era. The two countries should work together and build a cooperative relationship of mutual benefit and win-win progress in a wide range of areas with a view to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world, at large. Both sides stressed that close dialogues and exchanges at the top and other levels between China and the United States, playing an irreplaceable role in advancing the bilateral relations.

The upcoming meeting between President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama during the G-20 London financial summit in early April will be of great significance. The two sides will make careful preparations for the meeting, and ensure its success.

The two sides believed that China and the United States should continue to strengthen dialogues on strategic, overarching, and long-term issues of mutual interest in a political, diplomatic, and economic fields. The two sides reached agreement, in principle, on the establishment of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogues mechanism, and will engage in further consultations to make detailed arrangement for the mechanism.

I have briefed Secretary Clinton on the recent development of the relations across the Taiwan Strait, and stated China’s principled position on the Taiwan question. The Chinese side appreciates the fact that the U.S. side has reaffirmed on many occasions its position that it adheres to the One China policy abides by the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués, and opposes Taiwan independence and Taiwan’s membership in any international organization where statehood is required. China hopes that the United States will properly handle the Taiwan question with caution, and support the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

The two sides discussed the ongoing international financial crisis and agreed that, as the crisis is still unfolding and spreading, China and the United States should enhance coordination on macro- economic, and financial policies, jointly work for positive outcomes at the G-20 London financial summit, and reject trade and investment protectionism.

The two sides agreed that China and the United States should intensify exchanges in cooperation in economy and trade, law enforcement, science, education, culture, health, and other fields, continue to conduct counter-terrorism and non-proliferation consultations, and military-to-military exchanges, and continue to hold human rights dialogues on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

The two sides believed that cooperation in the fields of energy and the environment is playing an increasingly important role in the growth of bilateral relations. China and the United States will enhance such exchanges in cooperation on the basis of the China-U.S. 10-year energy and environment cooperation framework, including exchanges in cooperation in developing and utilizing clean energy, raising energy efficiency, and strengthening environmental protection.

The two sides also agreed to step up communication and consultation on climate change, make joint efforts in the research, development, demonstration, and deployment of key low-carbon technologies, and work with other projects concerned in meeting this global challenge together.

The two sides agreed to make joint efforts and work with other parties concerned for the success of the Copenhagen Conference.

The two sides also exchanged views on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, stability in south Asia, and other issues. The two sides believed that to maintain the Six-Party talks process, and facilitate proper settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, is crucial to the early realization of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and enduring peace and stability in northeast Asia.

The two sides expressed the hope that relevant countries in south Asia will continue to properly manage their differences through dialogue and cooperation, and uphold peace and stability in the region through common efforts.

The two sides maintained that the international nuclear non-proliferation regime should be upheld, and that the international community should make concerted efforts to properly resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through diplomatic negotiations.

All in all, we had a good discussion, and reached broad agreement. I am convinced that, as long as both China and the United States approach this bilateral relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective, enhance dialogue exchange and cooperation, respect and accommodate each other’s core interests, China-U.S. relations will make greater progress in the new era, and bring greater benefits to people of the two countries and the whole world. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Yang, for your warm welcome, and for such a productive meeting today.

I am excited to be back here in Beijing in the very guest house that my husband and I stayed in 1998. And I know that this is just the first of many trips to China that I will make, as secretary of state.

The foreign minister and I had a wide-ranging discussion that started from a simple premise: it is essential that the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship. Both of us are seeking ways to deepen and broaden that relationship, so we discussed matters of bilateral concern. But we also spent a great deal of time on the array of global problems that China and the United States face together, and that we can work together to solve.

This is not just desirable for our two countries. It is important for the global community, which is counting on China and the United States to collaborate, to pursue security, peace, and prosperity for all.

There is an acute and immediate need for this kind of collaboration in three key areas. First, the global economic crisis that hit us first and hit us deeply, and has also hit China. We have to look inward for solutions, but we must also look to each other to take a leadership role in designing and implementing a coordinated global response to stabilize the world’s economy, and begin recovery.

To that end, I have invited the foreign minister to visit Washington during the week of March 9th, to work with us as both our countries prepare for the April G-20 summit in London.

The second key area is clean energy and climate change. The minister and I agreed that, based on the good progress that has already been made, the United States and China will build an important partnership to develop and deploy clean energy technologies designed to speed our transformation to low-carbon economies. These technologies are essential, both to spur sustainable economic growth in our countries, and to contain the increasingly urgent problem of global climate change. Areas for useful cooperation include: renewable energy, the capture and storage of CO2 from coal plants, and energy efficiency in our buildings.

We also agreed that we share a common interest in working to promote a successful agreement that climate change talks be held in Copenhagen in December of 2009. We will hold regular consultations between senior officials in our governments on all elements of this broad collaboration.

Third, we discussed a wide range of security issues. China has already contributed in positive ways, as the chair of the Six-Party talks, and in its participation in international peacekeeping efforts. And our two countries, I am happy to say, will resume mid-level military-to-military discussions later this month.

We also look forward to further improved relations across the Taiwan Strait. And we agreed to work together on the best way forward to combat extremism and promote stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan; to prevent Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons program; to advance the global counter-terrorism mission; and to pursue arms control and disarmament and stem the spread of weapons of mass destruction. On these issues, we share a common interest, and we should look increasingly to act in concert.

The United States and China also need to work together to make progress on other issues of great importance to the international community, such as Burma and Sudan. As we move forward, it will be important to have a clear and comprehensive framework for dialogue.

Mr. Yang and I, therefore, agreed in principle, on the broad structure of a high-level strategic and economic dialogue with two tracks. The strategic track will cover a broad range of political, security, and global issues, and the economic track will cover a broad range of financial and economic issues. Secretary Geithner and I will both be fully engaged in this dialogue, which will take further shape in the weeks to come.

In engaging China on a broad range of challenges, we will have frank discussions on issues where we have disagreements, including human rights, Tibet, religious freedom, and freedom of expression. The promotion of human rights is an essential aspect of our global foreign policy, and something we discussed candidly with the Chinese leadership.

There is no doubt that world events have given us a full and formidable agenda. And as we tackle it, the United States is committed to pursuing a positive, cooperative relationship with China, one that we believe is important for the future peace, progress, and prosperity for both countries and for the world.

Thank you very much, Mr. Minister.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) With CCTV – I have two questions to Madame Secretary.

In your speech at the Asia Society last week, you said how essential it is for China and the United States to have a positive and cooperative relationship. I wonder if you can further elaborate on the China policy of the Obama administration. And do you think you can tell us who will be the next U.S. ambassador to China?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are committed to a positive, cooperative relationship. We had a very good beginning today in our discussions. I will be seeing the president and the premier and the state councilor later, as well, to discuss in greater detail some of the issues we raised, and some additional ones.

But the Obama administration wants very much to work with China on the range of issues that Minister Yang and I discussed. And Minister Yang and I will have further discussions when he comes to Washington in March. And our presidents will be meeting when they are together in London for the G-20 summit.

And when we have an announcement about our next ambassador, we will certainly make it.

MODERATOR: Next question to Arshad Mohammed of Reuters.

QUESTION: Arshad Mohammed of Reuters. Secretary Clinton, in 1995, here in Beijing you gave a speech which, at the time, was regarded as the strongest criticism of China’s human rights record by a visiting foreign dignitary. It made you something of a hero, both to Chinese human rights activists and their families, as well as in the international human rights community.

Yesterday you told us that, while you would raise human rights, it could not be allowed to interfere with other priorities, like the financial crisis, and climate change, and security issues like North Korea.

How do you answer critics who have already responded to yesterday’s comments, suggesting that they are a betrayal of the stand that you took in 1995, and that, as a practical matter, they undermine such leverage, as the United States may have with China on human rights?

And, Foreign Minister Yang, what was your response to Secretary Clinton’s remarks of yesterday? Do they strike you as perhaps a more pragmatic and mature approach on the part of the United States to human rights in China?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as I have said, the promotion of human rights is an essential aspect of U.S. global foreign policy. I have raised the issue on every stop on this trip, and have done so here, in my conversations with the foreign minister. Our candid discussions are part of our approach, and human rights is part of our comprehensive agenda.

At least as important in building respect for and making progress on human rights are the efforts of civil society institutions, NGOs, women’s groups, academic institutions, and we support those efforts. And I have highlighted their good work in each capital I have visited, and I will do so here, as well, tomorrow.

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter.) In my talks with Secretary Clinton today, we covered a wide range of areas, including human rights. I said that, given our differences in history, social system, and culture, it is only natural that our two countries may have some different views on human rights.

But I also said that it is the commitment of the Chinese government to continue to engage in human rights dialogues with the United States on the basis of equality and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, to increase our mutual understanding, narrow differences, and work together to advance the cause of human rights. Though these days it’s a bit chilly in Beijing, but I have confidence that you will see the biggest number of smiling faces here.

It is provided for in China’s constitution that the state respects and protects human rights. The Chinese government attaches great importance to ensuring the basic human rights of its people, and their freedom of religious belief. We are ready to engage in exchanges and contacts with all other countries to promote human rights. Thank you.

MODERATOR: Next question to Mark Lander from The New York Times.

QUESTION: A question for both Foreign Minister Yang and Secretary Clinton. In the last 15 years, China and the United States have developed an economic symbiosis, based on a high level of savings in China and a high level of spending in the United States. The economic crisis has raised questions about whether this relationship is sustainable. And I wonder whether it is time for a fundamental rethinking of the economic relationship between China and the U.S., and how might we go about doing that.

And then, one additional question for the foreign minister, China has invested much of these excess savings in U.S. government securities over the past few years. Has the U.S. housing and financial crisis caused the Chinese to reassess your faith in the U.S. as a place to invest the money of the Chinese people, and are you looking for alternatives?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Mark, I think that what you have seen in both the United States and China is an effort to deal with the internal economic crisis that we each face.

Obviously, in our own country, under President Obama’s leadership, we have passed a very large stimulus: $790 billion. We have passed the TARP funding that is now being utilized to try to stabilize our banks, and get them lending again. The President has just announced a $75 billion housing support plan.

So, the United States is taking very significant steps to stabilize our economy. And China has done similarly, internally, with its own stimulus package. So, both of our countries recognize that we have to act internally and externally. That is why the Foreign Minister and I discussed the G-20 summit, where we hope that there will be agreements about a new international financial system that will provide supervision, particularly for cross-border capital flows. There is a lot of work that we are going to undertake together.

But I think it is also fair to say that as we look into the future, after we recover from this economic crisis — and I have every confidence that we will — that China will continue to develop its own internal demand. As the Chinese people want more and more, in terms of consumer goods — the Minister and I were talking about how so many Chinese families now have more and more appliances — that will create greater room for internal demand in China.

And I think it would also be fair to say that many Americans have now come to terms with the fact that saving might be a good habit to acquire. So, I am confident that there will be a balanced approach from both of our countries and, working together with the European Union and Japan and other G-20 nations, that we will move forward.

And I appreciate greatly the Chinese government’s continuing confidence in the United States treasuries. I think that is a well-grounded confidence. We have every reason to believe that the United States and China will recover, and that, together, we will help to lead the global recovery.

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter.) Well, I want to first thank Secretary Clinton for inviting me to visit the United States in March. I look forward to visiting your country in March to exchange views with you on China-U.S. relations, and major international and regional issues, and, in particular, make further thoughtful arrangements for the meeting between our presidents in April.

It is my view that the door to China-U.S. relations be opened. The growth of business ties between us has brought real benefits to both peoples of the two countries, in particular the mid and low-income households.

We appreciate the massive steps taken by the U.S. government in boosting economic growth and overcoming the financial crisis. We believe that the American people are a people with creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, and we believe that, by working together, we will be able to tide over this financial crisis.

Turning to the Chinese economy, it is true that the Chinese economy now faces severe challenges brought about by the international financial crisis. In response to the challenge, we have adopted a series of targeted measures. For instance, including, among others, the investment program with a value of $4 trillion RMB yuan, aimed at boosting domestic demand.

I think the implementation of this massive program will also create favorable conditions for other countries to take part in the development in China. We have the confidence to maintain the steady and fairly fast growth of the Chinese economy, and maintain the growth rate of the Chinese economy at about eight percent this year. This, in itself, will be our biggest contribution to the international efforts in meeting the financial crisis challenge, and overcoming the economic difficulties.

It is true that China has used some of its foreign exchange reserves to buy the U.S. treasury bonds. In making use of our foreign exchange reserves, we want to insure the safety of the reserves, the good value of them, and also the liquidity of the forex (foreign exchange) reserves. We will make further determinations about the ways and means we will use in using our foreign exchange reserves, in accordance with the principles that I just laid out.

I want to emphasize here that facts speak louder than words. The fact is, China and the United States have conducted good cooperation, and we are ready to continue to work with the U.S. side.

QUESTION: (Via translator.) With Peoples Daily. Foreign Minister Yang, it has been over a month since the new U.S. administration came into office. How do you see the China-U.S. relations during the new U.S. administration?

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter.) Well, I think, with our joint efforts, the relationship between China and the Obama administration of the United States has already got off to a good start.

We appreciate the statements from the new U.S. government that the United States wants to build a more constructive and positive relationship with China. President Hu Jintao and President Barack Obama discussed this by phone and other means, and they reached a lot of important agreement.

I believe that China-U.S. relations will move forward, will continue to move forward, in a sound and steady way. And the two countries will continue to work together in building and developing a relationship of mutually beneficial cooperation and win-win progress in a broader range of areas.

We highly appreciate that Secretary Clinton took time out of her busy schedule to pay a visit to China. And I think, with joint efforts, our talks have produced positive results.

Well, Madame Secretary, we very warmly welcome you here, back in Beijing. I think particularly people who are working here at this villa in Diaoyutai they are thrilled to see you back here in 10 years. The last time you were here, this building was not built yet. So we hope that you will come back often in the future, and you will be able to see the changes taking place here, even if you just come to Diaoyutai.

The visit President Clinton and you paid to China in 1998 was a very important visit, and you both made very important contributions to advancing the China-U.S. ties. Thank you.

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Dialogue on U.S.-China Partnership on Clean Energy

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
With Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern And President of GE Energy China Jack Wen
Taiyang Gong Power Plant, Beijing, China
February 21, 2009

MR. WEN: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to our dialogue on U.S.-China partnership on clean energy. I am Jack Wen, business leader for GE Energy in China.Madame Secretary, as a company formed by Thomas Edison 130 years ago in your home state, New York, and also headquartered in Schenectady for renewable energy, GE is very honored to be part of your first trip to China as Secretary of State.

And also, GE has been working in China for the past 100 years, and we also view China as our other home.

And also, we are very delighted that Secretary of State, in her dedication, visits the power plant today. And this project really leads the industry in demonstrating advanced technology, maximized efficiency, and also minimized environmental impact. And GE is very proud to be able to participate in this project by providing our high-efficiency gas turbine equipment and technology. And this is another great example of U.S.-China cooperation and friendship.

And now, let me introduce Todd Stern. He is the U.S. President’s personal representative, the Secretary of State’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. He is holding a critical role, in terms of driving U.S. international policy on climate change.

So, with that, Mr. Stern. (Applause.)

MR. STERN: Thank you very, very much. Thank you, Jack. I am delighted to be here. I want to give special thanks to not only Jack, but to Mike Norbom of GE, and Wang Yongliang and (inaudible) who run this plant.

I am very pleased to be here in China on my first trip as the administration’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, and I am delighted to be joined by all of you here: students and researchers, faculty from Tsinghua University’s clean energy research and education center, and Tsinghua’s Institute of Energy and Environment Economics.

And I am extremely impressed by this plant. This is exactly the kind of thing that the United States and China have to do together. It is, as you know, a co-generation lifecycle plant. It not only produces electricity, but captures the heat that would otherwise be lost, and heats a million homes in Beijing, including the U.S. embassy. So, we are delighted about that. And it produces only half the emissions of an ordinary coal plant.

This is the kind of thing that we need to do more of. It is creative, it is effective, and it is profitable. And in an age where we are producing, through the use of coal and oil, greenhouse gases that are endangering us all, this is exactly what we need to do.

Climate change is an epic challenge. Scientists have been warning us about this threat for many years. And mounting evidence suggests that, if anything, scientists have underestimated the seriousness of the threat, not the other way around. In our view, nothing is more important for dealing with this threat than a U.S.-China partnership turning their full attention to it. Together, we produce about 40 percent of worldwide emissions, but together we can do great things.

Now, the United States recognizes its responsibility, as the world’s largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases, to be a leader in this fight. And we also recognize that China has enormous challenges, in terms of development, development needs and development pressures.

And yet, this is true. There is no way to preserve a safe and livable planet unless China plays a very important role, along with the United States. This is not a matter of politics or morality or right or wrong. It is simply the unforgiving math of accumulated emissions.

But if climate change amounts to a daunting challenge, it also presents enormous opportunity. The only way to address climate change, fundamentally, is to transform the global economy from a high to a low-carbon base, and that presents great economic opportunity. In our view, building a clean energy economy is not only something we can do consistent with economic growth, it is exactly what we need to do right now to build an economy that can compete, not only today, but tomorrow.

And let me say don’t believe people who tell you that we can’t do this now, that we have to go slow, that we need to wait until this economic crisis is over. The economic crisis is all the more reason why we need to act now. And in the United States, President Obama, in his stimulus plan that was just signed into law, included a major down-payment for clean energy to drive this movement forward in the United States.

China has already taken many important steps. You released an impressive white paper last October. It went through many of the steps that China is taking already. But more needs to be done, and the United States and China can do more together. We can learn from each other. We can engage in joint research and development. We can collaborate on projects involving renewable energy, efficiency in buildings, and the capture and storage of CO2 from coal plants. We can mobilize large-scale investment, and share technology, and we can discover the new technologies that will build a safer and more sustainable future.

I have worked for two Presidents, one also named Clinton, by the way, who liked to say about hard things, “We can do this.” And our new President, President Obama, likes to say about hard things, “Yes, we can.” If China and the United States make common cause on building a low carbon world and put our collective talent, know-how, and inspiration to the task, we will get this job done.

Thank you very much. And I would like to now introduce the principal speaker at this little session, somebody who it’s been a great privilege and honor for me to travel with on my first trip, the Secretary of State, who, along with President Obama, is bringing a broader, more collaborative approach to American foreign policy generally, as well as an intensive new commitment to the issues of clean energy and global climate change. Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am delighted be here this afternoon. This is an extraordinary opportunity to see in action what I discussed this morning in my meeting with Foreign Minister Yang, and then with State Councilor Dai. And when I leave here, I will be meeting with other officials of the Chinese government, and I am particularly pleased that I have a chance to see some of the young people who are going to be making the difference in the future.

I want to thank Mr. Norbom and Mr. Wen. I want to thank Mr. Qiu Ming and Mr. Wang Yongliang and (inaudible) for having us here, and for what you’re doing here. That is more important than our visit, by many, many degrees. This represents such a wonderful collaboration. And, as Todd Stern, our Obama administration climate change envoy said, we need to figure out ways to do more and more of this.

In our discussions this morning with Foreign Minister Yang, we agreed in principle to a strategic and economic dialogue between our countries, which will be finalized when our two presidents meet together in London around the G-20 summit. And among the most important issues that we will discuss together is clean energy and climate change, and what the United States and China can do together. And there will be a big role for universities, and faculties, and researchers, and scientists, and technicians, and business people, and government officials, all together.

When, 30 years ago this year, the United States and China established diplomatic relations. We weren’t thinking at that time about climate change. There were other pressing global issues that we began to listen to one another, and talk together, and try to understand.

But today, we know that climate change and clean energy are two of the biggest challenges our countries and the world face. This cooperative clean energy venture here, at this power plant, acknowledges an inescapable fact, that the interdependent world in which we live requires us to find new ways to collaborate and cooperate in the face of unprecedented global challenges and untapped global opportunities.

Now, addressing climate change and promoting clean energy is not only a global environmental issue. It is a health issue. It is an economic issue. It is a security issue. And we have to look at it all together in that comprehensive way. And I know that the partnership we see here today can bear so much fruit.

General Electric has provided high-tech equipment to produce heat and power with half the emissions, and far less water usage than the coal plants that we typically rely on. And Chinese businesses build the steam turbines that help to power the plant. So it is a true collaboration.

There are a number of partnerships currently underway between our countries, and it’s not only at the national level, but business-to-business, business-to-municipality, and even this one, which is particularly impressive: California has partnered with the province of Jiangsu, where Chinese officials have found that, by replacing aging motors in factories and adopting more efficient responses, they can eliminate the need for more than two dozen coal-fired plants with no added cost.

In addition to the cooperative efforts that are linking states and provinces, cities in China and the United States are finding the economic and environmental benefits very attractive when they collaborate on clean energy.

So, what we’re seeing here is the kind of in-depth partnership that we want to encourage. I decided to come to Asia on my first trip as Secretary of State, because I think that the opportunities for us to work together are unmatched, anywhere in the world. We take very seriously in the Obama administration, the issue of climate change. And we are going to be taking strong action to lower carbon emissions dramatically, and develop alternative sources of energy. The stimulus package of $790 billion that President Obama just signed includes extensive new investments in clean energy.

And similarly, here in China, your government is recognizing the importance of developing smarter and more sustainable policies for growth.

Now, historically, as you know, the United States had the largest carbon footprint. But in the last year, China has surpassed us, and that is because of your growth. And I laugh with some of your officials. The United States, and certainly the Obama administration, we want China to grow. We want the Chinese people to have a very good standard of living. What we hope is that you won’t make the same mistakes we made, because I don’t think either China or the world can afford that.

We were industrializing and growing. We didn’t know any better. Neither did Europe. Now we are smart enough to figure out how to have the right kind of growth, sustainable growth, and clean energy-driven growth. This plant can be a model that can be adapted and replicated throughout our economies. And I think it is especially fitting that, as part of this new strategic and economic dialogue that we have agreed to in principle, clean energy and climate change will be at the center. Here we have seen, at this clean thermal plant, evidence of what we can do.

Our new energy secretary, Secretary Steven Chu, a famous scientist in the United States, is devoted to putting his extraordinary intelligence to work on behalf of clean energy. And I talked with him before I came on this trip, and he said he wanted to explore ways between universities in the United States and universities in China, where we can jointly develop intellectual property, where we can jointly come up with new technologies. That is the level of partnership we want, where we can each benefit from the fruit of our labor and our intellectual investment.

So, we have come a long way in the last 30 years, since we formalized relations. We will have many issues to discuss between our two countries. We will not always agree. No two people always agree. Two great countries like ours will not always agree. But we do believe that we can agree and work together on what is one of the most important issues that has ever, ever faced humanity. And I look out and see these bright young people, and I know that your future depends upon the decisions that we will make now.

I heard a Chinese proverb recently that says, “Dig the well before you are thirsty.” I love Chinese proverbs. (Laughter.)

The 21st century is testing us to determine whether we are smart enough to follow that advice. I think we are. And I know that we are going to do everything we can in the Obama administration to pass out a lot of shovels so we can dig a lot of wells so we can take care of all the thirst that is out there for a new future, a future of tremendous opportunity.

You know, in every generation, people are called upon to make difficult decisions. I remember very well in the late 1970s my husband was the governor of a small state, Arkansas. And President Carter invited us to meet Deng Xiaoping when he came to the United States. And I remember meeting that great leader, who began the 30-year march that China has demonstrated is able to create a thriving, dynamic, economic, and social miracle.

And so, now we have to take the next 30 years, and make our mark. And this is the area where I am most optimistic. So I will leave China tomorrow, encouraged by the possibilities of what a stronger relationship can mean for the Chinese and American people, for our economies, for our security, for our health, for our education, for our energy profile, but most importantly for your futures.

That, to me, is what politics is supposed to be about. Are people better off when you end than when you started? Are people’s lives more possible, filled with potential, or not? And I think we have such a tremendous opportunity ahead of us, and I look forward to playing a small role on behalf of my nation, with all of you here in China.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

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Toward a More Comprehensive Strategic Relationship With South Korea

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
Roundtable with Korean Journalists
Seoul, South Korea
February 20, 2009

MODERATOR: So it’s my great pleasure to welcome you, Madame Secretary, and I think I’ll just ask how you’d like to begin, maybe say a couple of things. You’ve had a long day.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am delighted to have this opportunity to sit down with all of you, and I’m very pleased to be back here in Korea. I have very pleasant memories of my prior times here, and now to be back and to be in the position I’m in representing my country and working with your country on so many important issues is a pure personal delight. So I’m looking forward to your questions.

QUESTION: You seem to look very happy and joyful during the conversation with the students in Ewha University. How was that, and how does it feel to be back in Korea, not as First Lady but as the Secretary of State?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I loved the event at Ewha University. I had the vantage point of looking out at this very large audience of all these extraordinary young women, and it made me so proud. And I know how each one of them has dreams for her life, as we all do, and I’m hopeful that as we move into the future that more and more of those dreams will come true.

So it was an honor being at the largest women’s university in the world, and I felt a real kinship, having gone to a women’s college. And to be representing my country and our new President and the Obama Administration, we’re making so many changes. It’s only been a month that we’ve had the chance to take office and start working. But on so many important issues, I think you can see that the United States is reaching out. We’re listening. We’re hoping to form closer relationships. And I chose to come to Asia first because I wanted to underscore the significance of not only the region, but particularly the countries that I am visiting.

QUESTION: Are you going to meet Kim Jong-il? If so, is there any pre-condition? So what (inaudible) when you meet him?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Meet who?

QUESTION: Kim Jong-il.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, well, I have no intention of meeting him. (Laughter.) I have no plans to meet him. I did announce today the appointment of a new Special Representative for North Korea, a distinguished diplomat, Ambassador Steve Bosworth, who served here in Korea as well as other posts, who’s very familiar with North Korea. In fact, he was just there as a private citizen in the last weeks. So I will be looking to get reports from him and Ambassador Sung Kim, who will continue to lead our Six-Party negotiations. But I have no intention or plans at this time to go to North Korea.

QUESTION: Pre-condition?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have no plans at this time, so that’s not even part of our thinking.

QUESTION: You mentioned that you were going to discuss the contingency plans for post Kim Jong-il regime and (inaudible) in North Korea on the way to Korea. What did you discuss with South Korean Government regarding that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it’s interesting because it’s been a matter of public concern for months now as to what was happening in North Korea. You all have written about it. People around the world have speculated about it. But I wanted to make it clear that we are prepared to deal with this government. And I guess the preconditions we have are not in relation to my visiting. That’s not something we’re even contemplating. The preconditions are as to whether or not we can have a better relationship with North Korea. And we’ve made that very clear, that if the North Koreans completely and verifiably eliminate their nuclear weapons program, then we would consider normalizing our relations with them, seeking to sign a peace treaty in place of the armistice, and working with South Korea and other nations to offer aid, such as energy aid and economic aid.

So I think it’s important that the entire North Korean leadership, not just Kim Jong-il but the entire leadership, understand what it is we are offering and expecting. So those are our conditions in terms of going forward with them.

QUESTION: Okay. I am truly delighted to meet you in this roundtable. My question is regarding the alliance of R.O.K. and U.S. You mentioned in Japan the Korea-U.S. alliance is one of the staunchest alliance in the history. Thank you for your good comment on that. The strategic alliance means we understand R.O.K.-U.S. will cooperate in globally in terms of to keep peace and stability in world. But specifically speaking in Afghanistan peace and stability, what do you expect Korea’s government have in addition to the civilian assistance? Do you expect some troop to Afghanistan?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me answer both parts of your question. First, we do want to work toward a vision of a more comprehensive strategic relationship. And I discussed that with the president and the prime minister and the foreign minister. Because there is so much that we can work together to achieve. You know, Korea is one of the G-20 nations, so we’re working on the economic crisis and how we can best resolve that. We want to have a very deep collaboration on climate change and clean energy. We are looking for other areas of cooperating on security issues, on development aid, which the ROK is beginning to be more and more involved in. So there are many areas.

Now, Afghanistan is part of that overall relationship, and we are appreciative of what the government has committed to in terms of police training and joint aid with Japan, some very important contributions. And we, at this point, are still doing our own policy review of what we’re going to be doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. So we have no specific requests at this time, but we’re friends. We’re allies. We might very well discuss something in the future. But any decision is up to the government and the people of Korea.

QUESTION: Thank you, Madame Secretary. You have mentioned incentives you’re offering include diplomatic normalization, financial aid, and so on. But it seem that all that had been put on the table before, before the Obama Administration. What needs to be done differently this time around?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that we have to gauge the willingness of the North Korean regime to return to the Six-Party Talks. And I think it’s important to underscore the progress that was made in that context. The dismantlement of the facility at Yongbyon is nearly done. It’s something that we want to see completed. And we are aware of the fact that we can’t stop, we have to keep pushing the North Koreans to act.

I think there’s a kind of assessment period going on. The Obama Administration has only been in office a month. So we want to reiterate our policy so there’s no misunderstanding as to where we stand and what we expect. And we’re watching to see how the North Koreans respond. So I think that how we proceed depends, number one, on what the North Koreans decide, but equally importantly, what the other Six Parties are willing to do. So I have discussed this in Japan, I’ve discussed this here in Korea, and I will be discussing this over the next two days in China.

QUESTION: Back to (inaudible). You served as First Lady and senator and ran in the presidential primaries. What drives you to keep going forward and what’s your next goal? Again president?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No. (Laughter.) I really have been fortunate because I’ve been able to do a number of jobs that I find just so satisfying and incredibly meaningful to me. And I want to be the best Secretary of State I can be. I want to help my country. I want to support President Obama. I want to convey a message to the rest of the world about American values and our openness to working with others to achieve common goals.

I think there has been a sense that America was absent in many parts of the world, that we weren’t as attuned to what other countries were thinking and feeling. And I want to reestablish our presence. It’s one of the reasons why we appointed a Special Envoy to the Middle East and a Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and why within the first month we have appointed a Special Representative for North Korea, because we know that we have a lot of difficult challenges, and it’s important that we just get up and going as quickly as possible.

Next week, I’ll be in Egypt for the aid conference that the Egyptian Government is sponsoring to help with the humanitarian needs of the people of Gaza.

So there’s a lot to be done as Secretary of State. And I get to work with wonderful people like your ambassador in trying to create new opportunities and solve problems, and that’s what we’re intent upon accomplishing.

QUESTION: The United States has experienced anti-American feelings. Did you feel any of that while traveling this time?

SECRETARY CLINTON: No.

QUESTION: If so, do you have any plan to change the image of the United States much better?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I was so excited by the positive response that I received on behalf of this new Administration. In every country that I’ve visited, certainly the governments were very welcoming, but so were the people. We were looking at a picture in the newspaper today of people with a positive demonstration welcoming me to, you know, Seoul. And I mean, that’s kind of new to have people actually out on the street waving placards and chanting about how happy they are that the United States is here and that we’re going to work together. So I feel that there’s a tremendous receptivity around the world to our new President and our new policies.

I don’t underestimate how difficult the problems are. I mean, we all wish that the people who are causing trouble around the world would just wake up one morning and decide that they’re going to pursue a different path, but in very few instances does that ever happen. So it takes a lot of persistence and careful preparation in order to engage in diplomacy that will result in positive change.

And one of the people with me on the trip is Assistant Secretary Chris Hill, who has been deeply involved in working with the North Koreans and with your government and the other parties in the Six-Party Talks. And it’s painstaking work. It just takes an enormous amount of energy and commitment.

But what’s the alternative? Just to leave these troublesome situations to grow worse? We don’t think that’s the right approach, so we’re going to be working hard in all of these areas across the world. And I think much of the world is very relieved to see how engaged we are and how determined we are. We can’t solve all of the problems, but we can promise our best efforts and we can listen to our friends and allies and other countries who have experience to offer, and that’s what we intend to do.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) that the most important relationship for U.S. and Asia is with China. Do you still stand by that statement?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well – (laughter).

QUESTION: (Inaudible)?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that that was somewhat misunderstood. We have rock-solid relationships, alliances that already exist with Korea and with Japan, for example. Those are like members of the family. But trying to figure out what our relationship with China is going to be going forward is a very big priority. That doesn’t in any way take away from our enduring commitment to our existing allies.

But we do have to all figure out how we’re going to deal with a China that is becoming more and more successful. I think there are tremendous possibilities for cooperation because of that. But you just can’t stand on the sidelines and hope it happens. You have to be working and focused on the relationship, and we intend to do so.

QUESTION: Madame Secretary.

MODERATOR: Last question.

QUESTION: Yes. This morning in the press conference, you mentioned the U.S. Government are very supportive for the Lee Myung Bak’s government policy towards North Korea. And you had a lunch with President Lee Myung Bak this afternoon. What is your feeling and what is your impression on Lee Myung Bak’s saying toward U.S. alliance with North Korea issue?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I was very impressed by the president’s thoughtful analysis and understanding of the complexity of the relationship. I think that he and his government – because I also spoke, of course, with the prime minister and the foreign minister – are trying to balance the many different challenges that Korea now faces, and at the same time, assume more responsibility in the world.

So North Korea remains an overwhelming concern. And the Six-Party Talks is a process that the government supports as a way of trying to influence the behavior of North Korea. But of course, our alliance and relationship is the centerpiece of the security for the ROK and the president understands that. He believes that it’s essential to continue our military presence, our military cooperation subject to the agreed upon changes that will take place over the next several years.

But I was very impressed with the thoughtful approach that he presented in looking at the range of challenges that are confronting Korea, and the willingness to kind of step up and take a leadership role in solving the global economic crisis, in dealing with climate change. The president was very persuasive about climate change. He’s obviously studied it and understands it and believes it’s a great economic opportunity. So on a range of issues, not just on North Korea, I thought that he had some well thought-out positions that will serve as the basis for deepening and broadening our relationship.

QUESTION: How do you keep your health? (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Two last – real quick questions. All right.

QUESTION: If I can say, I mean, you look very young and energetic.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I look very young?

QUESTION: You do. (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, my goodness. I hope somebody is recording this. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: What’s your secret?
SECRETARY CLINTON: What’s my secret? (Laughter.) Oh, you know, I think I love what I do. And I’m a very fortunate person. I don’t spend a lot of time regretting what isn’t done. I think about what I will do. And I’m very lucky because I have a mother who will be 90 in June, who looks and is very healthy, so I can take no credit for my genes, which I inherited. But I think it mostly is because I feel very lucky to have the opportunities that I have and I love the work that I do and I’m honored to, you know, represent my country and play some role in that. And I take vitamins. (Laughter.)

MODERATOR: That’s a very sensitive question.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Is that a sensitive question?

MODERATOR: In Korea.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, is it really?

QUESTION: And yeah, my last question is about your daughter. As a mother, as a career woman, what kind of advice do you give to your daughter?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well I keep that to myself. I can’t really, you know, breach any confidence that I have with her. But I think it’s interesting how when your – as your children get older, they actually pay more attention to your advice. Children go through – I think we all do – we go through a period when we may not necessarily follow the advice of our parents. And then all of a sudden, you get to be a certain age and your parents seem smarter than you thought they were. So I think that’s kind of how we’ve developed, too.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.

 

Working Toward Change in Perceptions of U.S. Engagement Around the World

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
Roundtable With Traveling Press
Seoul, South Korea
February 20, 2009

MR. WOOD: Madame Secretary, I’ll turn it over to you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, thank you, Robert. Well, what is there left to say? (Laughter.)

QUESTION: : I have a question.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I feel like we’ve been living together for days and days.

Yes.

QUESTION: : I have a question about what you’ve learned about the role of Secretary of State on this trip, and what you see your role is. Because you’ve hired a lot of envoys taking over a lot of big portfolios, including North Korea now.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, having been on the job now for a month, I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to reintroduce America to the world and to bring a message consistent with President Obama’s vision about how we’re going to work with people to find common ground to solve a lot of these big global challenges. And I came into it with the very clear idea that we had so much work to do that I wanted to be able to deploy some of the best diplomats and representatives that I could find.

So from the very beginning of my conversations with the President-elect, I said I believe in envoys. I tried to get the Bush Administration to appoint a special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan back in 2007. Because I think that given the range of issues that we have to deal with, it is not possible for the Secretary of State to manage and handle all of these problems without having a lot of strong people working with her. So I came into it looking to have the authority to appoint envoys, and I’m very pleased that the President agreed with me. And we worked it through, even before the inauguration so that as soon as he was inaugurated and I was sworn in, we could get to work.

I mean, look what we’ve accomplished in the last month. I mean, we’ve made it clear we’re reengaged in the Middle East because we have a consistent presence with George Mitchell. We are in the midst of an in-depth review of our Afghanistan and Pakistan policy with the leadership of Ambassador Holbrooke. We now will have an experienced diplomat who knows both North and South Korea, handling the North Korea policy on an ongoing basis, which means that I can work with and oversee and be responsible for, but come to Asia and then go to Cairo and then go to Europe, as I will next week.

So to me, this is how I like to operate. And I think it enhances my ability to actually be effective globally. I don’t think that one person in today’s world, given the complexity and intensity of the challenges we face, could possibly handle all these portfolios without doing injustice to them.

QUESTION: : Can you just expand on that a little bit?

MR. WOOD: Let’s go – let’s do one with Nick, please.

QUESTION: : Okay. We’ll go with – I wanted to —

QUESTION: : Sorry, are you changing the topic? Because I just wanted to follow up.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Let Martha do a follow-up. Yeah, we’ll get back to you, Nick.

Okay.

QUESTION: : Just a little bit more on the special representatives and envoy. So they take this portfolio, they do this. How do you view what you do then? I mean, I know we’re going to the Middle East, but do you come in when there’s progress, do you come in as – describe how you —

SECRETARY CLINTON: But Martha, I don’t think there is one-size-fits-all. I think that I’ve tried to hire the best people that I can get in the Department, and I’ve tried to recruit the best people that I could convince to take on some of these especially complex portfolios. They work for me and for the President. They report to me and to the President. And we’re in constant contact about what they’re doing, where they’re going, what options they see. So ultimately, I’m accountable because these are my choices and I have chosen to organize the work we face in this way.

But it’s going to be different depending upon the situation. And so I don’t think there’s any way to say, well, this is how it’s going to work because it’s more like jazz; you’ve got to improvise, you’ve got to have people who are both great individual and ensemble players. Both – all of our envoys and special representatives work with the ambassadors in the region, they work with the State Department, they work with the White House. I’ve been around long enough that I don’t need to feel that I have to handle every single aspect of these difficult problems. I couldn’t possibly do that. You can have a lot of motion with no movement, and I expect the people that I entrusted with these jobs to get out there and to be focused on making something happen, or at least to put their best efforts into trying to do that.

So when I’m in Cairo, George Mitchell will be there, too. I’ll be speaking for the United States Government, but he will get in the region and will have a lot of information to report. So it’s just – it’s a constant back and forth trying to figure out how we’re going to push this ball forward.

QUESTION: : And in the context of that, do you see these envoys as exploring a regional dynamic and finding the natural grain and then just sort of kind of guiding things along that serve American interests? I mean, has this been done before, and is that a very new approach?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that’s a wonderful way of putting it. I think that in some respects it’s been done. What George Mitchell did in Northern Ireland was an ongoing commitment by the United States Government to work with the British and Irish governments, and we didn’t have a lot at stake directly, but indirectly it was a matter of great concern to a lot of people that the troubles be paid attention to. I think what you’ll see with George Mitchell is similar. He has a tremendous amount of persistence and patience in dealing with thorny problems.

I mean, our goal is to try to reignite the willingness on the part of the parties to move toward a two-state solution. And it’s a lot harder now than it was. I think the disengagement by the United States for the first part of the Bush Administration was unfortunate, because we weren’t there on an ongoing basis to try to look for those opportunities, to see what could happen if we were working with those who were actually committed to a peaceful and secure outcome.

So we may – I may have some more envoys. I mean, I believe in this. I mean, I’ll just quickly tell you, when I got back from Afghanistan and Pakistan in January of 2007, I called the White House and I spoke with the National Security Advisor, Mr. Hadley. And I said: Steve there’s just – this is just not working. You have Musharraf totally negative about Karzai, Karzai negative about Musharraf. There’s not a cooperative relationship. These two places are linked, and we have no way to keep them working on the same page. I really urge you to appoint somebody who can move back and forth between the two countries. And I said I don’t have a name. I mean, if you want a name, I can give you some names to consider. But please, you’ve got to lift this up. The Embassy in Kabul is focused on Afghanistan. The Embassy in Islamabad is focused on Pakistan. We have to take a more regional approach.

And I was obviously unsuccessful, but I believed then, as I believe now, that this will help us figure out how best we can move forward. So that’s why we’re doing it.

QUESTION: : (Inaudible) next stop? Actually (inaudible).

QUESTION: : I actually wanted to move to (inaudible).

QUESTION: : If we can go – we can get something on China, because we’re halfway through, that would be (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Sure, okay.

QUESTION: : Could I just ask you quickly on Bosworth, who you just announced today. And because you talked about succession, and there were questions today – he was just in North Korea. And I understand he actually brought you and your colleagues and his friends a grim picture of what is happening in North Korea in terms of leadership, in terms of who’s in charge, who’s determining policy, who’s trying to prove himself more Catholic than the Pope, because it’s that time; it’s a period of transition, perhaps.

Did that affect your thinking when you talked about the succession crisis? How is that going to affect your policy making when you get to it?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I have to confess that I’m somewhat fascinated by the concern that several of you have evidenced about succession, which to me is like the most obvious issue. It’s been in the news for months. And I don’t think that it’s a forbidden subject to talk about succession in the hermit kingdom. In fact, it seems to me it’s got to be factored into any policy review that one is undertaking. It’s a fact. When you have a government like that that is so personality-centric, you deal with the hand you’re dealt, which is the government that is there and the leader that is in charge, but you have to be thinking down the road about when and where. So obviously it’s a factor, but I don’t see that as news. I think it would be irresponsible for it not to be factored into what you were thinking about. It doesn’t change the fact that you deal with Kim Jong-il now and for as long as he’s the man who is calling the shots, and that’s what we’re doing. And I think Ambassador Bosworth is incredibly well suited for the work that lies ahead.

QUESTION: : Do you think he’s calling the shots?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I have no idea.

QUESTION: : Can I just —

QUESTION: : (Inaudible.)

QUESTION: : — can I just follow up on that?

SECRETARY CLINTON: I mean, we have to assume that he is because that’s who we deal with.

QUESTION: : Why do you think it was interpreted by some as something that isn’t said. Because it’s so sensitive that it might offend the Chinese? Because it might have reverberations? Is that something that you, not being a “professional diplomat,” that you are more likely to say what you think, what you think is obvious, and not worry about (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that to worry about something which is so self-evident is an impediment to clear thinking. And I don’t think it should be viewed as particularly extraordinary that someone in my position would say what’s obvious. I said it the other day about Burma. Sanctions aren’t working and others in the world who have tried to deal with the Burmese regime can’t figure out how to engage them, so we’re going to have a policy review about Burma. Maybe this is unusual because you’re supposed to be so careful that you spend hours avoiding stating the obvious, but that’s just not productive, in my view. So I think that it’s worth being perhaps more straightforward and trying to engage other countries on the basis of the reality that exists in a number of these settings to try to encourage more thoughtful deliberation about where we’re going and how we’re going to get there. And so that’s how I see it, and that’s how I intend to operate.

QUESTION: : Can we just go to China (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: : (Inaudible) something to write on the plane (inaudible) when we get there.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I thought you were going to have a party on the plane.

QUESTION: : No, no, (inaudible). (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, oh. Okay.

QUESTION: : So —

SECRETARY CLINTON: And the middle seat people get extra rounds. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: : Thank you.

QUESTION: : I’ll have to move to a middle seat then. (Laughter.) I think Arshad will (inaudible). (Laughter.)

QUESTION: : China.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: : What do you see as the biggest challenge here, and why is it that there is an impression out there that human rights groups, not just people like us who are (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I think that everything is part of the agenda for this first visit. We have an opportunity, we hope, to engage with the Chinese on a range of issues. Let me just mention three of them. One is economic crisis. China and the United States are intertwined when it comes to our recovery. We both have undertaken stimulus packages. We both face difficult domestic challenges. And I think there is a lot of room for cooperation, which we are going to be seeking.

Secondly, global climate change. It’s one of the reasons why I asked Todd Stern, another envoy that we have appointed, to come on this trip, because so many of the opportunities for clean energy, technology and the like are going to come out of this region of the world. I mean, Japan, South Korea, China are uniquely situated to be part of the answer to the problem of global climate change. How we engage them, particularly China, is going to be an incredibly important part of our diplomatic (inaudible).

And finally, a range of security issues. What will China be willing to do with respect to the Six-Party Talks and their bilateral relationship with North Korea? What’s their perspective on Afghanistan and Pakistan where they have not only historical interests, but current commercial and security interests as well? There’s a very broad security agenda to discuss with them.

Now, that doesn’t mean that questions of Taiwan and Tibet and human rights, the whole range of challenges that we often engage on with the Chinese are not part of the agenda either. But we pretty much know what they’re going to say. We know that we’re going to press them to reconsider their position about Tibetan religious and cultural freedom, and autonomy for the Tibetans and some kind of recognition or acknowledgment of the Dalai Lama.

And we know what they’re going to say, because I’ve had those conversations for more than a decade with Chinese leaders. And we know what they’re going to say about Taiwan and military sales, and they know what we’re going to say.

QUESTION: : So can’t you just stipulate that at the beginning?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I mean Matt, there’s a certain – I mean, look, there’s a certain logic to that. I mean no – I don’t mean to in any way to say that we know everything that’s going to happen. But successive administrations and Chinese governments have been poised back and forth on these issues, and we have to continue to press them. But our pressing on those issues can’t interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis. We have to have a dialogue that leads to an understanding and cooperation on each of those.

So I think it’s fair to say that I come with a full agenda. But it’s also, I think, fair to say we know, kind of, what the dialogue is on these others. We don’t know yet how we’re going to engage on the global economic crisis and the global climate change crisis and these security issues. So if we talk more about those, it’s in large measure because that’s where the opportunity for engagement is. And that doesn’t mean that we have any lesser concern about the need for China to be more willing to recognize and protect the human rights of people, from free speech and freedom of religion to everything else.

QUESTION: : What do you expect on North Korea?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, look, yeah, I think we should let —

QUESTION: : The – I notice that you’re going to go visit a church on Sunday.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: : And when Madeleine Albright visited – Rice visited a church, but when Madeleine Albright visited a church, she actually came out and made a statement calling for religious freedom in China. Are you planning to do anything like that, or is it just going to be, kind of, just a basic church visit?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I thought I would just go to church. (Laughter.) That’s kind of what I was planning to do. I’ve gone to church in China before. And I’m going to be there on a Sunday morning, so I thought I would go to church. I think that, first, says volumes.

QUESTION: : Right. Why don’t – probably the church – I looked it up on the web, but I don’t remember now. But it was one of these officially state-sanctioned churches, right? You’re not –you can’t really go to one of the underground churches. I mean, does that give you pause —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, without endangering people.

QUESTION: : Right, right.

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s the dilemma, yeah.

QUESTION: : So I think that’s why Albright said something about it when she went there, because she didn’t want to necessarily bless the state-sanctioned church while going to church.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me – let me think about that. I mean, my intention was just to go to church. That was what I was planning.

QUESTION: : Now, you’ve ruined it. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Now I’ll make sure to go. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: : Well, we figured —

QUESTION: : Can I – Madame, I just wanted —

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: : I wondered if I could circle back for a moment to what you started off with and how you’re, sort of, defining job. I think we all had a moment in the last couple of days, watching you either on a TV show or at the women’s university, when you thought this was not your ordinary Secretary of State. You have a – sort of a personal celebrity and notoriety that almost guarantees people will – the encounters you’ll have will be different. They’ll be sort of more personal in some ways. And I wonder whether you thought through how you use that celebrity to get a message across. And are there limits to that in places where you don’t want to go, where it would become, in your view, inappropriate or that – as the nation’s chief diplomat, you also can’t be a rock star.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, really? (Laughter.)

QUESTION: : Well, you could have sung. (Laughter.)

QUESTION: : That would have guaranteed she wouldn’t be around. (Laughter.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s a good question, Mark. I think that I see our job right now, given where we are in the world and what we’ve inherited, as repairing relations not only with governments, but with people. And I think President Obama has an extraordinary capacity to do that because of the really positive feeling that he personally engenders. To a lesser degree, I have some of the same capacity, which I think is useful, because we are in a time where public opinion influences governmental decisions more so than historically has been the case, even in autocratic or authoritarian regimes. And having the ability to kind of get down into the population in a way that creates receptivity toward American policy is a significant advantage.

Now, will it lead to changes in government policy? I certainly don’t claim that. But I do believe that it is an asset that the President has in an extraordinary intensity, and which, I have to some extent as well. I think it’s also important to send the message that, as I’ve said repeatedly, I’m not just interested in talking to governments. I do believe that when a person can be connected to the rest of the world with a flick of a mouse, what someone like me says and I what I do as I represent our country has the potential for influencing attitudes and even behaviors.

I don’t want to oversell this, because there are some very intractable, difficult problems. But I think it is – I think it is part of our toolbox for so-called smart power to be reaching out to people in a way that is not traditional and not confined by the ministerial meeting and the staged handshake photo and – that’s important. That’s part of the job. But going into universities where the next generation is going to be thinking about their role and how they see the world and what they think of America, or walking in a neighborhood in Jakarta and talking about bringing clean water and healthcare thanks to the American people, that is part of the message we’re trying to convey.

QUESTION: : Can I just ask a thematic question?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: : So much of what you’ve been saying across the region is openness, dialogue, and soft power. But it seems like wherever we go, whether it’s North Korea, Myanmar, and now even on China to some extent, that there just might not be a willingness on some of these regimes to talk to us. I mean, even Iran is – there’s a real question. So looking ahead, how are you going to balance both your call for engagement, while at the same time facing the things that in the end might not want to engage on any level and could pose a real security threat?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Great question. I mean, first of all, I think we change the presumption. The President and I, as he eloquently said, are willing to extend a hand if you unclench your fist. Not everybody will unclench their fist. But the message of our extended hand has impact. And so to, in effect, reverse the presumption that the United States won’t talk to you because we consider you X, Y or Z, as opposed to United States will consider talking to you in return for you taking certain actions that can lead to some kind of meaningful (inaudible).

So when regimes decide that they don’t want to unclench their fist, I think that puts us in a stronger position internationally. I used to say during the campaign that engaging with Iran in an appropriate way had three benefits. Number one, we might actually learn something, because there is a certain opaqueness to the decision-making within the Iranian regime. So actually being in some way involved with them could inform our own understanding of how best to continue whatever policy toward them we chose.

Secondly, something positive might actually happen. You never know. But if you stand at opposite sides of the room and refuse to engage, it’s guaranteed nothing will happen. So is it worth trying? Well, I think that is certainly possible. But thirdly, it’s important to be seen as the United States who carries a greater moral burden than most other countries because of who we are and what we stand for, that we are willing to reach out. So that if we do face these security threats, we have a more understanding international community that’ll say, well the Obama Administration was at least trying, unlike others who said no, we’re never going to talk to these people.

And I think all of that added together can change the environment. Now, does it change it a little or does it change it a lot? We don’t know. We’re just beginning. I think that it is also clear that some of our willingness to even talk like this has upended the calculation of some of these regimes. A lot of international diplomacy is a head game. And part of what we’re trying to do is to say okay, let’s figure out how we can have some kind of engagement. All of a sudden, you see this panic on the faces of some of these regimes, like oh my gosh, we can’t afford to do that. Look, they might actually score points with our public, or they might in some way divide the united front that we have put out.

So this is – this is a work in progress, but I think it’s a more effective approach than adopting this kind of hands-off, name-calling, under-no-circumstances attitude. We talked to the Soviet Union during the entire Cold War. I mean, I was of the generation where I was doing duck-and-cover drills to protect myself from a nuclear attack. And yet we always kept talking to them. I mean, they threatened to bury us, they insulted our leaders, they took shoes off and hit desks. We never stopped talking to them. And I don’t think that was a sign of weakness. I think that was a sign of strength. And it was also a signal to likeminded people that we were not afraid of the threat that they posed.

MR. WOOD: Last question. Paul —

QUESTION: : Yes.

MR. WOOD: Last question. We have to go.

QUESTION: : I wonder if I can go back to those stubborn issues with Chinese, Taiwan and Tibet human rights. You say that there has been this situation for many years where we speak our piece, they speak their piece, maybe there’s not too much progress. Do you have any ideas about how we might budge that dialogue should some of these questions be linked to economic issues where they want us to do things?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Paul, it’s hard to answer that in the abstract. If we were to believe that such a linkage would result in changes in behavior, we would certainly pursue that. It matters deeply to me. Remember I made a speech about women’s rights and human rights and the Chinese Government cut the broadcast. So, I mean, I’ve had firsthand experience with some of the reactions.

So I think we are open and we are really speaking strategies that can make a difference. But I also think it’s important that we continue on the track with these other issues where we do believe and have reason to believe that there is an openness to engaging. But I think it’s going to be a continuing evaluation as we go forward. I’m very outcomes-oriented. I mean, what are we going to do that can possibly create changed conditions, and how do we build on whatever incremental progress we make? And it’s a constant equation about one step forward and one step to the side, how do you continue to move the agenda. And that’s what we’re going to try to do.

MR. WOOD: Okay. Thanks, guys. We’ve got to go. Thank you.

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The U.S. and South Korea Working Together on Regional and Global Issues

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
Remarks With South Korean Foreign Minister Yu
Seoul, South Korea
February 20, 2009

FOREIGN MINISTER YU: (Via interpreter) – Good morning, everyone. I am delighted to welcome Secretary Clinton, who is here visiting Korea on her first overseas trip as the Secretary of State. Today, Secretary Clinton and I shared the view that the ROK-U.S. alliance is a cornerstone for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia and reaffirmed its importance.
As such, in order to aptly address the new security environment and needs of the 21st century, our two sides agreed to work together to further develop our alliance into a future-oriented strategic alliance based on our common values of democracy, human rights, and the market economy. We also have a common view that alliance readjustment projects will lay an important foundation for the further development of our future-oriented alliance and agree to closely cooperate with each other for the successful implementation of these projects.
Secretary Clinton and I also had in-depth discussions on North Korea and the North Korean nuclear issue. We reaffirmed that the Republic of Korea and the United States will not tolerate North Korea’s nuclear ambitions under any circumstances. We also reaffirmed our commitment to pursue the complete and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea through the Six-Party Talks on the basis of close coordination between Korea and the U.S. And we agreed to strengthen cooperation with the other participating countries of the Six-Party Talks as well.
Secretary Clinton and I concurred that North Korea’s recent behavior of refusing inter-Korean dialogue and attempting to heighten tensions is impairing the stability on the Korean Peninsula and the Northeast Asian region. We urge North Korea to halt such provocative actions and expeditiously resume inter-Korean talks without any preconditions. Secretary Clinton and I agreed that our two countries should continue to work closely together to overcome the global financial crisis faced by the international community, and also to prevent trade protectionism. In this regard, our two countries will exert joint efforts to ensure the success of the upcoming G-20 Summit meeting in London in April.
In addition, with regard to the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, we shared the view that the FTA will strengthen Korea-U.S. ties overall and agreed to work together to move forward on this matter. Furthermore, we agreed to continue our cooperation for the success of the negotiations on climate change. The two of us shared the view that the stability and reconstruction of Afghanistan are crucial for the global peace and stability and agree to continue to work together to this end.
In this regard, our side explained our intentions for additional contributions to Afghanistan and the joint assistant projects being pursued by Korea and Japan. The U.S. side welcomed and expressed its appreciation for Korea’s continued participation in the combined efforts of the international community. In addition, our side explained plans to dispatch a Navy vessel to the waters of Somalia where it will take part in the international efforts to ensure maritime safety and to counter terrorism.
Secretary Clinton and I are of the view that it would be desirable to hold a bilateral summit meeting at an early date in order to strengthen our cooperation on further developing our alliance and on major global issues such as the global financial crisis, and we agreed to work together on this. This Foreign Ministers’ meeting has been a very meaningful occasion, where Korea and the U.S. have further strengthened our policy coordination and cooperation through wide-ranging discussions on major issues and matters of interest. Thank you.
MODERATOR: (Via interpreter) Next, Secretary Clinton.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Foreign Minister Yu, for your hospitality and for such a productive meeting today.
I am very pleased to be back in the Republic of Korea on my first overseas visit as Secretary of State. I have very fond memories of the time I spent here as First Lady, and I hold great hopes for the future of our partnership. Because it is more than just a regional partnership; it is becoming a global strategic alliance that rests upon shared commitments and common values – democracy, human rights, market economies, and the pursuit of peace. And it concerns more than simply the dealings between our two nations. Our partnership has already begun to look outward at the wide array of challenges and opportunities we face around the world, and will do so increasingly in the years to come.
Let me begin with one of the most pressing of those challenges, the global financial crisis, which has hit both of our countries hard. We are taking steps, here in Korea as well as in the United States, to spur growth, create jobs, save family homes, and improve our financial architecture. And we are both conscious of our responsibility as members of the G-20 to help coordinate an effective global response.
Minister, you and I discussed a path forward toward a shared solution to these challenges, and we look forward to our Presidents’ Meeting around the G-20 in London. We also talked about the way to work together to expand trade so that it benefits both of our countries, and I appreciate the ongoing commitment by the Republic of Korea to our mission in Afghanistan, to the protection of our sea lanes from piracy, and to the commitment to work together on global climate change. So we will draw together upon our partnership to address a range of issues. And it will be important that as we do so, we rest upon the very firm foundation of our alliance.
I want to take a moment to pay tribute to the late Cardinal Kim. He was a great spiritual leader not only for Korea and the people of Korea, but for the world. And I know that he will be remembered by Koreans and all who cared about democracy, human rights, and human dignity.
Now the Republic of Korea’s achievement of democracy and prosperity stands in stark contrast to the tyranny and poverty across the border to the North. I commend the people of South Korea and your leaders for your calm resolve and determination in the face of the provocative and unhelpful statements and actions by the North. There is no issue on which we are more united than North Korea. We maintain our joint resolve to work together and through the Six-Party Talks to bring about the complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
We firmly believe that North Korea must live up to the commitments it made in the 2006 Joint Statement and other agreements. North Korea is not going to get a different relationship with the United States while insulting and refusing dialogue with the Republic of Korea. Achieving these goals will take hard work and strong leadership. Assistant Secretary Chris Hill, who has served as our chief negotiator in the Six-Party Talks, is here with me today, and he supplied a great deal of dedication in the years that he served in this position. And he has graciously agreed to continue serving our country by moving on to another challenging assignment.
So I am pleased to announce, after consulting with our partners in the Six-Party Talks, the appointment of Ambassador Stephen Bosworth as Special Representative for North Korea Policy. Ambassador Bosworth will be our senior official handling North Korea issues, reporting to me as well as to President Obama. And while President Obama obviously cannot be with us here today, I know that this appointment is of great importance to him.
North Korean behavior presents a number of important foreign policy challenges for the United States, the region, and the world. So we need a capable and experienced diplomat to lead our efforts to stem the risks of North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the proliferation of sensitive weapons technology, and its human rights and humanitarian challenges. Ambassador Bosworth is up to the task of working with our allies and partners to convince North Korea to become a constructive part of the international community rather than a threat to its neighbors.
As our senior official handling North Korean issues, he will serve as our senior emissary for U.S. engagement with North Korea in close consultation. Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks, Ambassador Sung Kim, will work closely with Ambassador Bosworth and continue to lead our day-to-day efforts, including maintaining constant contact with our allies and the Six-Party partners.
Ambassador Bosworth is currently the Dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Having served as an ambassador three times, including to the Republic of Korea, he is an experienced envoy, able to interact with officials at the highest levels of foreign governments. And we believe his involvement will facilitate the high-level engagement with the North Koreans and our other partners.
Now, there is no doubt that Ambassador Bosworth will have his work cut out for him. But based on our very productive discussion today, both Minister Yu and myself will stand with our envoys and representatives as they begin once again to try to convince the North Koreans to begin a process within the Six-Party talks toward the complete and verifiable elimination of nuclear weapons.
So, Minister Yu, thank you once again, and thanks to your great country for our friendship and our partnership and for the continuing and increasing work that we will do together in the years ahead.
QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Hello, I am from CBS, (inaudible). First, my question goes to Mr. Yu. The North is showing movement to test-launch its missiles. Have there been discussions between the U.S. and Korea to – against this issue? If there have been, what have you discussed?
I’ll also give a second question to Secretary Clinton. Do you think that the test missile issue should be included on the Six-Party Talks?
FOREIGN MINISTER YU: (Via interpreter) Yes, regarding the long-term missile issue, because North Korea is developing nuclear weapons, we do have some concerns. And regarding this, the U.S. and Korea have decided to work together based upon our coordination, also work with other related countries.
If North Korea should launch a missile, even if it is a satellite, we think that this is a clear breach of UN Security Council Resolution 1718. Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: We are aware of press reports that North Korea may be preparing to conduct a missile test. We don’t comment on intelligence matters, but it is clear that under the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, North Korea is required to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program. The North should refrain from violating this resolution and also from any and all provocative actions that could harm the Six-Party Talks and aggravate tensions in the region.
As we work together with our partners in the Six-Party process, we will be discussing what ways we can best approach North Korea so that we present a united front with respect to all of the issues that are of concern. But the most immediate issue is to continue the disablement of their nuclear facilities and to get a complete and verifiable agreement as to the end of their nuclear program.
MR. WOOD: Next question to Paul Richter of L.A. Times.
QUESTION: Yes. Minister Yu, Secretary Clinton spoke candidly yesterday about growing concerns that a succession crisis in the North will cause new difficulties in dealing with Pyongyang. I wonder if you share that view.
And Secretary Clinton, do have any concern now that the topic that you candidly raised yesterday might provoke a negative reaction from the North?
FOREIGN MINISTER YU: (Via interpreter) Regarding Korean relations and the North Korean issue, I’d like to say that this is one of the top priorities that we have between Korea and the U.S., and we have much interest in this. Therefore, we have our eye on the situation.
MODERATOR: Next is (inaudible) from Yonhap News.
QUESTION: (Via interpreter) Hello, I am (inaudible) from Yonhap. My question is to Secretary Clinton. First of all, regarding the assistance to Afghanistan, do you wish that Korea would join board to provide military assistance, or do you think it’s enough that Korea can take part on civilian (inaudible) by expanding maybe police forces? Also, yesterday you voiced your concerns over the succession crisis in North Korea. Do you have any – is there any particular intention behind that kind of expression of concern at this kind of time, and do you have any concerns regarding his health – that is, Kim Jong-il?
SECRETARY CLINTON: With respect to Afghanistan, we know that the Korean Government understands the importance of stabilizing and reconstructing Afghanistan – that we all have a vital interest in bringing peace to that region. And we’re very pleased that the ROK and Japan together have announced some joint projects as well as the Korean Government’s commitment to police training and other important work. We will continue to consult with the Korean Government as we go forward with our policy review.
With respect to your second question, there is a broad range of issues, as Minister Yu said, that we are always following. But it is clear as we meet here today we are dealing with the government that exists right now. And we intend to reach out together with our partners in the Six-Party Talks to engage that government and to look for ways that we can bring them back into discussion through the Six-Party process. So it’s very clear that, as Minister Yu said, when you are thinking about the future dealings with a government that doesn’t have any clear succession – they don’t have a vice president, they don’t have a prime minister – that it is something you have to think about. But for the purposes of what we are planning today, it is to deal with the government that exists, the leadership that exists, and to look for ways to involve them in the Six-Party Talks once again.
MR. WOOD: Last question to Wyatt Andrews of CBS News.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, I’m going to repeat Paul’s question. Do you have any concerns your candid discussion yesterday about a possible succession situation in North Korea might provoke an additional response from the North Korean Government?
SECRETARY CLINTON: No, I do not, because I think that all one has to do is read the press. The open press is filled with such conversations. This is not some kind of a classified matter that is not being discussed in many circles.
But for me, as we look at planning and contingency planning, we are taking everything into account. But we deal with the government that’s in place right now, and that government is being asked to re-engage with the Six-Party Talks to fulfill the obligations that they entered into, and we expect them to do so. And at the same time, we are calling on the Government of North Korea to refrain from the kind of provocative and unhelpful war of words that it has been engaged in because that is not very fruitful. So clearly, we are looking to the existing leadership to be responsive to our desire to have them engage with the Six-Party Talks again.
MODERATOR: With that, we’d like to conclude the joint conference between the Ministers. Thank you very much for your participation.

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Town Hall at EWHA Women’s University

Remarks

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
Town Hall Meeting at Ewha Women’s University
Seoul, South Korea
February 20, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. (cheers and applause) Thank you so much, President Lee. I am honored to be here at this great university. I wish to thank also Chairperson (inaudible) and the more than 107,000 alumni at this great school. Standing up with me was our Ambassador Kathy Stephens, who has told me that more than 50 graduates of Ewha Womans University work at U.S. Embassy Seoul. We are extremely proud of the education they have received here.
It is a great privilege to stand here before you on the stage of the largest women’s university in the world. And I came to – (applause) – this university as a matter of destiny, because you see, Ewha and I share a connection. (Cheers and applause.) I am a Methodist, my family on my father’s side comes from Scranton, Pennsylvania – (applause) – and I must say that Wellesley College is a sister college for Ewha University. (Applause.) So being an honorary fellow seems right at home today.
I also note that in this audience are some Korean-American friends from New York and California. There are several Wellesley graduates whom I met backstage as well – (applause) – and an extraordinary number of talented young women, faculty members, and administrators.
Learning about this great university and the role that you have played in advancing the status of women made me think about so many of the women throughout history who are inspirations to me: Madame Scranton, someone who started teaching one young woman, and from her dedication and hard work came this university; Eleanor Roosevelt, a pioneering First Lady of the United States and a voice for democracy around the world, and one of the driving forces behind the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. Now, that was more than 50 years ago, but just a few weeks ago, one of Korea’s most accomplished leaders, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, called on all nations worldwide to push for more progress on women’s equality. And I want to thank the Secretary General – (applause) – because he said that women’s empowerment is the key to progress in developing nations.
People who think hard about our future come to the same conclusion, that women and others on society’s margins must be afforded the right to fully participate in society, not only because it is morally right, but because it is necessary to strengthen our security and prosperity.
Before I came out on stage, I met a number of young women who are in political office here in the Republic of Korea, and I hope I was looking at a future president of this great nation. (Applause.)
As you think about your own futures, keeping in mind security and prosperity and the role that each of us must play, is essential because of the urgent global challenges we face in the 21st century. We need all of our people’s talents to be on the very forefront of setting a course of peace, progress, and prosperity; be it defending our nations from the threat of nuclear proliferation and terror, or resolving the global climate crisis or the current economic crisis, and promoting civil society, especially women’s rights and education, healthcare, clean energy, good governance, the rule of law, and free and fair elections. All of these matters speak to our common desire to make a nation that is safe and strong and secure.
More than half a century ago, this university became the first to prepare women for professions that were formerly reserved for men, including medicine, law, science, and journalism. At about the same time, your government wrote women’s equality into your constitution and guaranteed protections for women in employment. And there have been other rights and protections for women encoded in Korean law in subsequent decades.
These advances coincided with Korea’s transformation from an undeveloped nation to a dynamic democracy, a global economic power, and a hub of technology and innovation. The inclusion of women in the political and economic equation, calling on those talents and contributions from the entire population, not just the male half, was essential to the progress that this country has made.
As I have been on this first trip as Secretary of State, I have visited Japan and Indonesia, and tomorrow I will be in China. I was very impressed by my visit to Indonesia, a young democracy that is demonstrating to the world that democracy, Islam, modernity, and women’s rights can coexist. I met elected women officials. I met high appointed members in the foreign ministry and other cabinet positions in the government. It would be hard to imagine the progress that Indonesia has made in the last ten years, moving from a stagnant autocracy to a burgeoning democracy, without women being part of the reason.
And on Sunday, I’ll meet with women in China to hear about their efforts to improve opportunities for themselves in their own country, another reason why women have to lead the way if there’s going to be higher standards of living, a healthier population, and an actively engaged citizenry.
But no country has yet achieved full equality for women. We still have work to do, don’t we? And just a few weeks ago, President Obama signed into law a new provision protecting women from salary discrimination, a step that was overdue. So there is a lot ahead of us to ensure that gender equality, as President Lee mentioned, becomes a reality. And we also need to remain vigilant against a backlash that tries to turn the clock back on women and human rights, countries where leaders are threatened by the idea of freedom and democracy and women are made the scapegoats. The abuses of women under the Taliban are horrific reminders that just as women had been central to progress in countries like ours, the reverse can happen as well.
Some of you may have seen the news reports some weeks ago of young girls in Afghanistan who were so eager to go to school, and every day they went off with a real light in their eyes because they were finally able to learn. And one day, a group of these young girls were assaulted by a group of Taliban men who threw acid on them because they had the desire to learn. We have to remain vigilant on behalf of women’s rights.
We see this kind of suppression in different forms in different places. In Burma, the valor of Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her courageous struggle for freedom of expression and conscience. To the North, 70 percent of those leaving North Korea in search of a better life are women, a sad commentary on the conditions in their own country.
So part of my message during this trip and part of my mission as Secretary of State is that the United States is committed to advancing the rights of women to lead more equitable, prosperous lives in safe societies. I view this not only as a moral issue, but as a security issue. I think that it’s imperative that nations like ours stand up for the rights of women. It is not ancillary to our progress; it is central.
In 1995, when I went to the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing and said that women’s rights were human rights, and human rights were women’s rights, people were so excited. But that to me was almost a sad commentary that we had to say something so obvious toward the end of the 20th century.
So here we are in the 21st century, and every day we make progress, but we can’t be complacent. We have to highlight the importance of inclusion for women. We have to make clear that no democracy can exist without women’s full participation; no economy can be truly a free market without women involved.
I want to use robust diplomacy and development to strengthen our partnerships with other governments and create collaborative networks of people and nongovernmental organizations to find innovative solutions to global problems – what we call smart power.
Today, I’ve come to this great women’s university to hear your thoughts about the future. The other night in Tokyo, I had the privilege to listen to students at Tokyo University, and I came away not only impressed by their intelligence and the quality of their questions, but encouraged by their concern about the future that lay ahead and what each of them wanted to do to make it better.
Today, I’ve held bilateral meetings with your president, your prime minister, and your foreign minister. We have discussed issues like the need to continue the Six-Party Talks to bring about the complete and verifiable denuclearization in North Korea, and how we can better coordinate not only between ourselves, but regionally and globally, on the range of issues that confront us. But in each meeting, we took time to reflect about how far this country has come.
Back in the early 1960s, there were a series of studies done where different groups were looking at nations around the world, trying to calculate which ones would be successful at the end of the 20th century. And many commentators and analysts thought that the chances for the Republic of Korea were limited. But that wasn’t the opinion of the people of Korea. And so for 50 years, you have built a nation that is now assuming a place of leadership in the world, respected for the vibrant democracy, for the advances across the board in every walk of life. And it is a tribute to your understanding of what it takes to make progress at a time of peril and uncertainty.
The relationship between the United States and Korea is deep and enduring, and it is indispensible to our shared security. Without security, children can’t even imagine their futures and may not have the potential to actually live up to their talents. Our two countries have joined together as a force for peace, prosperity, and progress. Korean and American soldiers have served shoulder-to-shoulder in so many places around the world.
We know that the most acute challenge to stability and security in Northeast Asia is the regime in North Korea, and particularly its nuclear program. It bears repeating that President Obama and I are committed to working through the Six-Party Talks. We believe we have an opportunity to move those forward and that it is incumbent upon North Korea to avoid provocative actions and unhelpful rhetoric toward the people and the leaders of the Republic of Korea. Remember that the North Korean Government committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and returning at an early date to the Treaty of Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
And I make the offer again right here in Seoul: If North Korea is genuinely prepared to completely and verifiably eliminate their nuclear weapons program, the Obama Administration will be willing to normalize bilateral relations, replace the peninsula’s longstanding armistice agreement with a permanent peace treaty, and assist in meeting the energy and other economic and humanitarian needs of the Korean people.
Also essential to our shared security and prosperity is a resolution to the global economic crisis. Korea and the United States have both benefited from a strong economic relationship, and your leaders and I today discussed ways we can develop that relationship further. We are going to work on a vision of a much more comprehensive strategic relationship. We want more partnerships to bring not just government leaders together, but business and professional and academic and political and people-to-people. We want to work with Korea so that both of us will be leaders in getting at the root causes of global climate change and vigorously pursuing a clean energy agenda. And I applaud your country for being a global leader in this area, and for calling on the ingenuity and skills of the Korean people to promote green technologies that will create jobs and protect our planet and enhance our security.
Students here at Ewha have a long and proud tradition of engagement with the world. And you have the talent and the training to help shape that world. It may not be always obvious what you can do to make a difference, so do what you love. Do what gives you meaning. Do what makes life purposeful for you. And make a contribution.
I don’t know that Mary Scranton, who founded this university teaching one student in her home, could have ever dreamed of where we would be today. But that’s often the way life is. I never could have dreamed that I could be here as the Secretary of State of the United States either. (Applause.) You have to be willing to prepare yourselves and as you are doing to take advantage of the opportunities that arise, to find cooperative ways to work with others to promote the common good, and then follow your dreams. You may not end up exactly where you started out heading toward, but with your education and with the opportunities now available in your country, there is so much that you can do. And I know that you will be well-equipped to make your contribution that will contribute to the peace and prosperity and progress and security, not only of Korea, but of the region and the world that needs and is waiting for your talents.
Thank you all and God bless you. (Applause.)
And now we’re going to have some questions, I think, right? (Laughter.)
MODERATOR: (In Korean.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, so many hands. (Laughter.) Yes, right there. Here comes a microphone.
QUESTION: Good afternoon, Madame Secretary. Welcome to Korea and welcome to Ewha Women’s University. It’s an honor to have you here with us today. I’ve read your biography before and you mentioned that you were once interested in for working for NASA. If you had not gone to law school and if you had not pursued your current career as Secretary of State, where and as who would you picture yourself now? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that’s a – (laughter) – that’s a hard question. Now, there is an astronaut here. Where is she? Where’s my astronaut that I met? There she is. There she is right there. (Applause.) I told her when I met her – (cheers and applause) – my dream was to be an astronaut when I was about 13 or 14 years old and the United States was starting its space program. So I wrote a letter to the NASA space agency and asked how I could become an astronaut. (Laughter.) And I got a letter back saying that they weren’t accepting women. (Chorus of boos, laughter, applause.)
Now, I have to be very honest with you. I could never have qualified. (Laughter.) But it was a dream, and I have been thrilled to see young women follow that dream and do so with such skill.
Now, it’s hard to think about what I would have done, because I have taken a path that has been very satisfying to me. But there are so many paths that can be. When I was younger, I went from wanting to be an astronaut to wanting to be a journalist to wanting to be a doctor. I had so many different ideas in mind.
But I did become a lawyer, and I initially used my legal education on behalf of children. I worked for something called the Children’s Defense Fund. And I was particularly concerned about children who were abused or neglected or deprived in some way, and that was very important work to me. I also taught law and I practiced law. If you had asked me 20 years ago, would I ever run for office, I would have said no. I was very proud of my husband’s work, but I never thought that I would do that. I was satisfied being a lawyer and working as an advocate, particularly for children.
But when I was asked to consider running for office, I thought hard about it, and I will tell you the story about why I decided to do it. I had been a lawyer, I had been a law professor, I had been an advocate, I had been a First Lady of the United States because of my husband’s presidency – (laughter) – and that was a wonderful experience serving my country. So in 1998, at the end of that year, the Senator from New York, Senator Moynihan, decided to retire. And people in New York started asking me if I would run for the Senate. And I said no, no, of course not, I won’t do that that makes no sense to me. And they kept asking and they kept asking, and I kept saying no. And they were very persistent. (Laughter.) And I have to tell you a little secret. Some of it was because they couldn’t find anybody else to do it. (Laughter.)
And I was at an event in New York City as First Lady promoting women in sports, because I’m not a very good athlete, but I’ve always loved sports and I’ve played volleyball and softball and tennis. And so I’ve always thought that having young women involved in sports was very good. And there was a banner behind me which said “Dare to Compete.” That was the name of the special on women in sports. So this young woman, the basketball captain of this high school, introduced me. And she was much taller than me. (Laughter.) So she finished introducing me, and I went up to shake her hand and thank her, and she leaned over and she said, “Dare to compete, Mrs. Clinton. Dare to compete.” (Laughter.)
And I pass that on to you because sometimes you have to be willing to take a risk. And running for office, which I had never done before, and I’m – looking back on it now, not even sure how I did it, because it was quite challenging, was something that I am very happy I ended up doing, even though it was hard. And then when I ran for president, that was really hard. (Laughter.) But I learned so much and I had such an extraordinary experience. So it’s difficult for me to sort of run back through my mind and think of any other path, because this is the life that I’ve both lived and chosen.
Now, when President Obama asked me to be Secretary of State, I was really surprised. And I had to think very hard about that because I loved being a Senator from New York. But I concluded that working with President Obama on behalf of my country at this time was important. And so I said yes. And look where I get to come; I get to come to Ewha and see all of you. (Cheers and Applause.)
Out here somewhere. I see there’s a hand. There’s a hand right there that I think the microphone can get to. Yes, okay.
QUESTION: I’m currently studying English language and literature. (Inaudible), and I saw that you are one of the most influential leader in the world, and I think you also have some obstacles in coming to where you are today. So my question is that how have you realized these experiences to become (inaudible), especially now as Secretary of State? Thank you very much. (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. Well, I have been fortunate because I’ve had a very strong family and a very strong faith and very good friends. And so no matter what happens in your life, whatever obstacles you may encounter, you’re very fortunate if you have people who will support you and if you have a faith that will sustain you. And that has been my personal experience.
I think that every life faces challenges. No one escapes without difficulties. The real question is: How do you respond? And we all know people who are just amazing the way they can overcome obstacles, and we know other people who just seem to give up. And I don’t know all the reasons why that happens in a life, but I do know that being a good friend to someone in need and supporting people who are going through a hard time is very important.
One of the phrases that I keep in mind is “the discipline of gratitude.” No matter how difficult a day can be or a problem may be, find something to be grateful for every day. Today on my way to the meetings with the foreign minister and the president and the prime minister, I saw flowers everywhere. (Laughter and Applause.) And it was so wonderful to see. And walking in the foreign ministry building, I saw, pots of flowers being nurtured – (laughter) – so that they will spring forth and see blossoms already there. And so although it’s cold outside – (laughter) – I was very grateful that people have thought enough about the symbols of hope and spring that flowers bring, and that there they were for us to enjoy.
So I think that it is just a question of what you decide inside yourself and how you determine you’ll meet whatever obstacle life throws your way. And I wish all of you friends and family and faith and all the other sources of strength that can make a difference for you, and to be grateful for something every single day no matter how hard it looks. (Applause.)
Yes. Here comes the microphone.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, you look stunning today. I’m a junior in English literature. My question is, in Korea, (inaudible) is also in progress, but the word (inaudible). So do you think this is the right time to bring Korean innovation, and what’s the outlook for the success?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Great question. (Laughter.) And we talked a lot about that in our meetings today. Your president has talked about low-carbon green growth. We talk about it – a Green New Deal. We talk about clean technology and energy efficiency. I think we have to do it now, and I also believe that despite the difficult economy, there are opportunities for new jobs that will help to grow the economy into recovery.
Now, this is going to be one of the most important issues for the Obama Administration, and we are looking to partner with your country and others, because the problem of global climate change and the increasing effects of this on our environment and on our health is costing us money. We’ve done some studies in the United States that breathing the emissions that come from coal-fired power plants and from exhaust from tailpipes of vehicles makes people sick. It creates asthmatic conditions and other health problems. We know that we will have increasing droughts and other problems in the world because of what’s happening.
So you know all of this. You’re studying it. You see it. The real question is: Do the people of the world, and particularly the leaders of the world, have the will to help lead us in a new direction?
Now, what we have tried to do with our stimulus package to try to get our economy growing again is to put money into that package that will incentivize different energy choices. So there will be money for retrofitting buildings so they’ll be more energy efficient, money to enhance the development of cleaner energy appliances and vehicles. We’re trying to change behaviors while we change the economy.
Now, for some countries, that will be harder than for other countries, which is why the United States must lead. And I’m very proud that President Obama has made a total u-turn away from the policies of the past eight years. We cannot deny or ignore the global climate change problem. The question is: How do we effectively address it so that we don’t cause more economic dislocation?
And I think if we’re smart enough and we work together and we don’t get discouraged, we will see progress this year leading up to the Copenhagen conference at the end of the year. On this trip, for example, I brought with me the Special Envoy for Climate Change that President Obama and I appointed, Todd Stern, so that he could meet with the people in your government and the Japanese and the Indonesian and the Chinese government who are working on climate change.
So yes, we have some serious problems in the economy as it is trying to recover from this global contraction, but we can’t postpone dealing with global climate change. So let’s be smart; let’s be ingenious and innovative. When you think about what this country has accomplished in the last 50 years, think of what you could do leading the world in global climate change and clean technology and science in the next 50 years.
And we’re going to do our part in the United States. We’re going to try to get our own domestic policy right, pass it, begin to deal with a cap-and-trade and other approaches to controlling emissions in our own country. I’m going to have a series of talks with the Chinese Government, because last year China surpassed the United States as the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions.
So all of us have to be part of the solution. We can’t leave anybody out. And I think we have to do it now. I don’t think we can wait, and we’re going to try to make real progress. (Applause.)
Let’s see. Is there an aisle – I can’t see. Is there an aisle back there? I don’t know how we can get to you. Oh, here comes somebody. Okay. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Hi, Mrs. Clinton. Thank you for being with us today. I’m actually a junior at the high school, the Seoul foreign high school, which is right down yonder. (Laughter.) And —
SECRETARY CLINTON: Down yonder? Is that in Korean terms? (Laughter.)
QUESTION: You spoke a lot about being a woman and how women are a necessity to the world right now. How has – especially being a mother. How has it been dealing with other world leaders who aren’t as accepting of the role of women for example, in different countries who don’t really respect women? How has that been trying to get them to cooperate with you as a female yourself?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I don’t feel like I’ve had any problems either as a senator or in my short tenure as Secretary of State, because I hold an official position and I represent the – in the first case, the United States Senate, or in this case, as the representative of the United States. So there is a funny kind of difference that sometimes goes on in some countries that are not particularly supportive of women in official positions. I think they just kind of ignore the fact that they’re dealing with someone who’s a woman. That seems to be almost a change that goes on in their mind.
So I don’t have any problems with that, but I do believe that it’s important for someone in my position to raise the role of women on an ongoing basis, even in countries where women are not given full and equal rights. So I don’t think it’s enough that people deal with me; I want them to deal with their own women, I want them to think about giving all women the rights to be fully functioning, productive citizens. So that is part of the mission that I feel I carry as the Secretary of State of the United States, and that’s what I intend to promote as I travel around the world talking about a lot of these important matters that are really at the core of the kind of future we’re going to have for ourselves and our children. (Applause.)
QUESTION: (Inaudible) meet you, Madame Secretary. I’m a student of Scranton honors program majoring in (inaudible). I have a very simple question. (Inaudible) student university, I am very curious about your college life at the Wellesley. (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I loved Wellesley. I loved going to a women’s college, and I made so many wonderful friends that are still my friends today. I went to Wellesley a long time ago – (laughter) – and at that time, there were a lot of universities in my country where women could not attend as full students, so you couldn’t attend a lot of the Ivy League universities. They didn’t admit women. They had – some of them had separate colleges, like Harvard had Radcliffe, for example.
And so when I was thinking about going to college, going to those universities was not an option. I could not have gone there. But even with that, I’m very glad that I went to a women’s college. I feel like it helped to shape and support me. It gave me opportunities for leadership, and the faculty was very involved in our studies and provided advice about what we were thinking of doing. So it’s just a wonderful experience. And for those of you who have been to Wellesley, it’s a beautiful campus, and so you felt like you were really out of the world for four years. You didn’t have to cope with a lot of the problems that were waiting.
But what was interesting is that for many, many years in the United States, graduates of women’s colleges went to professional schools and into business and into academia at a much higher percentage than women graduates of co-ed universities. Now, I don’t think that is quite the same in our country as it used to be, but that was very significant to me because so many of the women I know today who are leaders in many fields in the United States had a women’s college background. So I’m a very strong believer. And as an alumni of Wellesley, I had the opportunity to speak and discuss whether Wellesley should go co-ed, and I’ve always said no. I think we need women’s colleges like Ewha and Wellesley to provide an alternative for young women and to provide that supportive environment that I certainly found when I went to Wellesley and that I think many of you find here to help prepare you for the future. So I’m very, very proud of Wellesley. (Applause.)
Do you have a microphone? Here, I’ll take one over there. Okay. Oh, too many hands. Too many hands. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: Thank you for your speech, Madame Clinton. Welcome to the Ewha Womans University. Considering the social atmosphere and social pressures, it’s not easy for women to work and take care of their family at the same time. Now, I thought you were quite successful in managing those two different bills. But what do you think should be women’s primary responsibility – her career or her family, or is there any alternative ways to incorporate them together? Thank you. (Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: I think it’s important for each young woman to be true to herself. I have many friends who have made different choices. I have friends who were full-time devoted wives and mothers. I have friends who were full-time professional women and either never married or, if they married, did not have children. But most of my friends, including myself, have balanced marriage, motherhood, and work. And that is the more common pattern in the United States now.
And for some women it is a difficult choice and there is no formula, because it depends so much on your husband – (laughter) – so think hard – (laughter) – about whether you have the same views on these important issues, whether you have an understanding about how to manage your time. Because some young women make a decision to postpone childbearing, some have their children early and then go back to work. I mean, there’s many different ways of making this happen, but it is hard if you don’t have a supportive family. And I think that is one of the keys to helping you make the decision.
But I also believe that society still makes it very hard for women to balance family and work. It’s true in my country, where we don’t have the kind of support for childcare – quality childcare, where we often don’t have flexible work hours, where so many women who work full-time feel like they are not fulfilling either their responsibilities as a mother or their responsibilities as a worker. They’re so torn by it. And it would be – it would make it so much easier if there were more support generally from society and it wasn’t just each person basically on her own.
So I think we have to look for ways to create that support. If it’s not created society-wide, then create it within a network of friends. Looking for ways to support each other is so critical as you start out trying to make this balance.
But I think the other piece of it is that, at the end of the day, you have to live with yourself and nobody else can tell you how you’re going to feel. I know so many – because I just know so many people over the course of my lifetime who have made different choices. And the choice your friend makes may not be the best choice for you. The choice your mother made may not be the best choice for you. So try and be really honest with yourself and how you will feel.
I had to – when I had my daughter and I was working as a lawyer, nobody in this law firm where I worked, because I was the first woman to be there, they – nobody had ever coped with someone who was pregnant and about to have a baby. (Laughter.) Nobody – none of my male partners and other lawyers even wanted to talk about it. (Laughter.) They acted like if they didn’t look at me — (laughter) – it wouldn’t necessarily be happening.
So when I had Chelsea, in those days, we didn’t have anything like maternal leave. Nobody was quite sure what to expect. And the day after I had her, one of the lawyers that I worked with called me up at the hospital and he said, “Well, when are you coming back to work?” (Laughter.) And I said, “Well, I don’t know. I think I’ll take maternal leave.” And he goes, “Well, what’s that?” (Laughter.) And I said, “Well, that means I’m going to stay home for a couple months and take care of my baby.” “Oh,” he said. “Oh, oh, okay.” (Laughter.)
But that shouldn’t be – we should have a policy. There should be an understanding about how to support – the most important work that is done in any society is raising the next generation. There isn’t any more important work. We shouldn’t make it so hard for bright, talented, educated young women to be able to do their work and raise their family. And I hope that those of you who wish to make that choice and balance that have the support you need, both from your immediate family and from the larger society, so that you can do it and do it well. (Applause.)
Well, let me see. Back there. I try to pick the aisles because it’s easier to get to, I guess. Here we go.
QUESTION: Good afternoon, Madame Secretary. Welcome to Ewha and Korea. First of all, thanks for the speech and what you said about doing what you love. So I have a question related to love. (Laughter.) (Inaudible) was one of the major reasons (inaudible) husband (inaudible), then presidential (inaudible). How did you know your husband was (inaudible)? (Laughter and Applause.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yeah, I feel more like an advice columnist than Secretary of State today. (Laughter.) How does anybody describe love? I mean, poets have spent millennia writing about love. Psychologists and authors of all sorts write about it. I think if you can describe it, you may not fully be experiencing it because it is such a personal relationship. I’m very lucky because my husband is my best friend and he and I have been together for a very long time, longer than most of you have been alive. (Laughter.)
We are – we have an endless conversation. We never get bored. We get deeply involved in all of the work that we do and we talk about it constantly. And I just feel very fortunate that I have a relationship that has been so meaningful to me over my adult life.
And I just wish all of you to have a positive experience, whatever you choose to pursue in life, because it makes life more interesting. It is something that gives real texture and color, and it’s a learning experience. Let me put it that way. You learn a lot about yourself in a relationship as well as the other person. So it’s no longer Valentine’s Day. That was last week. (Laughter.) But I think that personal relationships are really what is most important in life.
I had a friend, a wonderful woman scientist who was a pioneering woman physician and research endocrinologist. She worked for many years at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. And she once said something that I’ve always treasured. She said, in talking about her life, near the end of her life, she said, “I’ve loved and been loved, and all the rest is background music.” And so I think about that a lot. So I wish you a lot of music as a foreground. (Applause.)
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, last question.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, the last question. What a burden. (Laughter.) Okay, yes, can you give the microphone to this young woman in pink? Thank you.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, thank you so much for giving me the last question. The question (inaudible) about your daughter, Chelsea Clinton. Actually, I saw your daughter when I was studying in United States, and I thought she was so smart and great and was so sure about you and your campaign at the time (inaudible) she is so like you. (Laughter.) So I’m pretty sure that you (inaudible) her a lot. So can you just tell a little bit about how special Chelsea is to you?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you. Well, we could be here for hours. (Laughter and Applause.) One of the most wonderful things about being a mother is watching your child grow into an adult whom you like and admire. And that’s the way I feel about my daughter. It’s not only that I love her because I’m her mother and I’m very invested in her. I just really like her. I like being with her. I like talking to her. I enjoy hearing about what she’s doing in her life.
And I was very touched when she decided to campaign so vigorously for my election because she’s always been very supportive but very private and not wanting to get out and make public speeches and all of that. But she traveled with me during the campaign and she, I think, had two experiences. One, she realized how much ground there was to cover and how many people there were out there to see and talk to. And I think she also was surprised by what she saw as sort of remnants of gender bias in some of the encounters that we had in the campaign.
She was with me one day in New Hampshire when some young men jumped and unfurled a sign that said, “Iron my shirts” and were yelling at me. She just had never experienced that. She thought that was ancient history, where you read about that in a textbook somewhere. (Laughter.) And she was so surprised, because she’d gone to Stanford, she had gone to Oxford, and she had a very great educational experience and then a really challenging work experience.
So she wanted to help. And she said, look, I’ll go (inaudible) and that’s probably where you saw her out campaigning for me at one of the more than 400 places that she campaigned for me around the country. And I was just so touched that she was willing to do that, because it’s a sacrifice to be the child or the relative of someone in public life, because it’s hard. And you have to avoid taking everything that happens personally. And it’s a difficult experience.
So I just watched her just get better and better and better at what she did and how she communicated. And I’m just very fortunate because we are lucky enough to have a very supportive relationship. She and her dad and I spend a lot of time together, along with her friends. She’s got a great group of friends.
And so for me, it’s the most wonderful part of being a mother because you can see the result of this tiny baby that you were introduced to all those years ago turn into an extraordinary young woman. Because again, nobody gives you a instruction book about being a mother. And I remember one night when Chelsea was like a week or two old and she was just crying and crying and it was the worst feeling when you’re a new mother and you can’t get your baby to stop crying and you don’t know what’s causing it. And you think that it must be something like an emergency, that you should run to the hospital and get help, and all it is is she’s a baby. And so I was rocking her in the middle of the night and I said to her, I said, look, you’ve never been a baby before, and I’ve never been a mother before. (Laughter.) We just have to figure this out together, and that’s what we’re still doing. Every new experience we’re just figuring it out together.
And I just wish for all of you the most joyous and challenging and exciting opportunities ahead. It is a wonderful time to be a young woman in the first part of the 21st century. I know I’m having experiences and opportunities that my mother, who was born before women could vote in the United States, could never have dreamed of, and certainly neither of my grandmothers. And you are living lives that for many of you, your mothers and grandmothers could never have envisioned. So it is an extraordinary opportunity. It is also a responsibility. And I wish for each of you a life filled with purpose and meaning and joy. And thank you for letting me come talk to you today. (Cheers and Applause.)

21diplo01-500 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_ap_20090220_capt.7d2ad88f68cd4b73b2baa26863c69ea1.correction_south_korea_clinton_koreas_ljm111 400,http _d.yimg.com_a_p_rids_20090220_i_r4245933023 Hillary Rodham Clinton Hillary Rodham Clinton U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks at a student asking her a question, after speech at Ewha Womans University in Seoul U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Ewha Womans University in Seoul

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