Posts Tagged ‘Yang Jiechi’

This morning Mme. Secretary met with her Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.  A senior State Department official provided a briefing.  This is the only still picture available from today so far.

Background Briefing: Readout of the Secretary’s Meeting With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

Special Briefing

Office of the Spokesperson
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
New York City
September 27, 2012

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: So briefly, on background, Senior State, the Secretary had a very full meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang this morning. They began the meeting talking about the Chinese-Japanese tensions over the Senkakus. The Secretary, as she has been urging for a number of months, including when she was in China in the summer and when she was at APEC and had a chance to see Prime Minister Noda, again urged that cooler heads prevail, that Japan and China engage in dialogue to calm the waters, that we believe that Japan and China have the resources, have the restraint, have the ability to work on this directly and take tensions down. And that is our message to both sides.

They then talked about South China Sea issues. As you may know, this is an area where, after intense diplomatic focus by all the players, including, notably, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia who was in Washington not too long ago, we now have restarted informal meetings between senior officials of China and ASEAN. They had a meeting in Phnom Penh two weeks ago. We expect these meetings are going to continue in the lead-up to the East Asia Summit in November. This is precisely what the Secretary had been advocating, what we had been advocating – that they restart a dialogue. And so the Secretary commended China for that. I think she’ll make the same point when she sees the ASEAN foreign ministers later today.

They compared notes on the situation in the DPRK briefly. They also talked about Iran in preparation for the P-5+1 minus Iran meeting this afternoon, and about the two-track strategy of diplomacy and pressure. The Secretary, as she always does, raised human rights concerns – notably in this particular meeting, concerns about Tibet and increasing pace of immolations. They talked about bilateral economic relations and the global financial situation. The Secretary again urged that the – some of the cases of concerns, including FedEx, be dealt with on the Chinese side.

And of course, they talked about Syria. The Secretary debriefed the Foreign Minister on her meeting with Special Envoy Brahimi, and she made the same point to him, to Foreign Minister Yang, that she has made this week to Foreign Minister Lavrov and that she’s made when she was in Vladivostok to Russian leaders, that we still see value in the Geneva document that the Security Council members agreed on, and working from that, drawing on elements of it. But if we go in that direction in terms of the Security Council, there have to be real consequences for noncompliance with it, consequences for both sides. So that was the meeting with Foreign Minister Yang.

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Remarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Great Hall of the People
Beijing, China
September 5, 2012

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) Ladies and gentlemen, the joint press conference of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will now begin. Now Foreign Minister Yang will make an opening statement.


MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) Now Secretary Clinton will make an opening statement.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Let me begin by thanking Foreign Minister Yang for his long commitment to strengthening the bonds between China and the United States. And we have had constructive and productive in-depth discussions last night for a number of hours and then again this morning with President Hu Jintao. I conveyed to President Hu Jintao the warm regards from President Obama.

I am pleased to return to China for my fifth visit, I think, although I’ve lost track, as U.S. Secretary of State. I came on my very first trip in early 2009, and this has been part of our overarching engagement in Asia. And as Minister Yang just said, we have institutionalized a number of mechanisms for ongoing dialogue. Our Strategic and Economic Dialogue, our consultation on People-to-People Exchange, our Strategic Security Dialogue, our Asia Pacific Consultation, our new Middle East Dialogue, and all the rest of our engagement really exemplifies how hard we are working at every level of our government to build habits of cooperation and to open channels of communication. We literally consult with each other almost on a daily basis about every consequential issue facing our nations and the world today.

As I have said before, our two nations are trying to do something that has never been done in history, which is to write a new answer to the question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet. Both President Obama and I have said frequently that the United States welcomes the rise of a strong, prosperous, and peaceful China. We want China to continue to succeed in delivering economic opportunity to the Chinese people. That will, in turn, have a positive impact on the global economy. We want China to play a greater role in world affairs. That strengthens global stability, helps solve urgent challenges. And we are convinced that our two countries gain far more when we cooperate with one another than when we descend into an unhealthy competition. So we are committed to managing our differences effectively and expanding our cooperation wherever and whenever possible.

We see this moment as a historic opportunity for our two countries, and indeed, for others as well. To make the most of it, the United States and China must strive to achieve practical outcomes that benefit each of us as well as the broader region and world. That has been the theme of my meetings in Beijing today, and it started with our extensive conversations with the Foreign Minister and his colleagues, which went well past midnight and then continued this morning. Later today, I will be meeting with other Chinese officials, as the Foreign Minister has just outlined. And let me say how pleased I am to have this chance to exchange views in advance of APEC, where I will be representing President Obama.

One issue we discussed at length is the evolving situation in Syria. The United States strongly believes the simplest and best solution to end the violence is for there to be a peaceful political transition that respects the dignity, aspirations, and rights of the Syrian people. The United States wants to work with China and other international partners to take effective steps to end the violence and bring about that political transition, because doing so, we believe, serves our common interest as well as the interest of Syrians and others in the region.

We discussed our shared commitment in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and our work together in the P-5+1 as well as at the upcoming IAEA Board of Governors meeting. China recently reduced its purchase of Iranian oil; and while it took this step for its own commercial and energy security reasons, it aligns with our shared interest regarding Iran and our hope that Iran will live up to its international obligations.

We had a productive conversation about how China can use its unique influence with respect to North Korea. There is an opportunity for the new leadership in North Korea to improve the lives of the North Korean people. At the same time, we wish to continue our joint efforts to bring about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

I also raised the growing threat of cyber attacks that are occurring on an increasing basis. Both the United States and China are victims of cyber attacks. Intellectual property, commercial data, national security information is being targeted. This is an issue of increasing concern to the business community and the Government of the United States, as well as many other countries, and it is vital that we work together to curb this behavior.

Another issue, as the Minister mentioned, was the South China Sea. I reiterated, as I have on many occasions, the United States does not take a position on competing territorial claims. Our interest is in the maintenance of peace and stability, respect for international law, freedom of navigation, and unimpeded lawful commerce. And as a friend to the countries involved, we do believe it’s in everyone’s interest that China and ASEAN engage in a diplomatic process toward the shared goal of a code of conduct.

On some of these issues, China and the United States have much to agree on, and we are engaged in very cooperative behavior to try to reach our common goal. On others, such as human rights, we do not always see eye to eye, but we continue to talk together. And we will never agree on all matters. No two countries do. But we are learning how to manage our differences, deal openly with misunderstandings when they do occur, and remain in communication as transparently and clearly as possible. We have taken to heart the vision set by our two presidents to build a relationship that is positive, cooperative, and comprehensive and that delivers benefits to both our nations, and that, in turn, helps to drive peace, stability, progress, and prosperity throughout the region and the world.

So let me again thank the Foreign Minister and President Hu Jintao for this friendship, for this very important set of consultations. I look forward to the rest of my meetings today, and I thank the people of China for once again welcoming me and my delegation to your country.

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter.) Thank you, Madam Secretary.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) Now we open up the floor for questions. China Daily.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) Good morning, Madam Secretary. The United States is implementing a rebalancing strategy in the Asia Pacific region. And some senior U.S. officials, including yourself, have repeatedly said that this is not targeted at China. But judging from some recent U.S. moves in the region, including the strengthening of military alliances with countries in the region, many people have come to the conclusion that the fundamental role of the strategy is to contain China and to thwart China’s development. How do you look at this?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, thank you for asking that question, because I want to be very clear. As the President and I have said many times, the United States welcomes a strong, stable, prosperous China that plays a role in world affairs commensurate with its size and helps to maintain and shape the global order. And we believe strongly that China has a vital role as a force for security and peace, stability and prosperity, regionally and globally. And so along with the rest of the international community, the United States counts on China’s leadership in addressing many of our common global challenges.

So that is why we have worked so intensively. We have deepened and broadened our cooperation on a range of issues bilaterally, regionally, and globally. Our two presidents have met 12 times. Vice President Biden and Vice President Xi have had very successful exchanged visits in each of our countries. We have held four Strategic and Economic Dialogues, which took the government-to-government relationship much deeper and broader than at any time prior to the Obama Administration.

So I’m very proud of the strength and resilience that we have built into our relationship. It makes it possible for us to talk about anything and to find ways to tackle issues frankly and forthrightly.

Now, that includes our work on economic and trade issues, which are very critical to creating jobs and opportunity on both sides of the Pacific. We are very clear, as we have these discussions, about the need to develop what we call a level playing field for economic investments in both our countries. It also enables us to work together through multilateral institutions, like the East Asia Summit, which the United States has joined out of respect for the importance of that organization; APEC, which is another vehicle. I’ll be seeing President Hu and other Chinese officials in Vladivostok in just a few days.

So it means we can cooperate on a much broader range of issues, but we do not see eye-to-eye on everything. And I would not expect anyone to imagine that two countries as large and diverse as we are would ever see eye-to-eye. We have different experiences, different perspectives. But what we have done is to embed the importance of dialogue and cooperation so that when we work together, it’s to the benefit of everyone. When we have these differences, we work through them.

And I am absolutely convinced that our collaboration has been vital. We’ve worked together on peace in Sudan and South Sudan. We are working to deal with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We haven’t agreed on how to handle Syria, but we haven’t stopped talking about what should be done, because the violence continues. The instability is quite concerning. We don’t agree on a lot of human rights issues, but we have maintained a strong and ongoing dialogue. And this is a relationship that matters to both of us, and I am very convinced that we’ve established a strong foundation, government-to-government and people-to-people.

I cannot help what someone in your country says or someone in my country says. We are going to have critics in both of our countries who are going to second-guess decisions that we are making. But I feel strongly that we are on the right track in building a positive, cooperative, comprehensive relationship for the 21st century.

MS. NULAND: All right. Next question. (Laughter.) The next question, Indira Lakshmanan from Bloomberg News, please.

QUESTION: Thank you. Foreign Minister Yang, your ministry spokesman said this week that countries outside the region shouldn’t intervene in China Seas territorial disputes. Do you accept that the U.S. has a legitimate national interest in ensuring freedom of navigation and commerce in the South and East China Seas? Or does Vice President Xi’s cancellation of his meeting with the Secretary signal displeasure with U.S. interference? And do you agree with state media commentaries that say increased U.S. naval and military presence in the Pacific is about containing China?

And Madam Secretary, do you come out of these talks any more confident that China is ready to sign up to a code of conduct on the South Seas issues?

Thank you.

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter.) On the South China Sea, the position of the Chinese Government has been consistent and clear-cut. China has sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and their adjacent waters. There is plentiful historical and jurisprudential evidence for that.

As for the dispute over the sovereignty of some islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands and the overlapping rights, interests, and claims over some waters of the South China Sea, these should be discussed by the directly concerned countries on the basis of the fact – of historical fact and international law, and handled and settled through direct negotiations and friendly consultation. People talk about the importance of respecting the DOC. What I have outlined is not just China’s position, but an important principle and spirit of the DOC. It is the consensus of all the signatories to the DOC and important commitment the parties have made.

Recently, I have visited several of these Asian countries, who are also member-states of ASEAN. Like China, these countries also believe that the parties concerned should act in accordance with the principles and spirit of the DOC and on the basis of consensus work towards the eventual adoption of a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

Nowhere else do China and the United States share more converging interest and interact more frequently than in the Asia Pacific region. At the moment, the international situation continues to undergo profound and complex changes, and the prospect of a world economic recovery is still quite grim. We hope that China and the United States will work together to develop a positive and pragmatic relationship. That is also the shared expectation of the people in the Asia Pacific region. We hope to work with the United States and other countries in the Asia Pacific to make our region one of openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefit, and win-win progress.

As for the United States policy towards the Asia Pacific region, we have always hoped that the United States would size up the situation and make sure that its policy is in conformity with the trends of our current era and the general wish of countries in the region to seek peace, development, and cooperation. And this is also China’s wish and has been China’s way of behavior. We believe our two sides should step up consultation on Asia Pacific affairs and to make a success of the East Asia Summit and other important meetings before the end of the year.

And I wish to emphasize that the Asia Pacific Economic Leaders meeting is just a couple of days away. Our two sides need to step up communication and cooperation to make sure the APEC meeting will be a full success.

The current schedule of the Secretary’s visit has been agreed by the two sides. I hope people will not add unnecessary speculation. We attach a great deal of importance to Secretary Clinton’s visit to China. And I want to add also that the freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea is assured. For China and our neighboring countries, the South China Sea is really a lifeline for exchanges, trade, and commerce. There is no issue currently in this area, nor will there ever be issues in that area in the future. Thank you.

SECRETARY CLINTON: I appreciate the Minister’s comments about the commitment China has to a code of conduct that was foreshadowed in the Declaration of Conduct agreed to by China and ASEAN nations 10 years ago. We believe, as I said in Jakarta, that it is timely now to proceed with that work and help to lower the tensions and create the code of conduct in the next period, hopefully in preparation for the East Asia Summit.

After my talks over the last few days, I believe that with leadership and commitment China and ASEAN can ramp up their diplomacy. And the United States stands ready to support that process in any way that would be helpful to the parties.

MS. NULAND: Next question, Margaret Brennan, CBS News.

QUESTION: Thank you. On Iran, it’s continuing to pursue a nuclear program and negotiations have stalled. Specifically, what steps is China willing to take to prevent the pursuit of a nuclear weapon?

And on Syria, China at the Security Council has blocked any outside intervention to stop the ongoing violence. Is there any agreement on how to bring about a political transition?

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter.) On the question of nuclear issues in the Middle East, I wish to emphasize that China is opposed to the efforts of any country, including Iran, to develop nuclear weapons. At the same time, we believe the Iranian nuclear issue should be resolved peacefully through diplomatic negotiations. We believe there is positive value in the P-5+1 dialogue with Iran, whatever form it may take. We believe the parties should continue to exercise calm and be committed to diplomatic negotiations.

Some parties have put forward some proposals. They need to be studied seriously. The positive elements in those proposals should be taken seriously and be incorporated. China has been active and serious in our participation in P-5+1 dialogue with Iran. And in our contact with various parties, we’ve been emphasizing that there should be a clear and objective reading of the situation. China stands ready to stay in close contact, communication, and coordination with the United States and other relevant parties on the Iranian nuclear issue.

China strictly abides by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. Of course, all along we have been opposed to unilateral sanctions. When such sanctions affect other countries and damage other countries’ interests, it is something we cannot accept. Although there might be some divergent views between China, the United States, or others on the Iranian issue, we believe there is an ongoing momentum of exchange, communication, and cooperation. And we hope to sustain the momentum of exchanges and cooperation with the relevant parties. China will continue to work persistently for the peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

On the question of Syria, I wish to emphasize that although Mr. Kofi Annan has stepped down as the Joint Special Envoy, but it is the general view of the international community that his six-point plan should continue to be implemented. Secretary Clinton and I and the foreign ministers of some other countries took part in the Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the Action Group for Syria, which took place in Geneva. Like many countries, China shares the view that the communique of that foreign ministers meeting has positive significance for appropriately handling and resolving the Syrian issue. And we are willing to ramp up communication with the relevant countries in the UN Security Council and to carry out coordination. And the relevant UN Security Council resolutions regarding Syria should be implemented in earnest.

Although the situation is very complex, China has been emphasizing all along that the various parties should arrive at a cessation of fire and an end to violence, and the various parties in Syria should begin a political dialogue. And like many countries, we support a period of political transition in Syria.

We also believe that any solution should come from the people of Syria and reflect their wishes. It should not be imposed from outside. We are all member-states of the United Nations. We believe that on the question of Syria the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld and implemented, especially the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs.

And on the question of Syria, let me emphasize that China is not partial to any individual or any party. I think history will judge that China’s position on the Syrian question is a promotion of the appropriate handling and resolution of the Syria issue. For what we have in mind is the interest of the people in Syria and the region and the interest of peace, stability, and development in the region and around the world.

The various countries have some differing views on the issue of Syria. I believe the parties need to increase their consultation, all for the sake of peace, stability, and development in the region as well as the well being of the Syrian people.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much for your question. And before I turn to Syria, let me just say we have worked very closely with China in the P-5+1 and in the Security Council to create unprecedented pressure on the Iranian Government.

With respect to Syria, it is no secret that we have been disappointed by Russia and China’s actions blocking tougher UN Security Council resolutions, and we hope to continue to unite behind a real path forward to end the violence in Syria. We share the goal of wanting to see the violence end and the political transition begin, and we are discussing additional ways we can bring that about.

We believe that the situation in Syria is a threat to peace and stability in the entire region, and the longer the conflict goes on the greater the risk that it spills over borders and destabilizes neighboring countries. We have already seen dangerous clashes in Lebanon and growing tensions in Turkey and Jordan. We have discussed with our Chinese counterparts the need to respond to the UN’s appeal for contributions to support the humanitarian needs of the people. The best course of action remains to unite the Security Council behind real consequences if President Assad continues to brutalize his own people and threaten the security of the region.

I agree with the Foreign Minister that the communique issued as a result of our meeting in Geneva is a very useful framework for moving forward, and we will continue to consult to see whether that is something that the Security Council itself could adopt as a message to the government and the opposition about what is expected.

Meanwhile, the United States will continue to work with a growing group of likeminded nations to support the Syrian opposition and plan for the day after Assad goes, because we are convinced that he will. Thank you.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) Final question, Xinhua News Agency.

QUESTION: (Via interpreter.) I have a question for Foreign Minister Yang. We’ve taken note of the repeated statements from both China and the United States on various occasions that both sides are committed to building a cooperative partnership and to exploring a new type of major country relationship. But we also see that from time to time the two countries have disputes on some economic and trade issues. Some people even posit that confrontation between China and the United States is inevitable. How do you look at this?

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter.) Before answering this question, please allow me to make some additional points regarding the Iranian nuclear issue.

The UN Secretary General and the Arab League have appointed a new Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Brahimi. Recently, I talked with him on the phone. I said in the phone call that China fully supports his mediation efforts, and we hope all the parties will also support his mediation efforts so that there can be an appropriate and peaceful solution to the situation in Syria.

We hope that members of the international community will bring their positive influence to bear and get the various parties in Syria to adopt a realistic, calm, and constructive attitude so that there can be an early beginning of political dialogue and transition in that country. A Syria that is peaceful, stable, and enjoying development, bringing benefits to the people of not just that country but also the region.

And we pay very close attention to the humanitarian issue surrounding Syria. We have already channeled humanitarian assistance to some people in Syria in plight, and we will provide assistance to the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and some other countries.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Mr. Nixon’s visit to China and the issuance of the Shanghai Communique. In these 40 years, the China-U.S. relationship has gone through a lot, but generally speaking it has been continuously moving forward, bringing tangible benefits to the people of our two countries and contributing to peace, stability, and development in the world. President Hu Jintao and President Obama have had 12 face-to-face meetings, and they have reached important consensus on working together to push forward a China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and on working together to explore the construction of a new type of major country relationship. This points the direction for the further development of our bilateral relationship. The various government departments in both countries should redouble efforts to implement this joint vision of our presidents.

The economic relationship between China and the United States is an important driving force of our overall relationship. In the economic exchanges between two large nations such as ours, it is quite inevitable that there might be some disputes or even frictions. We hope that both sides will act in the spirit of openness and appropriately handle and resolve these issues through consultation. Actually, the two sides have already made some important progress in that regard.

China and the United States differ from each other in our histories, our cultures, ideologies, social systems, and actual national conditions. So it’s impossible for our two countries to see eye to eye on all the issues, but we believe that the mutual respect for each other’s core interests and major concerns is an important precondition for the steady and smooth development of our bilateral relationship. If we can stay focused on that, then we can overcome various disputes or frictions and their distraction to the relationship and maintain the dialogue and cooperation, which is the primary facet of our relationship and to make sure this relationship will continue to be mutually beneficial going forward.

It is apparent to all that China has made important progress in its human rights. On the basis of mutual respect and nonintervention in other’s internal affairs, we’d like to continue to have human rights dialogue with the United States and some other countries.

Like many countries, China is also a victim of cyber attacks. We’d like to work with the United States and some others to step up our communication and cooperation with respect to ensuring cyber security.

And China is making continuous efforts towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the maintenance of peace and stability on the Peninsula. We support the efforts of the relevant countries to maintain and increase dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In short, history and facts has repeatedly proven that China and the United States have interwoven interests, and cooperation will benefit both sides where confrontation will hurt both sides. It has been China’s clear choice to work to promote our cooperative partnership with the United States on the basis of the three joint communiques and joint statements. This will serve the fundamental interests of people in both countries, and it is what the international community expects us to do in the 21st century.

Thank you.

MODERATOR: (Via interpreter.) This brings us to the end of the joint press conference. I want to thank Foreign Minister Yang and Secretary Clinton.

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Remarks With Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Before their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Beijing, China
September 4, 2012

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: (Via interpreter) Madam Secretary, on behalf of the Chinese Government, a warm welcome on your visit to China. Madam Secretary, we place high importance on your visit. Tomorrow, several Chinese leaders will have meetings with you. In recent years, the China-U.S. relationship has maintained stability and achieved development, and we have made important progress in some areas.

Maintaining the healthy and steady development of our relationship serves the fundamental interests of our two countries and two peoples and is conducive to stability, peace, and development in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. China stands ready to work with the U.S. side, guided by the joint vision of our two presidents to further push forward the China-U.S. cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and to explore a new type of major country relationship.

This evening, I’d be happy to exchange views with you on how to further push forward our bilateral relationship and on some important international and regional issues. Again, warm welcome to China.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Minister Yang, thank you for that warm welcome on behalf of my delegation and myself. We are very pleased to be, once again, in China to have this opportunity to exchange views. We are committed to building a cooperative partnership with China; it is a key aspect of our rebalancing in the Asia Pacific. And we have had a lot of in depth consultations and high-level meetings over the last three and a half years. Just this past year, we had the fourth session of our Strategic and Economic Dialogue and a 12th meeting between our two presidents. And we continue to stress the importance of the practical cooperation that underlies our comprehensive relationship.

So again, tonight we’ll have a chance to explore issues in our bilateral relationship as well as regional and international matters that are of importance. So thank you again for the warm welcome to this new foreign ministry building.

U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) meets Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jieche in Beijing September 4, 2012. China warned the United States not to get involved in South China Sea territorial disputes on Tuesday as Clinton arrived in Beijing pledging to pass on a strong message on the need to calm regional tension. REUTERS/Feng Li/Pool (CHINA – Tags: POLITICS)

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Remarks at the Top of a Bilateral Meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Peace Palace
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
July 12, 2012

Thank you very much, Mr. Yang. And once again, I appreciate the opportunity for us to be able to meet to discuss a number of important issues. But I want to stress the importance of U.S.-China cooperation in regional institutions such as the East Asia Summit and, in particular, the ASEAN Regional Forum. I am delighted that we are going to be issuing a joint media note that will give specifics about the cooperative project in the Asia Pacific that we are engaging in. And it is an important signal that the United States and China not only can, but will work together in Asia. And I thank you and your team, as well as mine, for the work that went into that.

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I was expecting some remarks to go along with these photos, but none have arrived.  That does not seem to be a good reason to deprive one and all of the photos.  Mme.  Secretary met with FMs Yang (China), Gemba (Japan).  Truong (Vietnam) and Rudd (Australia).  I know Discourse loves that print jacket.  I have loved this oatmeal-colored suit on her since she wore it in Denver the afternoon before her speech there.  I think it is linen or a linen/silk blend.  The color is fabulous on her,  the cut is perfect, and the fabric falls beautifully.

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Remarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Bali, Indonesia
July 22, 2011

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is a pleasure to see you again, and to see you here at this important meeting. We have much to discuss when it comes to our bilateral relationship, as well as regional and global issues. I think we will review the progress that we have made since the excellent meeting that our presidents held during President Hu Jintao’s visit to Washington. And, of course, I extend greetings to him from President Obama.

We will also have a chance to review the work we did at the strategic and economic dialogue that furthered our cooperation in a number of critical areas. And I want to commend China and ASEAN for working so closely together to include implementation guidelines for the declaration of conduct in the South China Sea. And, of course, we will discuss our mutual desire for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. And I look forward to addressing these and other important issues with you. And, again, it is a pleasure to see you.

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: Madam Secretary, first of all, I would like to say that, thanks to the current efforts of our two sides, President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States at the warm invitation of President Obama was very successful. The two leaders have reached an important consensus, and they have pointed the way forward. So China would like to work very hard, together with the United States, to keep the good momentum of our relationship, based on mutual respect and mutual benefit.

And I agree with you, that SED has been a success, and the people-to-people cultural exchanges, and the high-level meeting that you had with the Chinese has also been very successful. And looking down the road, I think there will be a couple of very important multilateral meetings in which both our presidents and our top leaders will participate. I refer to the (inaudible) meeting in France, the APEC meeting in Honolulu, and the EAS in this very place, this beautiful island of Bali. And I am sure that we will work together to contribute to the success of these meetings, and I am sure that the top leaders will meet each other, have good meetings, in the course of these important multilateral conferences.

And certainly I would immediately convey the warm wishes and regards from President Obama to President Hu Jintao.

And I do believe that the conclusion of the guidelines for DOC is of great significance, and it will go a long way to maintaining peace and stability and good (inaudible) in this region. And this will also provide favorable conditions for the proper handling and the settlement of the disputes among the claimants.

I also believe, like you, that China, the United States, and the other members of the Six Party Talks need to work together. Anything we can do together to promote a better atmosphere and a good dialogue among the parties concerned, and to work together to restart the Six Party Talks will be in the best interest of peace, stability, and security of the region. And this is also something, I think, which will be warmly welcomed by the participants of the meetings here, and by the international community.

So, I am looking forward to the meeting. I think there is a lot that China and the United States can do together in the Asia Pacific region so that this region will continue to enjoy peace, stability, and prosperity. Thank you.


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Well, I know there are people here who have been waiting all year for some pictures! I was so busy today, that I only had time to post the video and transcript of their press opportunity, so finally, here is a slideshow of Mme. Secretary with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the State Department today. Ahhhhh! I hear sighs of relief! The Hillary-drought ends with a little camera spray!

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Remarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
January 5, 2011


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SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. It’s once again a great pleasure for me to welcome the foreign minister. I’ve had the honor of working with him on a very regular basis ever since I became Secretary of State. We are preparing diligently for the upcoming state visit by President Hu Jintao. It’s very much anticipated and looked forward to. And both the minister and I feel a great sense of responsibility to ensure that it continues the positive, cooperative, comprehensive relationship between our two countries.

So again, Minster Yang, welcome.

FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: Thank you. Thank you, Madam Secretary, for your very warm remarks and very sincere remarks as well. And we would like to thank President Obama, thank Secretary Clinton, and thank all my American colleagues for working so hard with the Chinese side for the preparation of the state visit to be paid by President Hu Jintao to the United States later this month. This visit will occur against the ever-evolving international situation and it will happen during the first year of the second decade of this great new century and will happen on the 40th anniversary of the opening of China-U.S. relationship.

I think China-U.S. relationship is on the right track. We are confronted with common challenges and we are enjoying common opportunities. It is in the best interests of China and the United States and the world for us to continue to work better so that our relationship will bring more benefits to both our two peoples and to the people of the world.

I believe that the preparation is proceeding very well, and my job here is to do my little part for a successful visit. And I thank the American Government, particularly the President and Madam Secretary and Mr. Donilon for their warm hospitality, and let’s all work hard for an even more beautiful tomorrow of China-U.S. relationship.

Thank you, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Minister. Thank you all very much.

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Remarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Before Their Meeting


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 11, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m very pleased to welcome Minister Yang here to the State Department. I had a very productive and really good visit when he hosted me, and it’s very positive that he could come so soon and we can continue our discussions. Welcome so much, Minister Yang.
FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. I am very glad that the Chinese and the American foreign ministers could have an exchange of visits within just one month.
FOREIGN MINISTER YANG: And we are here to get prepared for our two heads of state meeting in London and to work together to push our relationship forward.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much.

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Remarks After Her Meeting With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi

Press Availability

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Treaty Room
Washington, DC
March 11, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I’ve just had a very productive meeting and luncheon with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang on a broad range of issues of mutual concern. As I said during my recent visit to Beijing, this is a very important relationship to both of our countries, and the United States intends to work together with China to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship, and to work together with China to address common challenges and seize common opportunities.
Minister Yang and I spent time laying the groundwork for the first meeting between our two presidents, which will take place at the London G-20 summit in April. We also consulted on preparations for the summit itself, and Minister Yang is heading over to see Secretary Geithner to continue that conversation.
The United States and China have a joint responsibility to help ensure that the summit yields tangible progress and concrete action steps toward a coordinated global response to stabilize the world’s economy and to begin a recovery.
We also covered a range of shared security challenges, including our efforts to achieve a denuclearized North Korea, to promote stability and progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and to address the challenges posed by Iran. We talked about how we could work together to address the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and stem the suffering of more than 1.4 million people who have been put at risk by the actions of the Bashir government.
On climate change and clean energy, we discussed the upcoming meeting between our special envoy for climate change and his Chinese counterpart.
Now, Minister Yang and I also spoke about areas where we do not agree, including human rights and Tibet. The promotion of human rights, as I have said many times before, is an essential aspect of American global foreign policy. It is part of our use and definition of smart power. And it’s essential in an era where we are emphasizing diplomacy and development.
It has been a core belief of ours that every nation must not only live by, but help shape global rules that will determine whether people enjoy the right to live freely and participate to the fullest in their societies. Indeed, our own country must continually strive to live up to our own ideals.
Our bilateral relationships cover a broad range of issues, but we make clear to all nations, including China, that a mutual and collective commitment to human rights is important to bettering our world as our efforts on security, global economics, energy, climate change, and other pressing issues. With that in mind, Foreign Minister Yang and I discussed the resumption of the human rights dialogue between our two countries. While we may disagree on these issues, open discussions will continue to be a key part of our approach. And human rights is part of our comprehensive agenda.
I also raised our concerns about the recent incident involving the U.S. Navy ship Impeccable and the PRC vessels in the South China Sea. We both agreed that we should work to ensure that such incidents do not happen again in the future.
There is no doubt that world events have given the United States and China a full and formidable agenda. And the United States is committed to pursuing a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China, one that we believe is important for the future peace, progress, and prosperity not only for both of our countries, but indeed for the entire world.
And I’ll be happy to take some questions.
MR. WOOD: First one to Arshad.
SECRETARY CLINTON: How are you, Arshad?
QUESTION: Good, thanks. Secretary Clinton, on the Impeccable, do you continue to believe that the U.S. ship was in the right, was in international waters, and was harassed by the Chinese vessels? And do you think that with your agreement to try to avoid these things in the future that the case is now closed, or this is going to be a continued irritant in the relationship?
And on the G-20 preparations, do you think that China has done enough to stimulate its economy? And how do you answer the view that, given how heavily indebted the United States is, particularly to China, that you don’t have that much leverage over them on these matters?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Very comprehensive questions. (Laughter.) With respect to the Impeccable, we have each stated our positions. But the important point of agreement coming out of my discussions with Minister Yang is that we must work hard in the future to avoid such incidents, and to avoid this particular incident having consequences that are unforeseen. And I appreciate the agreement that Minister Yang and I hold on this matter.
With respect to the G-20, the important outcome of the G-20 is a recognition and agreement among the countries participating as to the steps that we must take individually and collectively to stimulate a global recovery by stimulating demand and making investments that will bear fruit as quickly as possible. I think that the significant stimulus that the Chinese have already committed to is a very positive step.
There are a number of issues related to the outcome in London that will have to be worked through between not only our two countries but all of the countries participating. And there’s a lot of hard work to do between now and the summit in London. But there is a great commitment and willingness on the part of both our government and the Chinese Government to play productive and constructive roles in helping to move the world toward this recovery that will be essential not only to get jobs growing again, but also to alleviate the suffering of the poorest people in the world who will bear the brunt of a stalled or falling economy.
You know, we each come to this with different strengths and weaknesses. We are still the largest economy in the world. We are a flexible, agile, incredibly dynamic economy. I have no doubt about our capacity to recover. It’s not going to be easy and it, you know, will take some time, but I am absolutely confident. I think the Chinese are equally committed to stimulating growth, to being able to help push the global economic agenda as well.
Obviously, we will have difficulties in dealing with the economic challenges we face. For China, they’re an export-driven country; they need consumers to buy those exports. For us, going into deficits to the extent we must in order to put in place our recovery plan is something we’re going to have to deal with; we can’t just ignore it, even though it may be necessary now. So you know, we bring different strengths to the table that we’re trying to utilize on behalf of global growth now, and then we’ll have to deal, as you always do, with the consequences of the actions we’re taking now.
MODERATOR: Next question will be Kirit Radia from ABC News.
QUESTION: Hi, Madame Secretary. I’d like to pick up on your comments on human rights. You’ve been criticized by human rights groups, and most recently The Washington Post editorial page just yesterday, for pulling your punches on human rights in China, especially leading up to this meeting today. Despite that criticism, do you still stand by your position that human rights should take – should not take a back seat to economic and environmental concerns, get in the way of your agenda there? What explicitly did you ask the foreign minister to do today with regard to human rights in China and in Tibet, and what do you plan on asking them during this upcoming dialogue? Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, human rights is part of our comprehensive dialogue. It doesn’t take a front seat or a back seat or a middle seat; it is part of the broad range of issues that we are discussing. But it is important to try to create a platform for actually seeing results from our human rights engagement. It’s also important, as I said in my remarks, that, you know, that the United States live up to our own ideals, something that sets us apart as an exemplar of human rights. So the Obama Administration is absolutely committed to a robust, comprehensive human rights agenda. We’re going to look for ways where we can be effective, where we can actually produce outcomes that will matter in the lives of people who are struggling for their rights to be full participants in their societies.
So I think that there is no doubt about our commitment. We’re exploring different ways of being effective in delivering on that commitment, and whether it’s with China or any other nation, we’re going to continue to look for opportunities to not just talk about human rights, but actually to try to advance the agenda on human rights.
Later this afternoon, I’ll be giving awards to some extraordinarily courageous women who have stood up in their own countries against human rights abuses. We’re supporting them. We’re supporting their efforts, their organizations within their countries, to not only demonstrate the importance of human rights, but to actually make changes that will benefit the people that they are fighting for. So there are many ways that we’re going to pursue a human rights agenda.
MR. WOOD: I think we have a question from (inaudible). Please.
QUESTION: You mentioned the denuclearization of – in North Korea. And yesterday, Stephen Bosworth came back and you talked with him about his trip. My question is, what did you talk about with him yesterday, and did you talk about with foreign minister of China today, in case of a possible launch of a missile by North Korea? Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, Ambassador Bosworth gave me a full report about his productive meetings in Tokyo, Seoul, and Beijing. As you know, he was not invited to go to North Korea, which we regret. He was prepared to go on a moment’s notice to begin discussions with the North Koreans.
As I have been doing with all of our Six-Party partners – I did it last Friday night in Geneva, with Foreign Minister Lavrov, again today with Foreign Minister Yang – we believe in the Six-Party Talks, and we believe in the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. We are committed to that. We would like to see the Six-Party Talks resume at the earliest possible moment. We are outspoken in our opposition to the North Korean’s missile launch, and we believe that that is a unified position, and that each of the members of the Six-Party Talks have attempted to dissuade North Korea from proceeding.
And we are also agreed that we will discuss a response if we are not successful in convincing them not to go forward with what is a very provocative act. And there are a range of options available to take action against the North Koreans in the wake of the missile launch, if they pursue that, but also to try to resume the Six-Party Talks. Let’s not confuse the two.
The goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula remains a paramount goal, and the Six-Party Talks framework should be restarted so that we can begin to work on that.
We need to have a conversation about missile – missiles, and it’s not – it wasn’t in the Six-Party Talks. We would like to see it be part of the discussion with North Korea. But most importantly, we would like to see North Korea evidence in some way their willingness to re-engage with all of us and to work together on the agenda that they agreed to in the Six-Party Talks. And that’s what we’re working for.
Thank – oh, are you waiting?
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, may I just –
MR. WOOD: We can take one last question (inaudible). One last quick question, please.
QUESTION: Mike Lavallee from TBS.
QUESTION: Hi. Madame Secretary, I just kind of wanted to follow up on your – what you said about North Korea just now. First, with the Chinese minister, they see it a little bit differently than we do, whether it’s violating UN Resolution 1718, if they – launching for a satellite launch. And I was just wondering if you were able to get any headway about agreement on that with Minister Yang.
And secondly, it seemed like you were just saying now that even if they go ahead with a missile launch, that there still may be the possibility of continuing on with the Six-Party Talks. So I was just wondering if – is that the feeling, that they are completely separate issues and that we would be able to continue with Six Party even if there is a missile launch?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, of course, we won’t know until it happens. What we are trying to do is to restart the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible. We think that’s in everyone’s interest to do so, to continue the disablement of the nuclear facilities, to work toward the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. We believe that the missile launch, for whatever purpose it is stated to be aimed at, is in violation of the Security Council resolution.
I think that our partners in the Six-Party Talks are concerned about the missile launch. They are willing to address it if it does happen with us in a variety of ways, including the Security Council. But I don’t want to, you know, talk about hypotheticals. We are still working to try to dissuade the North Koreans. But it is important to recognize that the North Koreans entered into obligations regarding denuclearization that we intend to try to hold them to. And that is something we’re going to do regardless of what happens with their – with what they may or may not launch in the future.
These Six-Party Talks are the vehicle that we have, which have proved – which has proven to be effective, which did set forth a set of obligations which the North Koreans agreed to. And we would like to get back to those and begin discussions as soon as it would be feasible, and we’re pushing that right now.
Thank you all very much.
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Toward a Deeper and Broader Relationship With China


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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