China needs to reassure world - Clinton

2012-03-08 11:47

Washington - China's growing clout means it can no longer selectively follow global rules and must now demonstrate it can play a constructive role on international issues such as the Syria crisis, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday.

"The world is looking for China to play a role commensurate with its new standing," Clinton said.

"We do believe that China will have to go further to fully embrace its new role in the world, to give the world confidence that it is going to ... play a positive role."

Clinton's remarks at an event marking the 40th anniversary of US President Richard Nixon's groundbreaking 1972 trip to Beijing surveyed the growing interdependence between the United States and China, now the world's second biggest economy.

Washington and Beijing have both sought to keep relations on an even keel despite flare-ups over issues ranging from China's exchange rate policy and human rights record to its decision to side with Moscow in vetoing a UN Security Council resolution calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad to give up power.

Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, widely expected to move into the top job next year, recently concluded a US visit designed to show continuity and stability despite the almost constant low-level diplomatic static between the two sides.

Expectations for China

Clinton - who has visited China five times as secretary of state - said Washington would keep working with Beijing to develop a co-operative partnership that few envisioned possible when they first set up diplomatic relations in 1979.

"This is, by definition, incredibly difficult. But we've done difficult things before," she told the conference, which included pivotal figures in US China policy such as Nixon-era Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the architect of the 1972 presidential visit.

Clinton also laid out a series of expectations for China, echoing growing US calls for Beijing to become a more responsible international partner on everything from trade policy to global security.

"It is understandable that the international community wants some confidence that a country's growing power will be used for the benefit of all," Clinton said. "This is particularly true for a country that has grown as rapidly and as dramatically as China."

Clinton asserted that China must demonstrate it will use its foreign policy to contribute more toward solving international problems, citing Syria as an example.

She also said that Beijing, which announced it was boosting military spending by 11.2% this year, needed to explain its defence build-up to reassure its neighbours and avoid misunderstandings.

Clinton said China must show if it is ready to sign on to a "rules-based" system for global trade and investment, hearkening back to repeated US accusations that Beijing artificially undervalues its currency and takes other short cuts to win unfair trade advantages.

  • Fidel - 2012-03-08 12:07

    China already has 1/5 of the world's population to look after, does it want more? While it has said that it will take more responsibiities in world affairs, It has no interest in being a world police like Amerika.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-03-08 12:43

      And when you have the ability to influence those countries you trade with then you have an set of obligations ,not just to your own populace. China is new to the whole global community thing and the source of their growth and not just cheap labour.

      Fidel - 2012-03-08 12:51

      "Observe calmly; secure our position; cope with affairs calmly; hide our capacities and bide our time; be good at maintaining a low profile; and never claim leadership." Deng Xiaoping's 24 character strategy on China's foreign and security policy.

      Fred - 2012-03-08 16:25

      Another obsessive and largely unrelated comment Fidel. Geez, surely your brain has had enough of this silly anti-US OCD.

  • Fidel - 2012-03-08 12:12

    "Clinton said China must show if it is ready to sign on to a "rules-based" system for global trade and investment, hearkening back to repeated US accusations that Beijing artificially undervalues its currency and takes other short cuts to win unfair trade advantages." Has the U.S. been appreciating its own currency now for the interests of the rest of the world? It is the 1st time in the history of the world, a nation has been singled out for being competitive in having a sustainable competitive edge in manufacturing practices, due to an unending supply of cheap labor. Clinton sucks, and idiots like her should be sent out to pasture with the other wildebeasts.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-03-08 13:10

      No fidel they keep it at market value , true value and not a artifical value which favours you especially when buying large sums of foreign reserves . It creates problems in addressing financial information which can lead to bad decisions because they based on incorrect/false info. When that info is coming from the second largest economy in the world then it creates problems globally , ergo the urge to start playing within the borders of the playing field. Its hardly the play ground argument you present about being singled out but simply not having a internal focus at the expense of trade partners . It is by no means a demonisation of China but a call for actions to improve confidence.

      Fidel - 2012-03-08 15:24

      The Chinese have studied history and seen how the major economies have abused and manipulated the so called FREE MARKET principles to gain an advantage. China is as a matter of principle is committed to retaining sovereignty in all circumstances, including currency policy, which is why it intervenes to peg its currency. Other countries by floating currencies subordinate sovereignty over currency policy to the markets. The world needs to decide whether the interests of 1.4 billion poorer Chinese comes ahead of that of 300 million of Americans. Imagine if the Cinese government passed new laws that resulted in hundreds of thousands of layoffs in a matter of weeks? That is what is being asked of China. China is not prepared to do this. Free markets are not an expression of free trade; they are a manifestation of corporate fascism and belligerence.

      Fred - 2012-03-08 16:27

      More uninformed OCD diarrhea from you Fidel. Absolute made up nonsense.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-03-08 16:27

      A free market is a market where prices are determined by supply and demand ,not the make up of economy and a pegged currency cannot adjust to changes in the daily movements of demand and supply. This has major implications , it fails to identify the degree of comparative advantage or disadvantage of the nation and may lead to inefficient allocation of resources throughout the world(Screw the rest of the world) and the cost of government intervention is imposed upon the foreign exchange market (screw the rest of the world again). That is manipulation of the free market (D&S) , stealing competative advantage and placing the cost on everyone else including the poor in other countries ergo the urges for steps to improve confidence as a major world power. You cannot escape economics under the banner soveriegnty , adjustments need to be made and they do it at everyone elses expense . Chinese growth is directly attributed to their opening of the markets , the communist revolution and closed market principles lead to the death of over 50 million due to starvation and hardly the model to push forward.

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