A Clinton Listening Tour, but China Gets an Earful (Updated)

The New York Times sums up Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to China:

The Clinton Straight Talk Express made its last big stop in Beijing on Sunday, with Mrs. Clinton explaining to a Chinese talk show host why China had better keep buying United States Treasury bonds.

“It’s a good investment, it’s a safe investment,” she told Yang Lan, the host of a show on Dragon Television.

The Chinese government, she said, has an even more compelling incentive to keep buying: it needs the United States to recover as a market for Chinese goods. To jolt the economy back to life, she added, the United States needs to be able to take on more debt.

“We are truly going to rise or fall together,” she said. “We are in the same boat and, thankfully, we are rowing in the same direction.” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner could not have said it better.

Meanwhile, economists predict that China will heed Clinton’s advice and keep buying U.S. bonds, AP reports.

Watch video of Clinton’s interview on Chinese TV:

Update: The Washington Post published an editorial on Clinton’s statements about human rights in China:

HILLARY RODHAM Clinton says she was only “stating the obvious” when she played down the importance of U.S. pressure on China about human rights issues during a visit there over the weekend. In fact, her comments understated the significance of what a secretary of state says about such matters, and how those statements might affect the lives of people fighting for freedom of expression, religious rights and other basic liberties in countries such as China.

February 23, 2009 12:22 PM
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