U.S. Prepares to Broach Hard Issues With China

As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to go to China, many are asking what shape diplomatic discussions will take, especially as she intends to open dialogue on topics such as the environment and international security issues. From Mark Landler of the New York Times:

With Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton scheduled to visit Beijing next week as part of her first foreign trip in her new job, the administration is said to believe that a broader relationship with the Chinese could create opportunities for collaboration — not only on a response to the global economic crisis, but also on the environment and on security issues like the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs.

Yet the new focus, which is being championed by Mrs. Clinton, carries risks, experts said, because it could aggravate tensions on delicate issues like China’s repression of Tibet and its position as the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gases.

An added hurdle for Mrs. Clinton, these experts said, is that the United States urgently needs China’s support on the economic front. Putting new issues on the table now may complicate efforts to seek Beijing’s help in areas like financial regulation and stimulus campaigns.

February 10, 2009 9:49 PM
Posted By: