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Archive for the ‘Asia Tour’ Category

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’s return to China and her itinerary…

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

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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

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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 Clinton to build ties in Jakarta

In Asia Tour, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State on February 18, 2009 at 6:42 am

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on the second leg of her four-nation Asian tour.

hillary-jakartaDuring her brief visit, Mrs Clinton is scheduled to meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other senior officials.

They will discuss a range of issues including education and climate change.

But Mrs Clinton’s visit is also being carefully watched for signs of a new US policy towards the Muslim world.

This is in some ways the most intriguing part of her Asian tour.

The symbolism is powerful – her first visit to a Muslim majority country; a stable, democratic country, half a world away from the Middle East.

And in a sign of the breadth of expectations Mrs Clinton will face here, her welcoming party included both senior government officials, and students from US President Barack Obama’s old school.

‘Mutual respect’

Mr Obama spent some of his childhood in Jakarta and there is a lot of goodwill among Indonesians towards his new government.

He has already made it clear he wants a new kind of relationship with the Muslim world, based on “mutual interests and mutual respect”.

Mrs Clinton’s visit will be carefully watched for signs of that new engagement – and also for signs that Washington wants to develop closer ties with South East Asia.

Indonesian officials have privately said that is exactly what they are hoping for; that they would welcome closer co-operation with the new US administration.

Relations between the two governments grew markedly under former President George W Bush, with the normalisation of military ties and cooperation on counter-terrorism, following a spate of bomb attacks by Islamist groups here.

But they deteriorated among the population in general, as a result of US policies in the Middle East, and its invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

That is still what defines most attitudes here.

Many people say they welcome the symbolism of Mrs Clinton’s visit, and are pleased with President Obama’s election, but that they do not expect too much real change.


Hillary in Japan… follow her photo journey…

In Asia Tour, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, WordPress Political Bloggers alliance, WordPress Political Blogs on February 17, 2009 at 11:20 pm

Madame Secretary renewing old friendships, as with the Empress of Japan whom she met years ago when First Lady of the United States.

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Empress Michiko of Japan greeted visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo with a hug and a peck on each cheek, an unusually warm welcome in Japanese culture. Clinton started her first foreign tour as U.S. Secretary in Japan, but her warm reception was due to her past role as First Lady.

To start the day, Clinton participated in a purification rite and welcoming ceremony at a Shinto shrine to the father of modern Japan, Emperor Meiji. She said its message of ‘balance and harmony’ would set the tone for the Obama administration’s foreign policy, especially in tough economic times.

Hillary Clinton visits Meiji Shrine

In the several public appearances she made today, Hillary repeatedly stressed the importance of America’s relationship with Japan. She also announced that Taro Aso would be going to Washington next week, making him the first foreign leader to visit and meet with Obama since the new president took office .

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) is welcomed by Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso prior to their talks at Aso’s official residence in Tokyo February 17, 2009. Clinton is visiting Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China this week on her first foreign trip as U.S. Secretary of State.

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enters a town-hall meeting with students from Tokyo University in Tokyo February 17, 2009.


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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a town-hall meeting to  students from Tokyo University in Tokyo February 17, 2009

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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japan’s Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone attend at their joint news conference at the Iikura Guest House in Tokyo February 17, 2009.

Hillary illicits ‘STARPOWER’ upon her arrival in Japan…

In Asia Tour, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, WordPress Political Blogs on February 16, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Raw video of Hillary’s arrival in Japan sees her warmly received by high level officials. The press are going wild flashing pictures of the former First Lady, the “Face of America”.

(AP) Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Tokyo to begin her first trip abroad as President Barack Obama’s chief diplomat.. seen on the tarmack getting into her car with an aide and whisked away….(Feb. 16)

Hillary leaving Sunday for Asian Tour..

In Asia Tour, Bill Clinton, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, Rise Hillary Rise, Smart Power on February 14, 2009 at 12:10 am

WASHINGTON – Hillary Rodham Clinton departs Sunday on her first foreign trip as secretary of State, a visit to four Asian capitals that will feature talks on climate change, the economic crisis and the North Korean nuclear threat.

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Clinton’s eight-day mission will take her to Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China. The far East “was a logical choice for her to focus on,” and “signals that the U.S. recognizes the growing importance of Asia,” said Paul Stares, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.It also made sense, Stares said, because other senior Obama administration officials have already traveled to Europe, the Middle East and South Asia.

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country where President Barack Obama lived as a child, Clinton may lay the groundwork for a presidential visit later this year, Stares said. Visiting Jakarta is also “part of this attempt to reshape the United States’ image in the Muslim world, said Rodger Baker, director of East Asian analysis at Texas-based Stratfor, an intelligence company.

In China, Japan and South Korea, Clinton will focus on the future of the “six-party” talks about North Korea’s nuclear program, said Michael Green, a former senior director for Asian affairs in National Security Council. Russia and North Korea round out the six nations in the talks.

“I think it’s very important that she’s on listening mode,” said Green, who was among experts briefing Clinton at a Feb. 4 dinner.

Clinton will hear that Tokyo and Seoul, in particular, are still dismayed by what Green says was the Bush administration’s “dramatic shift from a very hard-line policy” to a gentler approach, with little to show for it.The governments of Japan and Korea “believe that we just don’t think we can denuclearize North Korea and we’ll be happy to contain the problem,” he said. “That’s a serious matter. Clinton this week cited “North Korea’s attitude in the last weeks” and said her talks will help “determine the most effective way forward.”

Hillary Clinton highlights Asia, China in first major speech

NEW YORK, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) — In her first major policy speech as U.S. secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday attached great importance to developing stronger relations and having closer cooperation with Asian countries, in particular China.

Addressing an audience at Asia Society New York Headquarters on the eve of her four-nation Asian trip scheduled to start on Sunday, the first foreign visit since she was sworn in on Jan. 21, Clinton said that Washington is committed to a new era of diplomacy and development in which Washington will use “smart power” to work with historic allies and emerging nations to find regional and global solutions to common global problems.

“In making my first trip as secretary of state to Asia, I hope to signal that we need strong partners across the Pacific, just as we need strong partners across the Atlantic,” she noted, calling Asia “a contributor to global culture, a global economic power, and a region of vital importance to the United States today and into our future.”

The secretary of state’s destinations include Japan, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea and China.

The United States and the Asian countries need to support and help each other in dealing with the gravest global threats today, which include financial instability and economic dislocation, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, food security and health emergencies, climate change and energy vulnerability, stateless criminal cartels and human exploitation, said Clinton.

While giving the audience a brief rundown of the key issues she will be addressing during her Asian tour next week, Clinton devoted much of the time to the U.S.-China relations.

The United States doesn’t see China on the rise as an adversary, said Clinton. To the contrary, the Obama administration believes that the United States and China can “benefit from and contribute to each other’s successes.”

Washington also believes it is “in our interest” to work harder to build on areas of common concerns and shared opportunities with China, she added.

“You know very well how important China is and how essential it is that we have a positive cooperative relationship,” said the top U.S. diplomat. “It is vital to peace and prosperity not only in the Asia-Pacific region but worldwide.”

“Our mutual economic engagement with China was evident during the economic growth of the past two decades, it is even clearer now at 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 noted.

“Even with our differences, the United States will remain committed to pursuing a positive relationship with China, one that we believe is essential to America’s future peace, progress and prosperity,” she stressed.

Citing an ancient Chinese saying that “When you are in a common boat, you need to cross the river peacefully together,” Clinton said that she believes the ancient Chinese wisdom must continue to guide both countries today.

The secretary of state announced that the two sides will resume mid-level military-to-military discussions later this month.

“And we look forward to further improved relations across the Taiwan Strait,” she added.

She also revealed that during her stay in Beijing, she would discuss with the Chinese leaders on the structure of broadening dialogue between the two sides, on the basis of the Strategic Economic Dialogue from the previous administration.

Speaking of her first stop in Japan, Clinton said that the United States’ security alliance with Japan, which will be 50 years old next year, “has been and must remain unshakable.”

“We anticipate an even stronger partnership with Japan that helps preserve the peace and stability of Asia and increasingly focuses on global challenges …,” she added.

The United States and Indonesia now “have an opportunity for stronger partnership in education, energy and food security,” stated Clinton, adding that the two sides are committed to pursuing such a partnership with a concrete agenda during her visit to the Southeast Asian nation.

Calling the Republic of Korea “one of our staunchest historic allies,” Clinton said that the two countries are committed to expanding trade in a manner that benefits both, and “we will work together to that end.”

“So I will leave for Asia Sunday with a firm commitment to working very hard with our partners across the Pacific,” she concluded in her nearly-half-hour speech.

The secretary of state also took the opportunity to offer peace to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in exchange for the latter’s complete abandonment of its nuclear project.

The Obama administration is committed to working through the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and normalizing relations with the DPRK, if the latter totally abandons its nuclear weapons program, she said.

If the DPRK is prepared to “completely and verifiably” abandon its nuclear program, the Obama administration will be willing to normalize bilateral relations with the country, she noted, adding that Washington will also assist Pyongyang in meeting its energy and other economic needs if that happens.

In her speech, Clinton also underlined Washington’s endorsement of “open and fair trade,” in an apparent attempt to soothe many countries’ concerns that the ongoing global financial crisis may lead to a fresh round of trade protectionism, particularly in the developed countries.

“(In the face of the financial crisis,) we cannot respond with a race to erect trade and other barriers. We must remain committed to a system of open and fair trade,” she stated.

The U.S. Congress’ push for a “Buy America” provision in the massive economic stimulus package proposed by the Obama administration has recently invited concerns from major trading partners of the United States, including Europe, Canada and Japan.

Link

UPdated: Live Video Webcast: The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton

In Asia Tour, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, news, Politics, Rise Hillary Rise, United States, WordPress Political Blogs, WordPress.com Political Bloggers Alliance on February 13, 2009 at 9:35 am

Special Event:


Live Video Webcast: The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State

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Date: February 13th

Time: 1:00 pm EST
Location: New York ,

Asia Society and Museum,

725 Park Avenue, New York

Cost: Please note: this is an invitation-only event.

Web: http://www.asiasociety.org/

Watch Asia Society’s live video webcast of The Honorable Hillary Clinton’s first major foreign policy speech on the eve of her upcoming trip to Asia. Vishakha N. Desai, President of the Asia Society, will be presiding.

Tune in to the free live webcast on the home page of AsiaSociety.org (www.asiasociety.org) just before 1:00 pm EST, on Friday, Feb. 13.

Click the WATCH LIVE ONLINE link.

Webcast viewers are encouraged to submit questions prior to or during the program to <moderator@asiasociety.org>.

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UPComing Live Webcast Events:

Panel Discussion:

The Global Food Crisis – Time for Another Green Revolution?

(with live webcast) Co-organized by Oxfam America global_food_crisis
Date: Februaury 20th

Time: 8:00 – 8:30 am, registration & breakfast; 8:30 – 9:30 am, program

Location: New York

Asia Society and Museum, 8th Floor, 725 Park Avenue, New York

Cost: $12 student w/ID; $12 members; $15 nonmembers
Buy Tickets Online
Phone: 212-517-ASIA

Speakers:


– Kevin L. Eblen, Vice President, Public Policy and Sustainability Lead, Monsanto
– Rajiv Shah, Director, Agricultural Development, Gates Foundation (invited)
– Dr. Robert Zeigler, Director General, International Rice Research Institute
– Raymond C. Offenheiser, President, Oxfam America (Moderator)

Please join us at Asia Society’s New York Headquarters, or online via free live video webcast, for the second program in Asia Society and Oxfam America’s Food Crisis Series. Webcast viewers can submit questions and offer comments by email during the webcast. Please send questions to moderator@asiasociety.org.

* * *
Policy programs at the Asia Society are generously supported by the Nicholas Platt Endowment for Public Policy.

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Remarks with President Arroyo of the Philippines

In Asia Tour, foreign policy, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Smart Power, Uncategorized, Washington, WordPress Political Blogs on February 6, 2009 at 11:57 pm

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The Philippines: A Close and Important U.S. Ally

Secretary Clinton (Feb. 6): “I am so delighted to welcome the president of the Philippines to the State Department. As you know, the Philippines is one of our closest and most important allies, not just in Asia, but on so many issues around the world. And we are very proud of the role and contributions that Filipino Americans have played in the United States over many years.”

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