Italy: Reliable Partners and Leaders
Photo OpportunityHillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateSecretary Clinton and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini Before Their MeetingTreaty RoomWashington, DCFebruary 27, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning.
FOREIGN MINISTER FRATTINI: Good morning.
SECRETARY CLINTON: I am pleased to welcome the Italian foreign minister. It’s always good to see our friends from Italy – reliable partners and leaders on so many important issues. We have a very broad agenda to discuss, and I am delighted that we could have this opportunity.
FOREIGN MINISTER FRATTINI: Thank you very much. I am very grateful to Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton to have the opportunity to discuss very important points. I’m here, first of all, to confirm the full commitment of Italy, of the Italian Government, to work completely and very closely with the United States on international issues that are of common interest, ranging from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to Middle East, nonproliferation, and of course, strengthening Euro-Atlantic ties.
Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Minister Frattini.
FOREIGN MINISTER FRATTINI: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all.
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Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Hillary Clinton's Trilateral Meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi
U.S.-Pakistan-Afghanistan Trilateral Meetings To Be Held on a Regular Basis
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateTrilateral Meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta and Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood QureshiWashington, DCFebruary 26, 2009lf of the United States Government in thanking the delegations led by the foreign ministers for coming to Washington for these three valuable and unprecedented days of trilateral United States-Pakistan-Afghanistan talks. These have been in-depth, very specific, open, forthright, and I believe extremely useful.Our basic purpose was to exchange views on the strategic issues now being reviewed in our policy review by the Obama Administration. That goal has been amply fulfilled.
Now, these meetings would have been valuable even if they had simply been bilateral. If we had met with our Pakistani friends, if we had met with our friends from Afghanistan, that would have been important. But what makes these last three days especially meaningful is that they were trilateral. We have all been working together. There have been numerous meetings, including the full delegations, a dinner last night, and of course, this meeting today.
I therefore am very pleased to announce that we will continue this new trilateral format on a regular basis. Our next meeting is tentatively scheduled for late April or early May.
I thank my friends and colleagues. Both ministers have been extraordinary, eloquent, making very important statements. The representatives from both the civilian and military sectors of both governments have been not only forthcoming, but very receptive, listening one to the other. And I thank you for these talented delegations and for your participation and support.
Our three nations have a common goal, a common threat, and a common task. And my government commits itself to our friends and to the success of this common endeavor.
Thank you all very much.
Secretary Clinton Congratulates Kosovo's Progress in its Historic First Year as an Independent State
RemarksHillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateRemarks With Kosovar President Fatmir Sejdiu and Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim ThaciBenjamin Franklin RoomWashington, DCFebruary 26, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning. I was delighted to welcome President Sejdiu and Prime Minister Thaci and Foreign Minister Hyseni to the Department of State. I congratulated the president and the prime minister for Kosovo’s progress in its historic first year as an independent state. And it is a great privilege and honor to see the many accomplishments of Kosovo since the terrible time of repression and war 10 years ago.
The president and prime minister and I discussed the economic and political tasks ahead and the need to provide an increasingly secure and prosperous life for the people of this country. The president and prime minister outlined their vision of a multiethnic democracy at peace within itself and with its neighbors. The vision is reflected in Kosovo’s flag, whose stars represent the different peoples – Albanians and Serbs, Roma, Bosniacs, Turks, and others – who have their home in Kosovo.
I emphasized that the United States, working with our European partners, will continue to extend strong and substantial support for the world’s youngest democracy. I am just absolutely delighted, Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, to welcome you to Washington.
PRESIDENT SEJDIU: (Via interpreter) Thank you once again, Madame Secretary. I would like to thank you --
SECRETARY CLINTON: Can we just stop one second? Why don’t we bring Ms. Osmani out, and she can use a microphone out here, so that when the president finishes we’ll have consecutive translation; otherwise, none of the press will be able to hear a word that that the president says.
PRESIDENT SEJDIU: Okay, good.
SECRETARY CLINTON: So if we could get Ms. Osmani – in fact, Ms. Osmani, come stand – is there a microphone there that’ll work? Or here. Come stand with me.
This young lady is the chief of staff to the president. She did an excellent job interpreting for us when we had our meeting. So we’ll have the president speak, and then we’ll have Ms. Osmani speak.
MS. OSMANI: Thank you, Madame.
PRESIDENT SEJDIU: (Via interpreter) Once again, I would like to thank you, Madame Secretary, for this great opportunity to have discussions with you for the challenges in front of us and for the developments in our country, and to extend the gratitude of the people and the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo for the continuous support that the United States of America have given continuously to the Republic of Kosovo.
Without the role of the United States of America, Kosovo and its people would not have achieved this point of very important development and progress, and this has been a constant role of support that was given by all the administrations of the United States of America.
Of course, we had a brief discussion about the developments that have happened in Kosovo during the past year. We marked the first anniversary of the independence of Kosovo, the anniversary of the happiness of the children and the people of the Republic of Kosovo. This has been a year of Kosovo’s chance to prove itself as a democratic, multiethnic state, a state for all its citizens despite of their ethnicity. And it is a year where Kosovo has proved itself as a good neighbor for all the other countries around and its approach for good, neighborly relations with the countries.
We had the chance to express our vision that Kosovo is essentially interested to become a part of the European Union and NATO, and with a special bond and a special friendship that will continue forever with the United States of America. Kosovo has so far been recognized by 55 countries throughout the globe, and we were delighted to get a confirmation from the United States of America that we will continue to get their support in also getting the recognition from other countries, and also the support for a speedy economic development of our country, and the support for our vision to create a country which is democratic and a country for all its citizens. As I always say, God bless America and its people. We truly believe and we have faith in the United States of America, in President Obama and Secretary Clinton and her team, and all the people of the United States. We know that we will never be left alone. Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. Mr. Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER THACI: (Via interpreter) Dear Madame Secretary Albright -- (laughter) --
SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s all right. I’m still new.
PRIME MINISTER THACI: (Via interpreter) Madame Secretary Clinton, the people of Kosovo shall forever remain grateful, and the memories of your support to them will always remain fresh in their minds. They shall always remain grateful for your help, the help of the American people, and the help of the U.S. Government. We are very proud for the common work, the common progress that we have achieved. A few days ago, we marked the first anniversary of the independence of our country; of course, a year with a lot of progress, but with a lot of challenges at the same time.
We have been recognized by 55 countries and we have faith that a lot of more recognitions will come. We have installed good governance, which is transparent, multiethnic, and effective. At the same time, we are building a democratic order, a state that has privileged treatment and an affirmative approach towards all the minority communities. In the very near future, we expect Kosovo to become a member of the International Monetary Fund as well as the World Bank. We are building our state and respecting the territorial integrity of our country.
The independence of Kosovo has brought more peace, more stability, and more regional cooperation and a lot more of European perspective. On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, I would like to once again extend the gratitude for the support that you have given to Kosovo. I would like to thank you for your position on Kosovo and for the position of President Obama on Kosovo. The relations between the United States of America and the Republic of Kosovo will always remain excellent, Kosovo and its people vow in front of the United States of America and its people.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Mr. Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER THACI: Thank you very much, Madame Secretary. Thank you.
MR. WOOD: The first question from Sylvie Lanteaume of AFP.
QUESTION: I have a question for both President Sejdiu and you, Madame Secretary. Mr. President, the UN Yugoslav war crimes court today acquitted the former Serbian president who was accused of war crimes in Kosovo. Are you disappointed?
And Madame Secretary, Ambassador Feltman is meeting today with the Syrian Ambassador to Washington. Are the relations warming with the --
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear what you said.
QUESTION: Ambassador Feltman is meeting today with the Syrian ambassador to Washington. So I wanted to know –
SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, I’m sorry. I couldn’t understand what you were asking. Ambassador Feltman –
QUESTION: Yes. And so I wanted to know if relations are thawing with Damascus.
PRESIDENT SEJDIU:> (Via interpreter) Of course, we at all times have full trust in the verdict of the International Court, but at the same time, I have – I must emphasize that each and every court case needs to be analyzed in the best way possible. Enormous crimes, crimes against humanity took place in Kosovo, in Bosnia, and Croatia. And these murders were – crimes were committed by people who were leading the politics at that time. We call these murders with premeditation. Of course, there was always a person that led all of these genocidal policies against our country, but there were also those that were complicit to the crimes that were committed.
Unfortunately, parallel to the very high number of victims that Kosovo suffered as a result of the war, there is also a very high number of people, over 2,000 people, that are still missing in Kosovo, and their families know nothing of their whereabouts. For the families of those who lost their loved ones and who are missing their loved ones, the only spiritual thing that would help them get – feel better would be justice for those who committed the crimes.
SECRETARY CLINTON: As to your second question, we have regular interaction with the Syrians as a part of our normal diplomatic efforts. You know, it is too soon to say what the future holds. Obviously, we are working very hard, as is our Special Envoy, George Mitchell, to engage with not only the Israelis and the Palestinians, but all of the neighbors in the region and beyond. And we are going to pursue the commitment that we stated when we appointed our special envoy to try to bring parties together for peace and stability in the Middle East.
QUESTION: My apology on my voice. Madame Secretary, what’s your view on Belgrade’s destabilizing behavior and obstruction toward the consolidation of a new democracy in Kosovo? What will be future assistance of United States on building a practical democracy and economic development in Kosovo, and in helping the process of recognizing Kosovo’s independence from countries that they did not yet?
And I’m sorry –
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.
QUESTION: -- for the Kosovo delegation. (Via interpreter) Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister, we see you again at the Department of State within a very short time, meeting with the Secretary of State. I wanted to ask whether this means that this is another confirmation of the U.S. Administration for the support given to Kosovo.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me answer your question by starting with the question you asked the President and the Prime Minister. Support for Kosovo is bipartisan. It has been continued now into three administrations, starting with my husband, President Clinton, President Bush, and now President Obama. And as I told both the president and the prime minister, the United States stands with and behind Kosovo, and will continue to work with your country.
To that end, we are very pleased that 55 countries have recognized Kosovo, and we are encouraging many others to do so. We think it is in the best interests of many countries throughout the world to recognize this new democracy and to support it.
I also admire the way the president and the prime minister have proceeded in dealing with the remaining challenges posed with territorial integrity on your borders, internally, in dealing with your neighbors, particularly Serbia. I think that the very calm and reasoned, careful approach has earned Kosovo a lot of appreciation and admiration throughout Europe and beyond.
So as we deal with these problems, we will work with Kosovo. We will continue to help Kosovo try to resolve the remaining challenges that you face. But I think by any fair measure, the last 10 years has been miraculous, and the last year of independence has been a real tribute to the leadership and the people of Kosovo, which is evolving into a multiethnic democracy. The president told me something I did not know, that since independence, not one Serb has left Kosovo, and in fact, others have returned. It’s that kind of confidence building and trust building that is essential to the future success of Kosovo, and I compliment you.
PRIME MINISTER THACI: The support from the United States of America has been extraordinary at all times. We shall never forget the support, the strong support from President Clinton in 1998 and 1999, who with all its potentials, did everything that was possible in order to stop the crimes against our people and to have them all returned to their homes. Secretary Clinton was a person who herself visited the refugees from Kosovo in the ‘90s, and the memories of her visit will always remain fresh in the minds of our people. The people of Kosovo very much (inaudible) and are thankful for the continued support, as well as the strong position from President George W. Bush, who said enough is enough, and this is what happened.
Now we are marking the first anniversary of the independence of Kosovo, and the fact that now we are standing close to Secretary Clinton is yet another sign that the support of the United States of America and its commitment towards Kosovo will continue. All the progress that we have achieved was a common progress, and we are committed and we pledge that we will continue to do so.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all very much. Thank you, Mr. President.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Poland: One of Our Closest Allies
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateRemarks with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski Before Their MeetingWashington, DCFebruary 25, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: It is a great pleasure to welcome the foreign minister here. You know, Poland is one of our closest allies, and our relationships between our two countries, particularly the Polish American community and the many contributions that they’ve made, make this an even more special partnership. So, welcome Mr. Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER SIKORSKI: (In Polish.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much.
Brazil: Opportunities and Responsibilities
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateSecretary Clinton and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso AmorimTreaty RoomWashington, DCFebruary 25, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I am so pleased to welcome the foreign minister of Brazil to the State Department. Mr. Minister, our countries have a great set of opportunities and responsibilities.
FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM: That’s important, then.
SECRETARY CLINTON: That’s what we’re going to do.
FOREIGN MINISTER AMORIM: That’s important.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much. Thank you all.
# # #
U.S., Colombia: Much in Common
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateSecretary Clinton and Colombian Foreign Minister Jaime Bermúdez Merizalde Before Their MeetingTreaty RoomWashington, DCFebruary 25, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: I’m delighted to welcome the foreign minister of Colombia here. It’s a real pleasure to have the representative of a country that has made so many strides and so much progress, and we have a lot to talk about because there is so much we have in common to work on. Welcome.
FOREIGN MINISTER MERIZALDE: Thank you very much.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER MERIZALDE: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you all.
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The State Department's 2008 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
RemarksHillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateWashington, DCFebruary 25, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: I apologize for being a little late. This is such an important event in the annual calendar of the State Department.
You know, human progress depends on the human spirit, and this inescapable truth has never been more apparent than it is today. The challenges of this new century require us to summon the full range of human talents to move our nation and the world forward. Guaranteeing the right of every man, woman and child to participate fully in society and to live up to his or her God-given potential is an ideal that has animated our nation since its founding.
It is enshrined also in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and was reflected in President Obama’s Inaugural Address when he reminded us that every generation must carry forward the belief that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.
Our foreign policy must also advance these timeless values which empower people to speak, think, worship and assemble freely, to lead their work and family lives with dignity, and to know that dreams of a brighter future are within their reach. Now, the promotion of human rights is essential to our foreign policy, but as a personal aside, I have worked for many years and in various capacities on the issues that are encompassed under the rubric: human rights. It is of profound importance to me and has informed my views and shaped my beliefs in ways large and small.
As Secretary of State, I will continue to focus my own energies on human rights, and I will engage as many others as I can to join me, both through traditional and untraditional challenges. I am looking for results. I am looking for changes that actually improve the lives of the greatest numbers of people. Hopefully, we will be judged over time by successful results from these efforts.
To begin, not only will we seek to live up to our ideals on American soil; we will pursue greater respect for human rights as we engage other nations and peoples around the world. Now, some of our work will be conducted in government meetings and official dialogues. That’s important to advancing our cause. But I believe strongly we must rely on more than one approach as we strive to overcome tyranny and subjugation that weakens the human spirit, limits human possibility, and undermines human progress. We will make this a global effort that reaches beyond governments alone. I intend for us to work with nongovernmental organizations, businesses, religious leaders, schools and universities as well as individual citizens, all of whom can play a vital role in creating a world where human rights are accepted, respected, and protected.
Our commitment to human rights is driven by our faith and our moral values, and by our belief that America must first be an exemplar of our own ideals. But we also know that our security and prosperity and progress is enhanced when people in other places emerge from the shadows to gain the opportunities and rights that we enjoy and treasure.
It is now my pleasure to bring to the podium Karen Stewart, Acting Assistant Director* for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, who will present the report and take your questions. Karen?
Thank you. Thank you all very much.
Secretary Clinton Welcomes Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Remarks With Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis Before Their Meeting
February 25, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am so pleased to welcome a friend to Washington and to the State Department. She’s no stranger to either, but it’s a great honor for me to have you here in my new capacity.
FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYANNIS: Thank you, Madame Secretary. It’s a pleasure to be back in Washington.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.
FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYANNIS: And I’m looking forward to working with you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Me too. Thank you. Thank you all
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos Before Their Meeting
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateWashington, DCFebruary 24, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning.
FOREIGN MINISTER MORATINOS: Good morning.
QUESTION: Madame Secretary, can you say a few words about what you plan for the Gaza donors’ conference?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are still working on that. We have made no decisions, and we are working across the government to determine what our approach will be. And I’m looking forward to attending. But you know, there’s still a lot of work to do. Thank you all very much.
Photo Opportunity with Secretary Clinton and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateTreaty RoomWashington, DCFebruary 24, 2009View Video
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I’m so pleased to welcome you, Mr. President.
PRESIDENT RAMOS-HORTA: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s such a pleasure to have you here.
PRESIDENT RAMOS-HORTA: Thank you.
QUESTION: So, Madame Secretary, what will be your title for Dennis Ross? Is it a special advisor on Iran? (Laughter.)
SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, there is so much work we’re doing, I’m so pleased to have so many good people helping me.
QUESTION: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.
Photo Opportunity with Secretary Clinton and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateSecretary Clinton and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon Before Their MeetingTreaty RoomWashington, DCFebruary 24, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Hello. This is a big week for Canada, and I just expressed the appreciation that we feel for the wonderful welcome and hospitality that President Obama received on his visit. And I’m delighted to have you here.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Well, I am very pleased to be here, Madame Secretary, and particularly after that great visit in Canada. And hopefully, we’ll have you there in Canada very shortly to be able to match that.
SECRETARY CLINTON: You know, I --
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: I’m sure you’re going to be very well received as well.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. I’m looking forward to it. I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Canada, and I had one memorable visit when we had a state visit, and I got to skate on the canals in Ottawa. That was a personal highlight, so thank you all very much.
FOREIGN MINISTER CANNON: Thank you.
QUESTION: Happy Mardi Gras.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Now, Matt, I am so happy to know that you’re on top of what’s going on. (Laughter.)
QUESTION: The most important things.
SECRETARY CLINTON: It is the most important thing. I’m just surprised you’re here covering this instead of out celebrating. (Laughter.) Nice to see you all.
Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of StateWashington, DCFebruary 24, 2009
SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. I was very pleased to welcome the minister and his delegation here to the State Department. As you know, we are consulting very closely with the Government of Pakistan on our strategic review of our way forward. And I’m very grateful for the minister’s advice and counsel, and I look forward to further discussions and to having him back here tomorrow night for dinner along with his counterparts from Afghanistan.
Thank you, Mr. Minister.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: Thank you.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It was a pleasure. Thank you all very much.
QUESTION: Mr. Minister, do you have any concerns that the 17,000 troops announced by President Obama going into southern Afghanistan will push the Taliban further into areas of Pakistan like Baluchistan? And Secretary Clinton, did you assure the minister that you’ll work with Pakistan on that?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we’re going to save our comments for when we have something to say about the results of our joint efforts. And there is a very open and fully consultative – a full consultative process which we will be working on, and many of these issues will be discussed among us.
Thank you all very much.
FOREIGN MINISTER QURESHI: We had an excellent meeting. There’s a convergence between us, there’s a willingness to work together, and I see a lot of hope in the new Administration, the new leadership. And Pakistan is willing to work with the American Administration to fight extremism and terrorism. We are determined to defeat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Dragon TV Interview: Developing a Comprehensive, Integrated Dialogue With China
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of StateInterview With Yang Lan of Dragon TVBeijing, ChinaFebruary 22, 2009
MS. YANG: But this is a beautiful Embassy.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Isn't it? I am so proud and impressed by it. It took a long time to build, but it is very beautiful and very functional. And the architecture is Chinese-inspired, so it's really a wonderful addition to our embassy community.
MS. YANG: And so you are going back today, right?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes. I have to go back today.
MS. YANG: And just in time to celebrate your daughter's 29th birthday.
SECRETARY CLINTON: That's true. She will be 29 on Friday. And I am very much looking forward to seeing her for a birthday dinner.
MS. YANG: Okay. So what kind of path do you like to see her take? I know she has been studying health policy and management at Columbia.
SECRETARY CLINTON: That's right. I think she is someone who charts her own path, and I am very impressed and delighted at the choices that she has made. I just, like most mothers, want her to be happy and have a good life. And that is really all I wish for her.
MS. YANG: Does she resemble you in the ways that she does things?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I think she is a good combination of both her father and me. She has a very wonderful personality, and she is a hard worker, and she is a good friend and a caring person. So I am just very happy to be her mother.
MS. YANG: I know you have just had a dialogue with the Chinese women. Some of them you have known for 11 years. Well, to the younger generation of women, like your daughters, what kind of advice would you like to give to those who aspire to succeed and lead, but could be afraid of failure?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that's a good way of phrasing the question, because I think that overcoming your fears, whether you're a young woman or a young man, to be willing to take a risk, to try something different, to follow your heart, to pursue your dreams, takes a certain level of courage.
And I just try to tell young people who ask me all the time what I think about the best way forward is to be true to themselves, you know, to listen to their own heart, to do what gives them joy in life, and meaning in their public and professional careers. And I think if you do that, you may change, you may take a different path. But if you can keep focused on what you believe is important, I think that's the best way to proceed.
MS. YANG: Let's get back to this trip. In your testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, you suggested that U.S. should use smart power to handle international issues. How is that approach, or strategy, reflected in your Asian trip, especially your trip to China?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it is our goal in the Obama administration to reach out to the rest of the world using every tool at our disposal. I like to talk about the three D's of our foreign policy: defense, diplomacy, development.
We want to emphasize, particularly, diplomacy and development. And what I have tried to do in the month that I have had this position is to make clear that we will represent and defend the interests and the security and the values of the United States, but we want to listen.
We are different countries and different cultures. China and the United States have very different histories. And we need to understand each other better so that we can find more common ground. And I was encouraged by my talks with your leadership, that there are a number of areas we can work on together.
We are constructing, and have agreed, in principle, to a strategic and economic dialogue that will not only include the economic crisis, which is very important, that China and America lead on a recovery, globally, but clean energy and climate change, and more educational exchanges, and people-to-people exchanges, more work on health care, medicine, science.
I want to deepen and broaden the connections, not only between government officials, as important at that is, but between all kinds of Chinese and Americans.
MS. YANG: You know, former Treasury Secretary Paulson used to champion the U.S.-Sino dialogue in the structure of the Strategic Economic Dialogue. Have you convinced President Obama to let the State Department take back the reigns? And, if so, what kind of new framework of dialogue are we talking about?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, we are going to have a comprehensive, integrated dialogue. It will be co-chaired by myself and the Treasury Secretary, because I think there was an awareness that our prior engagement at the dialogue level, government-to-government, was very heavily dominated by economic concerns, and by traditional Treasury priorities. They are very important but that is not the only high-level dialogue that needs to occur.
So, we have always had a lot of interaction at many levels of our governments. But what we want to do is to integrate those, and to have our two Presidents, when they meet at the G-20 summit in April, announce the mechanism that we will be pursuing now.
MS. YANG: Have you found the terminology to define the relationship between our two countries? Because under your husband's administration we called it "constructive strategic partnership," and then, in the Bush administration we called it "stakeholders." Have you found the new words yet?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I'm not as interested in the words as in the actions. I think that we have evolved dramatically in our relationship over the 30 years that we have had diplomatic relations. China has grown just exponentially in a way that is a real tribute to the people of China.
But what we now need to do is demonstrate that the United States and China can work productively together, not only on those issues that we have bilateral concerns over, but to show leadership to the rest of the world.
If you just take two major issues confronting the world, I don't think it's realistic to expect that we will see global recovery without Chinese and American cooperation and leadership. I know that it is not realistic to expect that we can deal with global climate change without the United States and China working together.
So, what we are talking about is very concrete and specific. It is not so much the description, as the reality and the content of what we will do together that we're focusing on.
MS. YANG: Okay. You quoted Chinese story, (speaks Chinese), which means, "We are in the same boat" to tackle economic crisis.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.
MS. YANG: Yet, at the same time, the "Buy American" rhetoric triggered another round of fear of protectionism. How would the U.S. government reconcile the international responsibility with the demand of domestic constituencies?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, President Obama was very quick to act, and to make clear that we are not going to engage in protectionism. And, with respect to the provision that was in the stimulus package, it must be compliant with our international agreements.
We know that a round of protectionism is not in America's interests. It's important that we work with countries like China, and others, to establish a framework for renewed economic growth and prosperity.
Now, we also have work to do at home. Not only do we have to stimulate our economy, but we have to be working to enhance our manufacturing base, work on our automobile industry. So we have a lot of internal decision-making that is important to our economic future. And I think China does, too. mean, China is stimulating your economy at the central government level. You are looking to deal with problems like migrant workers who no longer have jobs.
So, we each have our own internal domestic challenges. But we cannot solve those at the expense of generating global growth again, which will benefit both of our people.
MS. YANG: You certainly have your hands full, with all sorts of challenges and problems around the world, from Iraq to Gaza Strip, from nuclear proliferation to climate change. And then, of course, the economic crisis.
How would you set an achievable target for your term, as secretary of state?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, it's true, that we have come into office at a time of so many problems. You mentioned a few of the most well known. I don't know that we can pick and choose. It's one of the reasons why I have advocated the appointment of special envoys, because I think we need, as they say, all hands on deck. Everyone has to work hard together to try to untangle some of these problems, to look for solutions where possible.
So, I don't have the luxury of saying, "I will only work on this." I have to be very conscious of everything going on in the world. But I did choose to come, for my first trip, to Asia, because I want to send a clear message that the United States is both a trans-Pacific, as well as a trans-Atlantic power, and that much of what we see as the potential for positive growth and good relations in the 21st century will come with Asian countries like China.
MS. YANG: Thank you very much for your time, although it falls short of my questions. Well, can I squeeze just one more?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Sure.
MS. YANG: Do you think that China should further invest into American treasury bonds? Because there is a debate here - with unclear future, we should stop buying more.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I certainly do think that the Chinese government and the central bank here in China is making a very smart decision by continuing to invest in treasury bonds for two reasons.
First, because it's a good investment. It's a safe investment. Even despite the economic challenges sweeping over the world, the United States has a well-deserved financial stability reputation.
And, secondly, because our economies are so intertwined. The Chinese know that, in order to start exporting again to its biggest market, namely, the United States, the United States has to take some very drastic measures with this stimulus package, which means we have to incur more debt.
It would not be in China's interest if we were unable to get our economy moving again. So, by continuing to support American treasury instruments, the Chinese are recognizing our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together. We are in the same boat. And, thankfully, we are rowing in the same direction, toward landfall.
MS. YANG: Okay. So we have to keep rowing?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.
MS. YANG: Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.
The U.S. and China Working Toward Clean EnergyRemarksHillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of StateOnline Chat Moderated by Professor Qi Ye, Hosted by China DailyBeijing, ChinaFebruary 22, 2009
PROFESSOR QI: First of all, our netizens are very much interested in learning how your family -- you know, you, your family, former President Clinton, Chelsea -- do the environment - the energy conservation.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, let me thank you for having me be able to speak to the netizens – I like that phrase -- and I am so pleased that you are focusing on such an important topic as energy efficiency and climate change.
PROFESSOR QI: Right.
SECRETARY CLINTON: In our own lives, we have tried to be much more conscious of what we should do. So, for example, we use compact fluorescent bulbs, which are less of a drain on the electricity grid. We have installed more high-energy resistant windows, more insulted windows. We have, obviously, insulated our utilities and our homes. We have also recycled, so that we are trying not to add to the landfill waste more than absolutely necessary.
And my husband, of course, with the Clinton Foundation, is running a climate change program with, I think, 40 cities around the world working on higher energy efficiency, and so much else. So, we have tried to do more, but we are constantly asking ourselves what more we can do.
PROFESSOR QI: Great, thank you. And during this trip you have emphasized this cooperative -- this positive cooperation. Would you mind to elaborate a little bit on that, you know, how that is going to work for this China-U.S. cooperation on environment, energy, and climate change?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, as part of the agreement in principle that we announced yesterday between myself and Foreign Minister Yang, we will enter into strategic and economic dialogues co-chaired by myself and the Treasury Secretary.
And one of the most important tracks will be clean energy and climate change. We wish to create a series of actions and partnerships between our countries, between our businesses, our academic institutions, our citizens. And we hope to work together in the lead-up to Copenhagen at the end of this year, with a new climate treaty. We hope that there will be many opportunities, as I saw for myself yesterday, for partnerships between American companies and Chinese companies to produce cleaner energy. And our new Energy Secretary, Dr. Steven Chu, wants to work to help create more intellectual property that would be jointly designed and implemented by Chinese and American researchers.
So, we are just at the beginning of this cooperative relationship on clean energy and climate change. But I am very hopeful that it will continue to grow.
PROFESSOR QI: Great. Does this mean the 10-year framework, the cooperative effort developed during the strategic economic dialogue is going to continue, and is going to work through all these areas related to environment, climate change, and energy conservation?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, and we are going to build on the 10-year strategic dialogue about climate change and clean energy. We want to expand it even more and I was heartened by the commitments shown by the Chinese government to Copenhagen, that they want to participate and look for how the Chinese economy and the Chinese policies can contribute to lowering emissions.
Historically, as you know, the United States is the greatest emitter. But this year the Chinese surpassed us. And we can't look at per capita basis, we have to look at absolute emissions, and how we reverse that. So this is going to be an expanded aspect of our dialogue.
PROFESSOR QI: There is no question that China and the U.S. are the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. And that is also a very important reason for the two to work together. And when the two governments working hard, trying to get kind of agreement, you know, one of the things is to find a common base.
In the 20 years, the 2 decades from 1980 to the year 2000, the energy efficiency here in China actually doubled. And, according to the current policies and programs, the energy intensity is going to further cut by 20 percent, which means the carbon emission is going to be 3 times -- based on that program -- it's going to be 3 times as much as the entire EU commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.
My question is, is this the kind of effort that can build the base for bilateral -- maybe a multi-lateral -- cooperation, looking into the future, say Copenhagen agreement?
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, that's what we're going to explore together. One of the challenges is the way that the emissions are calculated, because, as you point out, certainly there has been efficiency achievements here in China, as there has been in the United States. But we are still emitting too much.
And, as China continues to develop -- one of your ministers said to me yesterday that more and more Chinese people want more and more appliances, as you should. I mean, you should have a rising standard of living. It is not anything that the United States or any other country should, in any way, criticize. I mean, the people in China deserve to have a rising standard of living.
We just don't want you to make the same mistakes we made. So that, instead of just building more coal-fired power plants, which may be slightly more efficient but still large emitters, how do we work together so that you get your energy needs met without putting more absolute greenhouse gas emission totals into the air?
So, we are going to explore that. But I was very pleased at the openness that was exhibited yesterday. You know, nobody has all the answers. We have to work together in ways that can discover new answers that will be effective in dealing with this global threat.
PROFESSOR QI: Right. You made this same statement yesterday -- which I very much agree on -- when speaking to the students and scholars at Tsinghua University. You said, you know, "China and U.S. should work together to avoid the kind of mistakes that the U.S. made in the past."
I wonder if you could name some of those mistakes, and how we're going to work together to avoid that.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I will give you one example. Back in the early 1970s, when the price of oil shot up, and the cost of gasoline shot up, individuals and governments under President Carter -- and President Ford before him -- tried to impose conservation measures, and tried to encourage the development of higher gas mileage cars, and more energy efficiency.
In the early 1980s, the price of gasoline went down. So everybody in America said, "Oh, well, we don't have to worry about that any more, and we don't have to have gas-efficient cars, we can continue to have very inefficient cars." And it was a mistake.
It set us back. Now, if you compare what our entire country did with what one state did -- California kept pushing energy conservation. California tried to push higher gas mileage cars. And, today, California still has a lower-per-capita use of electricity because of efficiency measures than the rest of the United States.
So, we made a mistake. People thought, "Oh, we don't have to worry about it any more." We know we have to worry and we are trying to be good partners, and coordinate with other countries, including making our own changes.
PROFESSOR QI: Right, right. Well, that's a great point. Moving into the next phase, Copenhagen. IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, proposed 25 to 40 percent of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions for the developed countries in order to avoid a dangerous deterioration of the climate. Do you think that's possible for the U.S. - that 25 to 40 percent cut by the year 2020?
SECRETARY CLINTON: I think that a great deal is possible. Very much of it is technically possible. Our challenge now is to make it politically and personally possible. And that is what President Obama is committed to doing, is, with our stimulus money, which was a very significant down payment on modernizing our electric grid, on incentivizing changes in building construction and design, and retrofitting federal buildings.
The science and technology is possible for us to be much more energy efficient. In fact, concentrating on energy efficiency more than renewable energies is a very obvious way of trying to move toward our targets. We just have to convince enough of our fellow citizens to agree with us.
You started by asking what my family does. Well, we have tried to change our mental attitude - turning off appliances, turning off lights. My late father grew up with the belief that you didn't waste things like electricity. So, we would turn off the furnace at night. We would turn off all the lights when we left a room.
And then, I confess, we got a little bit less aware. And I think most Americans did. So we weren't paying attention. We had so many utensils, appliances plugged into the walls and draining electricity all the time, and we would walk out of a room with all the lights on, and our big buildings would be lit all night long, and we wasted a lot of energy and we wasted a lot of money. We can't do that.
And so, being more efficient will take us a long way toward what we need to achieve. But it is also clear that it is not only the developed countries, it is economies like China and India that have to become full partners.
How you do it, given your challenges, is something we want to work on, because we will have different approaches. And Kyoto recognized that. Different approaches to common objectives is how we have to consider the Copenhagen treaty.
PROFESSOR QI: Great. And it is great to see such a great level of optimism. And thank you so much for being with us.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. It's a pleasure.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009
Toward a Deeper and Broader Relationship With China
RemarksHillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of StateRemarks With Chinese Foreign Minister Yang JiechiBeijing, ChinaFebruary 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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