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The United States has four coasts subject to the perils presented by climate change: the Atlantic, the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Arctic. As a nation with land above the Arctic Circle, we belong to the Arctic Council.

When she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton participated regularly in Arctic Council summits hosted by a variety of the eight member nations. This was one. I have bolded the list of member states.

Lisa Murkowski  was nice enough to post this picture on her Facebook page along with this comment about an hour ago.

Lisa Murkowski

Heading home from the Arctic Council in Nuuk, Greenland. But wanted to share a picture: with the Ministers of the eight Arctic nations in attendance, as well as Secretary Clinton and Secretary Salazar.

Here is a fact sheet released by the State Department about the Arctic Council meeting results.

Secretary Clinton Signs the Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement with Other Arctic Nations

Fact Sheet

Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
May 12, 2011

On May 12, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined representatives of the other seven Member States of the Arctic Council (Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, and Sweden) in signing an Agreement on Cooperation on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) in the Arctic (Agreement). The Agreement is the first legally-binding instrument negotiated under the auspices of the Arctic Council. It coordinates life-saving international maritime and aeronautical SAR coverage and response among the Arctic States across an area of about 13 million square miles in the Arctic.

As Arctic sea ice coverage decreases, ship-borne activities are increasing significantly in the Arctic. Flight traffic is also on the rise as new polar aviation routes cross the Arctic air space in several directions. As human presence and activities in the Arctic expand, the potential for accidents increases as well. Limited rescue resources, challenging weather conditions, and the remoteness of the area render SAR operations difficult in the Arctic, making coordination among the Arctic nations imperative. The SAR Agreement will improve search and rescue response in the Arctic by committing all Parties to coordinate appropriate assistance to those in distress and to cooperate with each other in undertaking SAR operations. For each Party, the Agreement defines an area of the Arctic in which it will have lead responsibility in organizing responses to SAR incidents, both large and small. Parties to the Agreement commit to provide SAR assistance regardless of the nationality or status of persons who may need it.

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It is immediately apparent why there is a need for this council. Russia is a player.

After Hillary left the State Department, she launched a series of  speaking engagements. One of these was in Canada.

Speaking to the Montreal Board of Trade last night, Hillary Clinton warned the audience of increased Russian activity in the Arctic and hung responsibility for another Cold War on Vladimir Putin’s doorknob.

As Secretary of State,  Hillary was an active participant in the Arctic Council and repeatedly echoed the message that we are an Arctic nation.  The concerns she voiced in Canada are as much an issue for the U.S. as they are for Canada.

Along with the disquiet she expressed regarding Russia’s activities in the north came further comments about recent activities in Europe.

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In light of the above, this is of some concern or should be to all the member nations including ours.

Russian servicemen of the Northern Fleet’s Arctic mechanised infantry brigade participate in a military drill on riding reindeer and dog sleds near the settlement of Lovozero outside Murmansk, Russia January 23, 2017. Picture taken January 23, 2017. Lev Fedoseyev/Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/Handout via REUTERS
By Andrew Osborn | MURMANSK, Russia

The nuclear icebreaker Lenin, the pride and joy of the Soviet Union’s Arctic great game, lies at perpetual anchor in the frigid water here. A relic of the Cold War, it is now a museum.

But nearly three decades after the Lenin was taken out of service to be turned into a visitor attraction, Russia is again on the march in the Arctic and building new nuclear icebreakers.

It is part of a push to firm Moscow’s hand in the High North as it vies for dominance with traditional rivals Canada, the United States, and Norway as well as newcomer China.

SNIP

Grigory Stratiy, deputy governor of the Murmansk Region, told Reuters there was strong interest in sea route from Asian nations however and that new icebreakers would allow for year-round navigation in the 2020s.

“Whatever the weather, the Northern Sea Route will be needed. Its use will definitely grow,” said Stratiy, who said Russia was keen to attract foreign investment to the Arctic.

When asked about his country’s military build-up, he smiled.

“There’s no reason to be afraid I can reassure you,” he said, saying it was driven only by a need to modernize.

“Russia has never had any aggressive aims and won’t have them. We are very friendly people.”

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Anyone thinking that Putin is playing nice friendly reindeer games up there is, of course, deluded despite the “peaceful and cooperative nature of the Arctic Region” as stated on the State Department page.  We should never trust Putin, as Hillary warned, especially when his military is involved. So this military build up is one thing to watch.

It’s nice to have ice breakers available when you need them, and the Russians were very helpful the time the whales were trapped under the ice as portrayed in that Drew Barrymore movie. Those missile installations, though. No wonder we sent troops to Norway.

The North Sea Route concept, characterized in the article as a mini Suez Canal, is an obvious business venture, but of course the real target is oil. Drilling in the Arctic is an enterprise popular with Republicans.

Lastly, how the hell did “newcomer China” get into this competition? It has no land above the Arctic Circle. Or does it?  Is it building synthetic islands up there, too?

The new administration has a dangerously narrow view of China’s adversarial scope. It goes beyond trans-Pacific trade and artificial islands to expand its continental limit in the South China Sea and East China Sea. China has invested in significant “development” enterprises in Africa centered largely on resource extraction with tandem infrastructure upgrades benefiting their ability to move products for shipment and not benefiting local residents or their farms or businesses in any way. I don’t think I have ever heard Donald Trump say the word “Africa.”  At the very least, China’s presence in the Arctic deserves a question.

As for Russia, and its military push, we always do well to heed the warnings of Hillary Clinton.

 

 

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The detention of women’s activists in must end. This is inexcusable. Read this story:

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The most crucial thing on Hillary’s agenda for May 2, 2012 was not reflected on her public schedule as released by the State Department. Nor was her first stop at the Wanhousi Temple.

Hillary Clinton

 

SECRETARY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Public Schedule for May 2, 2012

A self-taught lawyer, activist, and hero of the people had, with her approval and instructions, been provided refuge at our Embassy Beijing, and blind and injured, stood to disrupt all negotiations at that year’s U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.

Having made his way to the embassy despite his disability and the physical injuries incurred on his journey to Beijing, Chen Guangcheng had captured media attention and a great deal of American sympathy and Chinese faith.  While Hillary believed and acted strongly from her heart that we needed to move on his behalf, his figure, in a few venues – our embassy and a Chinese hospital –  threatened to hang between two great nations that were still performing a middle school fox trot.

In this chapter, Hillary recounts how she first hears of Chen’s plight prior to leaving for the very important U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and made an executive decision to accept him at the embassy (and rescue him in order to do so).

There were a several bumps in that road.  Hillary managed to pave them.

Was there ever any doubt?

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Dai Bingguo

Hillary Clinton’s Statement on Chen Guangcheng

May 2, 2012 by still4hill |

Secretary Clinton at Opening of U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue **Video Added**

Hillary Clinton at EcoPartnerships Ceremony

Chen Guangcheng: State Department Update

Video: Hillary Clinton – Timothy Geithner Press Conference in Beijing

Video: Secretary Clinton on U.S.-China Relations in the 21st Century

Hillary ends this chapter with some comments that, on first reading, appear meant to explain China and its way of thinking to the American reader.  When I read it again, I thought it just as likely that she also embedded a message there for the Chinese by expressing that rather than wishing to contain China (the Chinese fear) the U.S. seeks cooperation with China for the common good.

As we know, Hard Choices has been effectively banned in China, but we hope that embedded message manages to get through the Great Firewall.

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Effectively Banned in China

In the Wake of the Chinese Ban Simon & Schuster Share a Hillary Clinton Excerpt on China

Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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Hillary introduces this chapter with a good deal of background from her previous visits to China and the influence they had on her first visit there as secretary of state.  She speaks of reunions with old friends that were not public and therefore not covered by press or the State Department.

It is clear that this maiden voyage in her new capacity was freighted, and she explains both her priorities and the degree to which some (political, environmental,  and commercial issues) were given publicity and others (human rights issues) were not but emphasizes that human rights did not take a back seat.

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She mentions discussing religious freedom and the related issues of Tibet and Taiwan in meetings with high officials but does not remind us that she took the trouble to attend church services.  We at the now-defunct Hillary’s Village Forum knew and shared that information, but I never blogged it here.

2009_0224_clinton_wen_meeti_m U.S. Secretary of State Clinton listens to clergy as she walks out after Sunday service in Beijing

She also participated in an online chat and a TV interview on this visit, although she does not specifically mention them.  Part of her outreach to civil society to be sure.

Hillary Clinton’s Online Chat in China

Hillary Clinton’s Dragon TV Interview in China

The highest profile meeting detailed by the State Department at the time was her bilateral with then Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

Hillary Clinton with Chinese FM Yang Jiechi

It was during this meeting that she became aware of the upcoming Shanghai Expo about which it appeared no one in the U.S. was doing anything.  So Hillary shouldered the responsibility to get a U.S. pavilion up and running in time for the opening in May 2010.

 

 

Video: Secretary Clinton Meeting With Student Ambassadors At The Shanghai Expo

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks At USA Pavilion Gala Dinner

Secretary Clinton Meets and Greets USA Pavilion Student Ambassadors and Employees

Photos: Hillary Clinton at the Shanghai Expo

The most important item on her agenda with China was formulating a way to navigate through the ‘uncharted waters’ of the U.S.-China relationship.   She and other cabinet officials, specifically Timothy Geithner  being a high-profile proponent, were determined to initiate a U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue realized in May 2010.

05-24-10-34U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks at China's President Hu Jintao during the opening ceremony of the China-U.S. Strategic and Economic Dialogue in BeijingChinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan (3rd R)

Secretary Clinton’s Address at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue Opening Session

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue Opening Session

Among all of the issues involving Asia, the most enormous elephant in the room swinging its massive trunk on the sidelines of every official meeting was the issue of ‘dominion,’ if it can be called that, over the waters of the South and East China Seas.   These waters are vital to shipping routes, but also flow over precious mineral resources such as semi-conductors that are indispensable in the hardware that organizes our online lives now from communications through paperless bill-paying.  The Chinese made it clear that their claims to these waters were non-negotiable.  Hillary thought that if enough of China’s smaller neighbors were to coalesce around the issue of access the giant might blink.

She cites the July 2010 ASEAN Ministerial Meetings in Hanoi as the tipping point at which a coalition of south Asian countries became strong  enough to press giant China on these seafaring issues.*  Her instincts and predictions on this were spot-on.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the ASEAN-U.S. Ministerial Meeting

Slideshow: Hillary Clinton ASEAN Hanoi Day Two

She closes out this Asia chapter with her return from the Hanoi ASEAN with only a week left to finalize preparations for Chelsea’s wedding.

MOTB Hillary Clinton in New York

Slideshow: Hillary and Bill @ Beekman Arms

Here Comes the Bride!

And so ends chapter 4 with a lot of hope for the future.

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Endnote

*I still contend that if the Senate, at any point, had ratified the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST – see the sidebar on the right) her job from here through her last Asia trip in 2012 would not have been so demanding.  The island-hopping and bilaterals and trilaterals that took place in summer of 2012 might not have been so intense and crucial.  You might remember her being given access that was not easy to come by to watch WJC address the Democratic National Convention in September of that year.  All of that traveling among those islands was over maritime rights in the South and East China Seas.  A LOST ratification might have obviated much of that shuttle diplomacy.  But that’s just me.  Just sayin’.  Anyway, it’s water under all the bridges.

How the Tea Party Harpooned Hillary Clinton’s Asia Mission

 

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Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>

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No sooner had I posted about China’s effective ban on Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices than an email came in from the publisher with a newly available excerpt: a chapter about China.

Here is the email.  When you click on the link you must sign in either with your email account or through Facebook or Twitter.  You must do this even if you have signed up for excerpts before, and the text will appear.

I hope all the readers in China who know how to avoid the firewall manage to see this.

Simon & Schuster
Hillary Clinton’s book, Hard Choices, has been banned in China. So you can see what Chinese citizens can’t, we have posted a second excerpt from a chapter in Hard Choices entitled, “Beijing: The Dissident.” To start reading, click here.Finally, don’t forget to tune in to Facebook Live on Monday at 4 pm ET to watch the live stream of Hillary Clinton from the Aspen Ideas Festival. RSVP here.

Simon & Schuster
http://hcb.nationbuilder.com/

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Some folks have asked me how and when they can obtain copies of Hillary’s book in various translations and in different countries.  The best advice I can give is that you  contact the publisher, Simon & Schuster, directly for a response to that question.  One thing, however, is certain.  For now, at least, the book will not be seeing the light of day in China.

My sympathies go out to our Chinese visitors who relentlessly circumvent the Great Firewall to come here and see what Hillary is doing and saying.  We all know you were looking forward to reading this memoir.  Thank you to Ruby Cramer who sent me this for everyone’s information.

China Blocks Hillary Clinton’s Book

Distributors and publishers impose an “effective ban” on Hard Choices, which is critical of the Chinese government. “It’s outrageous and unfortunate.” posted on June 26, 2014

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Some encouraging news today from China’s business leaders on stopping the demand for ivory.

China’s Top Business Leaders Say No to Ivory

BEIJING – Business leaders in China took a public stand today against the ivory trade by signing a pledge to never purchase, possess, or give ivory as a gift. WildAid China Chair, Huang Nubo, spearheaded the effort by 36 prominent Chinese to raise awareness of the ivory poaching crisis. The group includes Charles Chao, CEO of Sina Corp., China’s largest Internet portal, Liu Chuanzhi, Chair of Lenovo, and 10 individuals from the Forbes 2013 China Rich List including Jack Ma, founder of the Alibaba Group.

“As China grows up, Chinese companies should do the same and take on more social responsibility,” said Nubo. “This is why we are joining efforts to protect our planet’s wildlife. We hope this ethic becomes engrained in us and is passed down to future generations.”

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