Hillary Clinton in China for Economic Talks, Visits Shanghai Expo

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the U.S. pavilion at the Shanghai Expo today, the Washington Post reports:

Clinton toured the American and Chinese pavilions at Expo 2010 Shanghai China, exchanged pleasantries with local officials, cooed over children’s artwork, hobnobbed with the expo’s Gumby-like mascots and was serenaded by scattered calls of “We love you, Hillary!”

“I’m just relieved,” Clinton said when asked how she felt about the experience.

She has reason to be. When she took office in January 2009, U.S. participation in the event was questionable. The group pushing for it had little money and even less direction. It looked as if the United States would miss a jamboree of 189 nations and what its organizers claim will be the biggest staged event in human history. China’s government is believed to have poured $50 billion into the event and says it is expecting 70 million visitors over six months. Missing out on the fair would have sent a bad signal about how much Washington values its relations with Beijing.

For more on the history of and controversy over the U.S. pavilion, read Adam Minter’s reporting on Shanghai Scrap, including his most recent post, “Hillary Clinton on the USA Pavilion @ Expo 2010: “It’s fine.””.

Hillary Clinton is in China to attend the U.S.-China Economic Talks next week with U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Read more about the summit:

Prospects For The U.S.-China Summit from Forbes
A Weighty U.S.-China Dialogue from the Council on Foreign Relations
How Many Officials Can You Fit In a Single Summit? from the Wall Street Journal blog.


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