February 21, 2009 in Nation/World

Clinton in China pushes finance, environment

Matthew Lee Associated Press
Associated Press photo

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing today.
(Full-size photo)

BEIJING – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chinese officials agreed today to focus their governments’ efforts on stabilizing the battered global economy and combating climate change, putting aside long-standing concerns about human rights.

After a morning of talks during her inaugural visit to China as America’s top diplomat, Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said a regular U.S.-China dialogue on economic issues would be expanded to include troubling security issues.

“It is essential that the United States and China have a positive, cooperative relationship,” Clinton told reporters at a joint news conference with Yang. She said they also agreed on the need to develop jointly clean energy technology that would use renewable sources and safely store the dirty emissions from burning coal.

With the export-heavy Chinese economy reeling from the U.S. downturn, Clinton sought to reassure China that its massive holdings of U.S. Treasury notes and other government debt would remain a good investment.

“I appreciate greatly the Chinese government’s continuing confidence in United States treasuries. I think this is well-grounded confidence,” she said.

Yang said China wants to see its foreign exchange reserves – the world’s largest at $1.95 trillion – invested safely and wanted to continue working with the United States. “I want to emphasize here that the facts speak louder than words. The fact is that China and the United States have conducted good cooperation, and we are ready to continue to talk with the U.S. side,” Yang said.

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