Clinton: Gates’ China Trip Continues Holbrooke’s Vision

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2011 — Defense Sec­re­tary Robert M. Gates’ trip to Chi­na this week advanced U.S. rela­tions there, con­tin­u­ing the ground­work laid by Ambas­sador Richard C. Hol­brooke, who’d years ago worked to open diplo­mat­ic rela­tions with Chi­na, Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­ham Clin­ton said today.

Hol­brooke, who was serv­ing as spe­cial U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pak­istan when he died Dec. 13, will be hon­ored in a memo­r­i­al ser­vice here today, with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, among the dig­ni­taries sched­uled to speak.

Clin­ton made the remarks as the first speak­er of the State Department’s Richard C. Hol­brooke Lec­ture Series here. “This is a bit­ter­sweet moment for me, per­son­al­ly, to give this inau­gur­al lec­ture,” she said, prais­ing Hol­brooke as a “tire­less nego­tia­tor” who left “an indeli­ble mark on this depart­ment, this coun­try and the world.”

Among his many mis­sions, Hol­brooke was a key play­er in open­ing for­mal diplo­mat­ic rela­tions with Chi­na in the 1970s and served as pres­i­dent of the U.S.-Asia Rela­tions Soci­ety, Clin­ton not­ed.

More than three decades lat­er, Gates car­ried on that vision with his trip to Bei­jing, where he met with Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Hu Jin­tao, as well as the country’s defense and for­eign min­is­ters. Gates’ trip was focused on re-estab­lish­ing mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tions with Chi­na, which pulled away last year in response to U.S. arms sales to Tai­wan.

At the end of his vis­it Jan. 12, Gates called his meet­ings in Bei­jing “pro­duc­tive” and said they set the stage to take U.S.-China mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tions “to the next lev­el.”

Hu is sched­uled to meet with Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma at the White House next week, when, Clin­ton said, “the breadth of our engage­ment will be on full dis­play.”

The Unit­ed States and Chi­na have much to gain by work­ing togeth­er on region­al secu­ri­ty threats like North Korea and Iran, on the glob­al econ­o­my, and human­i­tar­i­an mis­sions, Clin­ton said. And, still, she added, the Unit­ed States will con­tin­ue to press Chi­nese offi­cials to release polit­i­cal pris­on­ers and expand free­dom of speech and reli­gion for its cit­i­zens.

“This is not a rela­tion­ship that fits neat­ly into black-and-white cat­e­gories of friend or rival. We have two com­plex coun­tries,” she said. “To keep this rela­tion­ship on a pos­i­tive tra­jec­to­ry, we have to be hon­est about our dif­fer­ences … and avoid unre­al­is­tic expec­ta­tions. It requires steady effort over time.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →