News / Asia

    Clinton: US Will Engage China Where it Can

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) shakes hands with staff members next to East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao (L) at the Prime Minister's office in Dili September 6, 2012.
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) shakes hands with staff members next to East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao (L) at the Prime Minister's office in Dili September 6, 2012.
    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Washington will not back away from differences with China about Syria and the South China Sea. Following a rough reception in Beijing Wednesday, Secretary Clinton told reporters in East Timor Thursday that the Obama administration will engage China where it can and stand its ground where it cannot.

    Clinton says it is no secret that the United States and China do not always see eye-to-eye.

    "The United States, certainly I, am not going to shy away from standing up for our strategic interests and expressing clearly where we differ. The mark of a mature relationship, whether it is between nations or people, is not whether we agree on everything," noted Clinton, "because that is highly unlikely between nations and people, but whether we can work through the issues that are difficult.

    Beijing talks

    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.


    Those difficulties were front and center in talks Wednesday with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi, who dismissed the validity of rival territorial claims in the South China Sea and criticized the United States for interfering in Syria's domestic affairs by supporting rivals to embattled President Bashar al-Assad.

    Despite that rough reception - which included personal attacks in the state-run media - Clinton said it was an important exchange of views ahead of this week's summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, this month's meeting of the U.N. General Assembly and November's East Asia Summit.

    Tensions between China and the United States have grown, with the Obama administration's greater economic and military focus on the region - its so called "Asia Pivot." Clinton says the pivot is not about confronting China. It is about sending a clear, unmistakable message that the United States will remain a resident Pacific power.

    "We are not here against any other country. We are here on behalf of our partnerships and relationships with countries in the region," Clinton said. "We happen to believe that Asia and the Pacific are quite big enough for many countries to participate."

    Partnership

    The secretary of state spoke to reporters in Dili following talks with East Timor Prime Minister Kay Rala Gusmao. Clinton says the United States wants his country to have as many partners as possible both in the region - Australia, Japan, China, and Indonesia and beyond - because Washington believes it is in everyone's interest to support democracy and economic development here.

    Clinton is the first American secretary of state to visit East Timor since its independence from Indonesia 10 years ago.  East Timor is one of the poorest countries in the region, with little infrastructure and an estimated 70 percent of people unemployed or underemployed.

    Asked about efforts to hold accountable those who committed human rights abuses during the fight against Indonesian occupation, Prime Minister Gusmao says what the young country needs more is peace.

    "It is difficult to talk about this when we need to have good relations with our closest neighbor [Indonesia] with which we have more than 70 percent of trade. We have to see the future, to move forwards," Gusmao said.

    He added that the country has a truth commission to look into "its own crimes and its own mistakes". As for a larger investigation into the past, the prime minister says, "One day in the future maybe it can be an issue that we can deal with."

    Photo Gallery: Hillary Clinton in Asia

    • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) autographs a sack of coffee beans with the flags of East Timor and the U.S. , at the Timor Coffee Cooperative in Dili September 6, 2012.
    • US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during a press conference in East Timor, Sept 6, 2012
    • U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) shakes hands with staff members next to East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao (L) at the Prime Minister's office in Dili September 6, 2012.
    • Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, right, talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after attending a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, September 5, 2012.
    • Clinton shakes hands with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing, September 5, 2012.
    • Clinton takes questions from the Chinese press during a joint press conference with her Chinese counterpart at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, September 5, 2012.
    • Clinton meets with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, September 5, 2012.
    • Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meets with Clinton in Beijing September 4, 2012.
    • Clinton waves as she departs Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, September 4, 2012.
    • Clinton speaks with ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan during a meeting at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, September 4, 2012.
    • Clinton shakes hands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono upon her arrival for a bilateral meeting at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, September 4, 2012.
    • Clinton meets with U.S. embassy staff and family members during a meet and greet in Jakarta, September 4, 2012.
    • Clinton speaks with ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan, Jakarta, September 4, 2012.
    • Clinton talks to Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa prior to their meeting in Jakarta, September 3, 2012.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Mulls Tough Measures for ‘Misbehaving’ Chinese Tourists

    Move comes after footage surfaced online of Chinese travelers harassing a banana hawker in Da Nang

    Pakistan Social Media Star's Honor Killing Fuels Debate

    Qandeel Baloch's murder puts spotlight on deadly tradition and other mistreatment of women

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Borderi
    X
    July 22, 2016 12:30 AM
    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.
    Video

    Video Number of Syrian Refugees Arriving in US Jumps

    The United States is committed to resettling 85,000 refugees from around the world by October. Of that number, 10,000 will come from Syria and already some 4,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States, many of them settling in the state of Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from Chicago, their arrival is not the end of a difficult journey to find peace and stability.
    Video

    Video Rio’s Trams Await Olympic Tourists

    Over the past century, many cities around the world replaced electric trams, prone to breakdowns and backups, with faster and more spacious buses. But for some reason restored antique trams are a huge tourist attraction. So it’s no wonder the authorities in Rio de Janeiro are busy restoring their city’s old tram line ahead of the Summer Olympic Games. VOA’ George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora