Washington: America will continue to welcome China's rise only if it plays a constructive role in the region, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said. (Agencies)
"The Pacific is big enough for all of us, and we will continue to welcome China's rise if it chooses to play a constructive role in the region.
For both of us, the future of this relationship depends on our ability to engage across all these issues at once," Clinton said on Thursday in her last foreign policy speech as the Secretary of State at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a Washington-based think-tank .
"Navigating this relationship is uniquely consequential because how we deal with one another will define so much of our common future.”
"We are trying to write a new answer to the age-old question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet," she said.
"To make this work, we really do have to be able to use every lever at our disposal all the time. So we expanded our high-level engagement through the Strategic and Economic Dialogue to cover both traditional strategic issues like North Korea and maritime security and also emerging challenges like climate change, cyber security, intellectual property concerns as well as human rights," she said.
But this approach was put to the test last May when they had to keep a summit meeting of the dialogue on track while also addressing a crisis over the fate of a blind human rights dissident who had sought refuge in our American embassy.
"Not so long ago such an incident might very well have scuttled the talks. But we have, through intense effort -- confidence-building -- we have built enough breadth and resilience into the relationship to be able to defend our values and promote our interests at the same time. We passed that test, but there will be others," she said.
Responding to another question, Clinton said hardly anybody believes that China fully respects human rights, and it certainly is not a democracy.
"But we don't get blamed because we do business with China, but we did business with other regimes, and somehow that caused lasting negativity toward us, which I think, again, is unfounded," she added.
Washington: America will continue to welcome China's rise only if it plays a constructive role in the region, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.