Clinton calls for broader relations between US, China

Friday, January 14, 2011

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called for broader relations between the US and China Friday and said the two countries must work closely to rein an increasingly “belligerent” North Korea.

Clinton said the US and Chinese relations are at a “critical juncture” as Chinese President Hu Jintao is set to visit Washington next week on an official state visit. The two countries must strive to cooperate to “shape the trajectory of this relationship” and cope with international challenges.

“And over the past two years in the Obama administration we have created the opportunity for deeper, broader and more sustained cooperation,” Clinton said in a speech at the State Department.

“We have seen some early successes and also some frustrations. And moving forward, it is up to both of us to more consistently translate positive words into effective cooperation,” she added.

North Korea’s continued defiance of international demands to end its nuclear and ballistic missile activities and recent provocations with South Korea are expected to be high on the agenda when Hu meets with President Barack Obama Wednesday.

As North Korea’s closest supporter, China has a “special role” to play in pressuring North Korea and maintaining stability on the Korean peninsula, Clinton said.

“We have emphasized to our colleagues in Beijing that China, as a country with unique ties to North Korea and chair of the six-party talks, has a special role to play in helping to shape North Korea’s behaviour,” Clinton said, referring to the six-nation negotiations aimed at curtailing Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

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