Archive for February, 2009|Monthly archive page

Secretary Clinton with Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Cannon

In Canada, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton on February 25, 2009 at 7:41 pm

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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.


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.


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.

Secretary Clinton and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta

In foreign policy, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta on February 25, 2009 at 7:29 pm

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February 24, 2009

Photo Opportunity with Secretary Clinton and Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta. State Dept

Good afternoon. I’m so pleased to welcome you, Mr. President.


SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s such a pleasure to have you here.


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 and Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos on February 25, 2009 at 7:17 pm

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February 24, 2009

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos Before Their Meeting.



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.

State Department Releases Human Rights Reports

In Asia Tour, Human Rights, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, protest, sexism on February 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm

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February 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.

Hillary lights up Beijing…

In Asian Tour, humanity, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics on February 21, 2009 at 9:21 am

BEIJING, China (CNN) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with China’s top leaders Saturday, the last and most crucial stop-over in her Asia trip, signaling the new U.S. administration’s first attempts to lay a foundation towards a China policy.

hillary-in-bejingU.S. Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton meets Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Beijing Saturday.

Clinton met with Chinese President Hu Jintao and discussed the framework for further high-level and mid-level discussions.

“It is essential that the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship,” Clinton told a group of reporters.

Earlier on Saturday, Clinton met with Chinese Premier Wen Jibao in Beijing where they discussed what they regard as the new defining Sino-US strategic goals: the world economic crisis, regional security and the environment.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing February 21, 2009. Clinton said on Saturday the United States and China can pull the world out of economic crisis by working together.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing February 21, 2009. Clinton said on Saturday the United States and China can pull the world out of economic crisis by working together.

The U.S. and China
In a welcoming response, Yang said China was willing to discuss the often contentious subject.
Wen welcomed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Beijing Saturday afternoon as she made her inaugural visit to China since becoming Secretary of State.

Both leaders cited several Chinese proverbs in their discussions of bilateral relations.

Noting that Clinton has repeatedly voiced a willingness to develop positive and cooperative relations with China, Wen said this fully reflects the high importance that the Obama administration puts on developing Sino-US relations.

Wen stressed the need for China and the United States to cooperate on countering the impact of global financial turmoil.


“As the world is faced with the grim impact of the financial crisis, I very much appreciate a (Chinese) proverb you quoted that all countries should cross the river peacefully as they are in a common boat,” Wen said. The proverb is from The Art of War by Sun Tzi, an ancient Chinese military strategist.

“Another saying in the the book goes as ‘progress with hand in hand,'” Wend said.

Clinton echoed Wen’s comment by saying China and the United States have an opportunity to work closely together in the future.

“I quoted another Chinese proverb that ‘you should dig a well before you are thirsty,'” Clinton said,

referring to the need that the two countries should work together to address global challenges, including climate changes.

WPSlide Show

Hillary’s return to China and her itinerary…

In Asia Tour, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Smart Power on February 20, 2009 at 8:52 pm


Ben Moeling serves as the Deputy Political Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China and Overall Control Officer for Secretary Clinton’s Visit.

Secretary Clinton arrived in Beijing on a cold February night after a full day in Korea. Two senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were on hand to greet her officially, but hundreds of millions of Chinese people were also eagerly tuned in. The Secretary, or “Xi-la-li” as everyone in China refers to her with a tone both of familiarity and respect, is famous in China.

Speculation about her visit has been intense. Almost every Embassy officer, from vice consuls to the Charge d’Affaires, has received inquiries about her upcoming visit. Our Political, Economic, and Environment, Science, Technology and Health sections have been working for weeks with our Chinese counterparts on the arrangements. Finally, it’s game day. The Embassy is ready.

Press from all over the world have gathered. The Chinese government is giving her an exceptionally warm welcome, and tomorrow (Sat) she will meet with the President, Premier, State Councilor and Foreign Minister.

The warm response to Secretary Clinton’s first trip to China is literally overwhelming. Already, we’ve had to improvise. Our carefully arranged plan for her to meet the staff and families of U.S. Embassy employees had to be scrapped just yesterday because the number of RSVPs shot past the maximum occupancy of the venue we’d selected for the event. Despite the fact that the Secretary’s only available window is late on a Saturday afternoon, 430 people have already said they plan to come back to the office to see her.

I have noticed an incredible energy in the team that has come together to plan and execute this visit. This is not my first “S visit,” and I am used to working with dedicated and professional colleagues, but this is somehow different. Everyone is so deeply invested in the success of this visit, no matter how big his or her job. Dozens of people have come up to me and volunteered to assist. I am excited, proud (and a little awed) to be part of it myself.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day in U.S.-China relations.

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Hillary speaks on N Korea (video)

In Asia Tour, economy, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, Smart Power on February 20, 2009 at 8:39 pm

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Interview with Hillary Clinton at Dahsyat Studio… pt 1 + 2

In Asia Tour, Asian Tour, Hillary Clinton, Jakarta, Secretary of State on February 20, 2009 at 7:44 am

Hillary feeling the LOVE in Jakarta


Interview from SOS site:

Watch the “Dahsyat” interview on You Tube below:

“It’s an hour before show time, and I’m backstage at the “Dahsyat” (“Awesome”) studio in the Four Seasons Hotel, talking to supermodel, actress and host Luna Maya. “I’m so nervous!” she exclaims. It’s not every day that the host of the highest-rated youth TV show in Indonesia is jittery about interviewing a guest. But then again, Secretary Hillary Clinton is no ordinary guest. Used to chatting and joking with famous actors, singers and other celebrities, the idea of talking to the 67th U.S. Secretary of State leaves Maya and her co-host, news anchor Isyana Bagoes Oka, visibly shaken.”

“I try to reassure them, but it’s our Information Assistant Dian Agustin, who points out the irony of someone so famous being so star-struck. Both co-hosts laugh at this and visibly relax. Even so, there’s an air of tension and excitement and everyone from the stage crew to the station executives are anticipating Secretary Clinton’s arrival on set.”

“A daily celebrity- and music-focused variety and talk show, “Dahsyat” draws millions of viewers and is very popular with youth, enjoying many times more viewers than even the number-one national news program in Indonesia. Broadcast live on top-rated national TV station RCTI, the program is a mixture between the Tyra Banks Show and MTV, featuring celebrity guests and performances by major Indonesian recording artists.”

“Suddenly, we get the signal, and everyone snaps to attention. Secretary Clinton enters the room a few moments later and I introduce her to Luna and Isyana. The Secretary greets everyone and walks around the set, shaking hands, warmly greeting the crew and posing for dozens of photos before putting on her lapel microphone. The co-hosts take the stage, to introduce their special guest. The music swells, and right on-cue, Secretary Clinton walks on as the audience applauds.”

Madame Secretary Set to Make Impression on China

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, United States on February 19, 2009 at 6:32 am

hillary-chinaChina is looking forward to welcoming Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Beijing. This sentiment has been stressed repeatedly by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

Jiang says China sees this as an important high-level exchange between the two countries.

She says her government hopes the two sides can have in-depth discussions on Sino-American relations, the international financial crisis and other issues of mutual concern.

Speaking in New York before departing for Asia, Secretary Clinton said Washington sees a good relationship with China as essential.

“It is even clearer now, in economic hard times and in the array of global challenges we face, from nuclear security to climate change to pandemic disease and so much else.”

She listed other areas of American concern, including talks aimed at stopping North Korea’s nuclear program and China’s international peacekeeping efforts.

Human rights activists in China also hope that Secretary Clinton will put pressure on the Chinese government to improve its human rights record.

Ding Zilin’s son was killed by Chinese troops in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. Chinese authorities detained her in 1995, when then-First Lady Clinton was in Beijing for the United Nations Women’s Conference.

Ding says Hillary Clinton’s name is very familiar to Chinese people. She credits Clinton with lending her key support to successful efforts to get Ding out of detention.

She says she hopes Secretary Clinton can talk to Chinese authorities about Liu Xiaobo, a dissident who has been in detention for more than two months for helping to formulate a major human rights document called Charter 08. Among other things, it calls for multi-party democracy and legal reform.

Orville Schell, the director of the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, says he thinks there is another, more urgent, issue that “should move to the head of the line.” That issue is climate change.

“This is the challenge of our time. We are on the precipice of a very deep and threatening abyss,” Schell said.

He says this does not mean that other issues – such as trade disputes and human rights differences – are not important.

“But it also means, I think, that if the U.S. and China could successfully begin to gain some collaborative momentum on climate change, I think many of these other issues would become less intractable and more easy to resolve, because we would have, at the heart of the matter, some common purpose,” Schell said.

China and the United States are the world’s two largest emitters of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas that causes global warming.

Chinese Professor Sun Zhe directs the U.S.-China Relations Center at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. He also thinks Secretary Clinton’s talks with Chinese leaders will focus largely on environmental and economic issues.

“[The] main part will be climate change and energy cooperation, the financial crisis – this kind of more important things, more urgent things,” the professor said.

Sun says he thinks Secretary Clinton will mention human rights in some of her talks, to “express some American values.”

“Some of her views on human rights are already known in China,” Sun noted. “But people, at least as far as I know, the people from the ministries, policy practitioners, and in academia, people here in China, we understand her point of view, but we also think that China can work with her in other areas.”

Secretary Clinton arrives in China Friday. While in Beijing, she is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. She also is set to attend a church service, meet with civil society leaders and tour a Sino-American thermal power plant before leaving China, Sunday.


Hillary Clinton reaches out to Indonesia

In foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics on February 18, 2009 at 5:46 pm


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, accompanied by her Indonesian counterpart, Hassan Wirajuda, in Jakarta on Wednesday.

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Hillary’s message was warmly received by the country’s officials.

She said her choice of Asia for her first overseas trip as President Barack Obama’s top diplomat was “no accident” and a sign of the new administration’s desire for broader and deeper relations with the continent on regional and global issues. Indonesia and southeast Asia often felt overlooked by the George W Bush administration.

With President Barack Obama wishing to “reach out to the entire world”, Mrs Clinton said Indonesia would be an important partner in that effort.

“Certainly Indonesia, being the largest Muslim nation in the world, the third-largest democracy, will play a leading role in the promotion of that shared future,” she said.

Mrs Clinton, who arrived from a stop in Japan praised the country for its multi-ethnic democracy and efforts to fight terrorism while respecting human rights. Today [thurs] she heads to South Korea and then China.

Indonesia has powerful personal ties for President Barack Obama, who spent four years in Jakarta as a child. Among those who turned out at the airport to welcome Mrs Clinton were 44 children from his former primary school, singing traditional folk songs and waving Indonesian and US flags.

“It gave him an insight into not only this diverse and vibrant culture, but also the capacity for people with different backgrounds to live harmoniously together,” said Mrs Clinton.


Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Indonesian students wave to journalists upon her arrival at Halim Perdanakusuma airport in Jakarta, Indonesia on Feb. 18, 2009. Clinton moved to boost U.S. ties with the world’s most populous Muslim nation and its neighbors, pledging a new American willingness to work with and listen to Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Tatan Syuflana-AP