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

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora