News / Asia

Clinton Meeting with Xi Cancelled

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, right, shake hands during her visit to Beijing, Sept. 4, 2012.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, right, shake hands during her visit to Beijing, Sept. 4, 2012.
VOA News
A senior U.S. State Department official says China's likely next president Xi Jinping has cancelled a meeting with visiting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The official says Xi's meeting was called off "for unexpected scheduling reasons," adding that his meetings with the Singaporean prime minister and a Russian official were also cancelled on Wednesday.

Clinton met earlier Wednesday with China's current President Hu Jintao and other senior officials in Beijing, for talks expected to be dominated by China's escalating territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

After arriving in the Chinese capital late Tuesday, Clinton met her Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and said Washington is "committed to building a cooperative partnership with China."  She also said the U.S.-China relationship is a key part of the Obama administration's policy of boosting U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

Clinton wants Beijing to work with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, on a code of conduct for preventing territorial disputes from escalating in the resource-rich South China Sea.

China claims almost the entire sea and opposes entering into multi-lateral negotiations that would give smaller ASEAN members greater clout.  Beijing prefers bi-lateral negotiations that would give it more leverage over rival claimants such as Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Earlier, Clinton was in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, where she urged Southeast Asian nations to reach agreement on dealing with China as a unified bloc.  She made the appeal in meetings with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan.

Wednesday, Clinton is to meet more Chinese officials, including President Hu Jintao, Vice President Xi Jinping and State Councilor Dai Bingguo.

Before those talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei warned against U.S. "interference" in the region's maritime disputes.

"We have noticed the United States has said many times that it will not hold a position on the South China Sea issue," said Hong Lei. "We hope they can keep their promises and do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability, not the opposite."

Chinese state media also published a series of articles criticizing U.S. policy in the Asia-Pacific on Tuesday. Communist party newspaper The Global Times accused Secretary Clinton of causing "profound mutual distrust" between Beijing and Washington and said "many Chinese people dislike" her. The Xinhua news agency labeled the United States a "sneaky trouble-maker."

Ralph Cossa, a security analyst at the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum, told VOA there is little chance of an all-out armed conflict between China and any of its rival claimants. But, he also said Clinton is unlikely to make any substantial progress on a code of conduct during her China visit.

"I am very pessimistic that a meaningful code of conduct will be established. There may at some point be something that's called a 'code,' but I doubt that it will have any verification or enforcement mechanisms. And, without that, it will be just another piece of paper that people will violate," said Cossa.

Washington has said it does not take sides in the sea disputes, but has been critical about China's increasingly assertive maritime claims. On Monday, Clinton did not criticize China directly, but said "no party should take any steps that would increase tensions or do anything that would be viewed as coercive or intimidating."

Clinton is in the middle of a six-nation Asian tour, her third to the region since May, as she helps implement Washington's strategic "pivot" toward the Pacific. It could be her last visit to China as secretary of state, as she has pledged to step down at the end of President Obama first term in office.

The top U.S. diplomat's talks in China also were expected to focus on human rights, as well as several other international issues, including the Syrian crisis and the Iranian nuclear program. Her last visit to China was overshadowed by the plight of Chinese dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng, who took refuge in the U.S. embassy and later fled to the United States after reporting abuses while under house arrest in China.

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Comment Sorting
by: Bring Our Jobs Back NOW from: Texas
September 05, 2012 12:29 PM
The USA needs jobs. We need to sever our dependence on Chinese products NOW. IMO If the President doesn't talk about bring OUR jobs back to the USA from China.......our employment picture will only get worse. People say forget those tens of millions of jobs lost to China, they can't come back. Really folks, do we have a choice?

Do we need to be held hostage by a nation which really doesn't care for us? Should we make our own appliances, TV sets, computers, toys, clothes, shoes and yes, Christmas ornaments? A better question is do we have a choice. If Obama wants to win he will have to declare "economic war" on China and the corporations who exported OUR jobs in search of greater profits.
In Response

by: john from: german
September 06, 2012 1:34 AM
well, US can stop all imports from China , in respond, China will also stop all imports from US. We hope both you buy things from Europe at that time.
In Response

by: Ian from: USA
September 05, 2012 2:05 PM
I agree with you, further more Canada, USA, Australia & the EU should only trade with each other and get rid of all the spies who live amongs us , some even take oath of citizenship yet betray us at every turns .
This is the latest article of chinese spies on VOA today (this is just one of many similar committed acts of treachery)

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
September 04, 2012 5:27 PM
South China sea and Diaoyu island belong to Taiwan and because Taiwan also belongs to China therefore South China sea and Diaoyu island belong to China too! This logic is very clear right?
In Response

by: Tokyo Boy from: Japan
September 05, 2012 9:20 AM
Senkaku islands belong to Okinawa and Okinawa also belongs to Japan,therefore Senkaku islands belong to Japan. And People's Republic of China,PRC,admitted Japanese Senkaku islands on People's Daily,the state media of Beijing,on January 8,1953 which exlained Senkaku islands belong to Okinawa.
And the former regime,Republic of China,ROC,also admitted Japanese Senkaku islands that they issued a certificate of appreciation on May 20,1920 to Japanese residents at Senkaku islands for rescuing Chinese fishing people. The
certificate of appreciation showed the adress of Senkaku islands are in Okinawa.
Poor Chinese,do you know them? If you are confident that Senkaku islands belong to China,file the issue at International Court of Justice, ICJ. Japan will respond to action.
In Response

by: Lewis Lauren from: China
September 05, 2012 4:36 AM
hey, hold on! The rigt logic is South China sea and Diaoyu island and Taiwan belong to China. I don't think it's appropriate to say South China sea and Diaoyu island belong to Taiwan. Plus, I can not believe Taiwan has the nerve to play a part in this whose participants are interationally recognized governments only.

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
September 04, 2012 5:25 PM
CCP and democratic Taiwan have exactly the same claims on South China sea and Diaoyu island. It is the prove that CCP is not aggressive. And the fact is South China sea belongs to Chinese!
In Response

by: Dave from: USA
September 05, 2012 12:06 AM
Looking at the map, I can see no way that China should have sovereignty over the disputed areas. You're biased.
In Response

by: rjc
September 04, 2012 11:54 PM
I think your attitude is an extreme position - like many Chinese - and makes no sense - and will end up isolating China in Asia in a similar way to what happened to Japan leading up to WWII. IF China is not careful ... it will shoot itself in the proverbial foot (or both feet). Look at the picture again . ... It makes absolutely no sense that China could claim this territory. It defies logic!

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