February 23, 2009
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday urged China to keep buying US debt as she wrapped up her first overseas trip, during which she agreed to work closely with Beijing on the financial crisis.
Clinton made the plea shortly before leaving China, the final stop on a four-nation Asian tour that also took her to Japan, Indonesia and South Korea, where she worked the crowds to try to restore America’s standing abroad.
In Beijing, she called on authorities in Beijing to continue buying US Treasuries, saying it would help jumpstart the flagging US economy and stimulate imports of Chinese goods.
“By continuing to support American Treasury instruments the Chinese are recognising our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together,” Clinton said at the US embassy here.
Clinton had sought to focus on economic and environmental issues in Beijing, saying Washington’s concerns about the human rights situation in China should not be a distraction from those vital matters.
Beijing’s human rights record emerged nonetheless as an issue, as Chinese activists on Saturday reported being harassed or intimidated by Chinese authorities in a bid to stop them speaking out or meeting Clinton while she was here.
“Plainclothes police blocked me from leaving my home. They were afraid I would try to meet with Hillary Clinton or others in her delegation,” democracy campaigner Jiang Qisheng told AFP by phone on Sunday.
Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi largely agreed to disagree on human rights as they pledged future joint action on the economy and climate change.