Today is a shameful day for China, which refused to allow imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo to receive his award in Oslo, Norway. The ceremony went on, but with Liu's absence marked by an empty chair, on which was set his Nobel Peace Prize diploma and medal, as seen in the photo above.
Liu Xiaobo, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner, helped author Charter '08 calling for peaceful political reform in China and lost his freedom for the cause. On this Human Rights Day, I reiterate our call for his immediate release.
Clinton also hailed the world's "citizen heroes," from Cuba to Zimbabwe, and said "their courage to persist is a testament to all that is good in the human spirit." Click below to read Clinton's complete statement.
ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton is meeting both individually and jointly with the Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers today to devise a strategy to deal with increasingly hostile North Korea, which late last month killed two South Korean soldiers and two South Korean civilians in the first attack on a civilian area of South Korea since the end of the Korean War.
At the beginning of the trilateral meeting, Clinton said:
This is a landmark trilateral meeting between three strong partners. This meeting takes place at a time of grave concern in Northeast Asia amid the provocative attacks from North Korea.
She also requested a moment of silence for the victims of the shelling (see the video below starting at 1:11.)
(It remains to be seen whether a cable about the bilateral and trilateral meetings will be WikiLeaked.)
Update, 5:28 p.m., Dec. 6, 2010: The original photo was updated to a similar one, but of higher resolution.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Applauding the selection of Liu Xiaobo as the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize, Secretary Clinton urged China "to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens." She also demanded "Liu Xiaobo's immediate release from prison."
Clinton's statement today is refreshing after remarks she made in February 2009 that seemed to place human rights in China as a back-burner priority. At the time she said, "[O]ur pressing on those [human rights] issues can't interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis, and the security crisis."
Below is Clinton's complete statement, issued today:
I applaud the Nobel Committee's decision to award this year's Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. Throughout its history, the Peace Prize has often been used to recognize the heroism of those who have, through persistent and peaceful efforts, sought to build a world that is more fair and free.
Mr. Liu has been a consistent advocate for fundamental freedoms and human rights for his fellow citizens and for peaceful political reform. Mr. Liu's work, including his role in the drafting of Charter '08, and his receipt of this honor highlight the fact that while China has made tremendous economic progress in the last three decades, political reform has lagged behind. As I said in Krakow this summer, governments should recognize the constructive role that citizens such as Liu Xiaobo play. We urge China to uphold its international human rights obligations and to respect the fundamental freedoms and human rights of all Chinese citizens. We reiterate our call for Liu Xiaobo's immediate release from prison.
MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images
Over at FP's Shadow Government blog, Daniel Blumenthal writes that Secretary Clinton is practicing "what one might call a distinctly American realism." He states:
The realism is manifest in the return to balancing China's power in the region, something the president said he would avoid as anachronistic. The distinctly American approach is practicing balance of power politics without abandoning our principles. We want and need a better relationship with authoritarian Vietnam. But we need not ignore Hanoi's poor human rights record.
HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images
Japan's new first lady, Nobuko Kan, has been affectionately called by the country's ruling-party lawmakers "the Japanese Hillary" because she had been a "brilliant campaigner" for her husband, as Singapore's Straits Times put it. She also spends a lot of time at home debating politics with her husband, Naoto Kan, now the prime minister. She once said of her husband during a TV interview, "He is a good debater in parliament because he is well trained at home."
Nevertheless, Nobuko Kan rejects the comparison to Hillary Clinton. While in Toronto this weekend for the G-20 summit (as seen above with her husband, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Canadian first lady Laureen Harper), she told the Global and Mail of Canada through an interpreter:
"I am the opposition party within my family, so we spend a lot of time discussing politics at home and that's probably the reason people equate me as 'Hillary of Japan,' but I'm very different from Ms. Clinton."
One similarity though: Just as Hillary Clinton took up health-care reform as first lady, Kan has her own issue she's pushing: doing away with sales taxes on produce and medicines.
SATORU IIZUKA/AFP/Getty Images
North Korea's ruling-party newspaper has accused Secretary Clinton of engaging in "brigandish sophism." An Agence France-Presse article related to the North Korean torpedo attack on the South Korean Cheonan ship says:
The North's ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun meanwhile accused US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of what it called "brigandish sophism" for describing Pyongyang as a threat to world peace.
It said the United States was the party endangering peace by planning naval exercises with the South at a time when "an all-out war may break out any moment".
The commentary carried on the official news agency referred to Clinton only as "Hillary".
(In the photo above, Clinton speaks in Seoul on May 26, 2010.)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Remember when Bill Clinton traveled to North Korea last August to rescue imprisoned journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee? Well, yesterday Ling had a baby girl, People magazine reports, and Ling and her husband Iain Clayton named her "Li Jefferson Clayton." The infant's middle name is a tribute to William Jefferson Clinton! The first name "Li" is a tribute to Ling's sister Lisa Ling, a former co-host on The View. Explaining the choice of middle name, first-time mom Ling told People:
He has checked in on me several times to see how I'm doing … and has been so concerned and caring. He's such a wonderful human being."
Aaaww! Congratulations, Laura!
In the photo above, Clinton and Al Gore greet Laura Ling, second right, and Euna Lee at the airport in Burbank, Calif., on Aug. 5, 2009, after they were freed from North Korea.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton met with women civil society leaders in China this morning. It's wonderful that she's able to take time out of her busy schedule -- packed with talking to leaders about what to do with North Korea -- and support women in the strides they're making around the world.
[Update, May 27, 2010: The transcript from the meeting is here.]
Photos, from top: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images, State Department Photo/Public Domain/Flickr, State Department Photo/Public Domain/Flickr
From Secretary Clinton's news conference today in Seoul with South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan, it appears that the reaction to North Korea's attack on the Cheonan will be stern words, some sort of U.N. Security Council action (sanctions?), and joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises. It seems a somewhat weak response given that a country deliberately attacked a ship and killed 46 sailors, all unprovoked. But on the other hand, what can you really do, especially if you're South Korea, bordering the crazy North? As Clinton said, the attack "requires a strong but measured response."
A snippet from Clinton at the news conference:
Over the last week I have consulted with leaders in Japan and China, and we have stayed in close contact with our friends here in Seoul about the best way forward. We will be working together to chart a course of action in the United Nations Security Council, and I want to acknowledge Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's strong statement on this issue.
The U.S. and South Korean militaries have announced plans for joint exercises, and we will explore further enhancements to our posture on the Peninsula, to ensure readiness, and to deter future attacks. The United States is also reviewing additional options and authorities to hold North Korea and its leaders accountable. We call on North Korea to halt its provocation and its policy of threats and belligerence toward its neighbors, and take steps now to fulfill its denuclearization commitments, and comply with international law.
Today, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak harshly condemned North Korea for the March torpedoing of the South Korean ship Cheonan, which killed 46 onboard. He said almost all trade between the two Koreas is being canceled, and he demanded an apology from North Korea (though the odds of that happening are zero).
Secretary Clinton, speaking in Beijing, said she and the United States fully back him up:
The United States fully supports President Lee's responsible handling of the Cheonan incident, and the objective investigation that followed, which we and other international observers joined. The measures that President Lee announced in his speech are both prudent and entirely appropriate.
The Republic of Korea can continue to count on the full support of the United States, as President Obama made clear when he spoke to President Lee last week.
First, we endorse President Lee's call on North Korea to come forward with the facts regarding this act of aggression and, above all, stop its belligerence and threatening behavior.
Second, our support for South Korea's defense is unequivocal, and President Obama has directed his military commanders to coordinate closely with their Korean counterparts to ensure readiness and to deter future aggression. As part of our ongoing dialogue, we will explore further enhancements to our joint posture on the Peninsula.
Third, we support President Lee's call to bring this issue to the United Nations Security Council. I will be working with Ambassador Rice and our Korean counterparts, as well as Japan, China, and other UN Security Council member states to reach agreement on a way forward in the Council.
Fourth, President Obama has directed U.S. Government agencies to review their existing authorities and policies related to North Korea, to ensure that we have adequate measures in place, and to identify areas where adjustments would be appropriate.
Presidental House via Getty Images
The United States welcomes China's progress and its accomplishments. And by establishing patterns of cooperation, rather than competition between our two countries, we see the opportunity, as we have just heard from Vice-Premier Wang, for win-win solutions, rather than zero-sum rivalries, for we know that few global problems can be solved by the United States or China acting alone. And few can be solved without the United States and China working together.
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton visited the Expo 2010 world's fair in Shanghai this Saturday, where you could hear "scattered calls" of "We love you, Hillary!" according to the Washington Post. Above, she greets Haibao, the Expo's mascot. Below, she checks out the logo-festooned USA Pavilion.
U.S. law makes government funding of an American pavilion difficult, so Clinton used her fundraising skills to bring in private money for the USA Pavilion. (See the March FP article, "A Sorry Spectacle." For fairness, check out the rebuttal piece "Defending the USA Pavilion.")
The result: an ugly USA Pavilion.
After mentioning that "corporate America" ponied up $60 million, the Washington Post describes the USA Pavilion this way:
[The USA Pavilion] resembles more a convention center in a medium-size American city than a national showcase -- a warren of dark rooms with movie screens that pales in comparison to the ambitious pavilions of, among others, Saudi Arabia, which features the world's biggest Imax screen, and Germany, festooned with hundreds of giant red balls.…
In addition, the message Clinton experienced at the American pavilion was so larded with corporate advertising that even some of the visiting U.S. officials appeared to have been taken aback.
One film on the creative power of children featured interviews with representatives from corporate powerhouses Chevron, General Electric, Pepsico and Johnson & Johnson, with Habitat for Humanity and the University of Washington thrown in for good measure. That film was aired in the Citicorp room.
A film featuring a girl making her dreams come true and song lyrics that went, "You've got a dream, so plant it in your heart.… You can make it bloom so all the world will see," flashed this message in Chinese on the screen as it was ending, "This film was made by Pepsi."
Still, the USA Pavilion has proved popular among the Chinese. (The pavilion doesn't mention anything about democracy and freedom of expression, with the head of the pavilion's steering committee telling the Post that a main goal was not to be "insulting" to the Chinese.)
When asked her opinion of the Expo in its entirety, Clinton appeared moved and said,"It's so much of a tradition of these expos, all the way back to St. Louis or New York.… It's like a coming-out party for countries and cities. There's a real historical significance."
Asked about the USA Pavilion in particular, she said less enthusiastically, "It's fine."
Well, if corporate America paid for it, then it only makes sense that it should be a "corporate America" pavilion.
Photos: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton had stern words today regarding the torpedoing of the South Korean ship Cheonan in March. At a news conference, seen above, with Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada in Tokyo, she named North Korea as the culprit and said the attack will not "go unanswered":
I think it is important to send a clear message to North Korea that provocative actions have consequences. We cannot allow this attack on South Korea to go unanswered by the international community.
She also said:
[L]et me be clear. This will not be and cannot be business as usual. There must be an international -- not just a regional, but an international -- response.
Regarding North Korea as the culprit, she said:
The evidence is overwhelming and condemning. The torpedo that sunk the Cheonan and took the lives of 46 South Korean sailors was fired by a North Korean submarine. And the United States strongly condemns this act of aggression. As Minister Okada and I discussed, we will be in deep and constant consultations, not only between the United States and Japan, but also with South Korea, China, and others to determine our response.
And just what will the response be? When someone from the U.S. media corps asked her, Clinton replied that she will be consulting with officials in Japan, China, and South Korea and said:
It is premature for me, at this moment, to announce options or actions without that level of consultation among the regional nations that are most directly affected by North Korea's behavior.
How do you think the international community should respond? How do you think it will respond? Seoul doesn't want to be decimated; the United States is bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Will it all be just more harsh words?
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Clinton is out of the country until next week. She departed today for a weeklong visit to Asia. Her itinerary follows. (Meanwhile, I'll be busy finishing up FP's July/August issue for the next couple of weeks, so posting will be light.)
May 20: Departing Washington.
May 21: In Tokyo to discuss regional and global issues.
May 21-23: In Shanghai to visit Expo 2010 and attend a dinner to honor the USA Pavilion sponsors and others involved with creating it. On May 23, Clinton will attend a commercial diplomacy event to promote U.S. market access and job creation.
May 23-26: In Beijing, Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will meet with Chinese officials for a meeting of the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
May 26: In South Korea, Clinton will meet with government officials to discuss regional stability and other topics. Later in the day, she'll fly back to Washington.
(In the photo above, Clinton boards a plane on March 1, 2010.)
PABLO MARTINEZ MONSIVAIS/AFP/Getty Images
This morning, Secretary Clinton attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korean War Memorial here in Washington, D.C., to mark the 60th anniversary of the start of the Korean War in 1950. As seen above and below, she attended with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, who is in town for the nuclear security summit.
Top to bottom: Alex Wong/Getty Images, SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
Here are a couple of photos from the U.S. State Department's website of Secretary Clinton's meeting with the Dalai Lama last Thursday, Feb. 18. China expressed its disagreement with the meeting, saying it was U.S. interference in the country's internal domestic affairs. At Friday's press briefing, Assistant Secretary Philip Crowley said, "I think on this issue, obviously, we just agree to disagree on this subject."
U.S. State Department
Today in her speech on Internet freedom, Secretary Clinton declared:
I hope that refusal to support politically motivated censorship will become a trademark characteristic of American technology companies. … It should be part of our national brand."
She had some tough talk, saying:
Countries or individuals that engage in cyberattacks should face consequences and international condemnation."
She also said:
In an interconnected world, an attack on one nation's networks can be an attack on all."
Clinton took a tough stance, as she ought to have. So many of us rely so much on the Internet, and cyberattackers thousands of miles away can wreak so much havoc with just a few clicks.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government isn't too happy
Referencing Google's donations to Obama's campaigns, an editorial in the Chinese government-controlled Global Times yesterday labeled the U.S. administration as "Government Google" and stated:
The world's top search engine, once hailed by many Chinese as a flagship of global innovation, is now on the brink of being made a political football played by the White House, and has aroused strong, hostile reactions from some Chinese users."
Joshua Roberts/Getty Images
After learning that Google might pull out of China after an attack on its computer services, Secretary Clinton -- who, interestingly enough, will be giving a speech about Internet freedom on Jan. 21 -- said:
We have been briefed by Google on these allegations, which raise very serious concerns and questions. We look to the Chinese government for an explanation. The ability to operate with confidence in cyberspace is critical in a modern society and economy. I will be giving an address next week on the centrality of Internet freedom in the 21st century, and we will have further comment on this matter as the facts become clear."
Just last week, Clinton dined with a small group of leading technology executives, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images
LifeNews.com, which describes itself as a news agency that brings "pro-life news to the pro-life community," has highlighted an important comment that Secretary Clinton made in her recent interview with the New York Times. In discussing women's rights, she said:
Obviously, there’s work to be done in both India and China, because the infanticide rate of girl babies is still overwhelmingly high, and unfortunately with technology, parents are able to use sonograms to determine the sex of a baby, and to abort girl children simply because they’d rather have a boy. And those are deeply set attitudes. But at the governmental level, there is a great deal of openness and commitment that I am seeing."
Clinton's comments on this deplorable practice are commendable, though she left out some nuance when she said parents do it "simply because they'd rather have a boy." Often, it's a matter of economics: Boys bring wealth into a family, and girls drain tons of money out. Sons earn more money and financially support their elderly parents in communities where nothing like Social Security exists. Meanwhile, in India, parents must pay enormous, financially crippling dowries when their daughters get married. Absolutely none of this morally justifies sex-selective abortion, but these are issues that must be addressed in order to eradicate this shameful practice.
(Obviously, other factors -- such as family and social pressure -- are at play, too. Sex-selective abortion in India has been found to occur at higher rates among more educated people, presumably because they're more likely to be able to afford an ultrasound exam and abortion.)
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A roundup of Hillary Clinton news:
•It's official now: Secretary Clinton will be visiting seven African countries starting next week. She'll commence her trip in Kenya -- the birthplace of President Obama's father -- on Aug. 5 and continue on to South Africa, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Liberia, and Cape Verde. She'll also be meeting with the president of Somalia's transitional government while in Kenya.
•Clinton, above, continues today with the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington. Check out the Wall Street Journal op-ed that Clinton and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wrote about the talks.
•A Wall Street Journal editorial accuses Clinton of "pandering to dictators" for saying last week that if Burma releases Aung San Suu Kyi, it could open many opportunities, such as investment, for the country. The editorial did praise her for suggesting that ASEAN consider kicking out Burma.
•Audio of the BBC's interview with Clinton last week is posted online.
Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton will be in the spotlight, literally, this Sunday morning. Back from Asia, she'll be on NBC's Meet the Press for the entire hour!
•Speaking of the spotlight, a New York Times headline today declares: "Asia Trip Propels Clinton Back into Limelight." (And yes, I know that many of you say she never ever was out of the limelight -- the "shadows" thing was all concocted.)
•Clinton has just "taken Asia by storm" with a tour that is "undeniably a success in public-relations and policy terms," a college professor writes in a Scripps Howard News Service op-ed.
•Clinton is viewed as the most intelligent first lady in a Harris Poll that asked about 11 first ladies from Eleanor Roosevelt through Michelle Obama (minus Elizabeth Truman and Mamie Eisenhower for some reason). Regarding the 11 first ladies, 29 percent of respondents said Clinton was most intelligent; Roosevelt was second with 13 percent, and Obama was third with 11 percent.
•Regarding this week's verbal jousting between Clinton and North Korea, a Washington Post Style article compares Clinton to the archetypal schoolyard "overachiever" and North Korea to the schoolyard's "socially inept loner."
•Hillary fans aren't going to like this one: A Boston Globe editorial accuses Clinton of "rookie mistakes" during her Asia trip.
Photo: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images
I'm "speed-blogging" once again with a quick roundup of Hillary news:
•Two days after Secretary Clinton compared North Korea's leaders to "unruly teenagers," the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "Sometimes she looks like a primary schoolgirl and sometimes a pensioner going shopping." (Really? North Korean schoolgirls wear pantsuits?)
•Israel's intelligence agencies minister has criticized Clinton for saying that the United States is considering extending a "defense umbrella" over the Persian Gulf region to deter Iran.
•ASEAN has rejected Clinton's suggestion that it should kick Burma out of the regional organization if it doesn't free Aung San Suu Kyi.
•When asked about her presidential ambitions in a TV interview, Clinton said, "I doubt very much that anything like that will ever be part of my life."
Photo: ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images
Once again, I only have time to offer a quick roundup of Hillary Clinton news. I've been ordered to prioritize copy-editing articles for the print edition of FP, so unfortunately Madam Secretary is "lite" today.
•"The United States is back," Clinton said upon arrival in Thailand for the ASEAN meeting in Phuket. "I believe strongly the United States has to be involved in this region," she declared, referring to Asia.
•Clinton suggested that the United States is considering extending a "defense umbrella" over the Persian Gulf region to deter Iran's nuclear ambitions.
•Clinton urged Burma to release democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, saying it would pave the way for a better U.S.-Burma relationship, including investments.
•Clinton is expected to be made special envoy to Northern Ireland.
•A Hillary Clinton effigy was burned in India in protest of the frisking of a former Indian president by Continental Airlines. (How ridiculous!)
Photo: BAZUKI MUHAMMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton is seeking "amnesty" for the two American journalists -- Laura Ling and Euna Lee -- who received 12-year sentences of hard labor in North Korea for entering that country illegally and committing "hostile acts."
Originally, Clinton said the charges against the journalists were "baseless" and said they should be released on humanitarian grounds. Now it appears that the Obama administration is acknowledging that they're guilty, which is why "humanitarian grounds" has changed to "amnesty."
Responding to a question posed at a town-hall meeting with State Department employees Friday, Clinton (shown left at the meeting) said, "[T]he two journalists and their families have expressed great remorse for this incident. And I think everyone is very sorry that it happened."
(Interestingly the New York Times reported that it appeared the question might have been planted because the employee who asked the question did not identify herself. According to the transcript of the town-hall meeting, all other people with questions were identified by name.)
What will it take to get Laura Ling and Euna Lee back home? Michael Green, a top Asia expert for former President George W. Bush, told the Times that North Korea would likely want a "high-profile visit" and something in return.
I wonder about the hassles that journalists create for their countries' governments when they deliberately enter countries without permission. Ling and Lee have created a sideshow to the Obama's administration's important priority of reining in North Korea's nuclear program. Photojournalist Tomas Van Houtryve -- who has U.S. and European passports -- entered North Korea by posing as a businessman looking to open a chocolate factory. (He talked about his stunt recently on National Public Radio.) He look photos of daily life in the country, some of which became FP's "The Land of No Smiles." Fortunately, he didn't get caught, but if he had, it would have been somebody's headache.
Photos, top to bottom: JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images, Mark Wilson/Getty Images
A statement issued be Lee's office said that Clinton advocated for cooperation among the United States, South Korea, and Japan in implementing U.N. sanctions to "get North Korea to realize that its bad behavior will bring due consequences."
The statement said that Lee told Clinton that "as long as the United States and its allies maintain a firm stance, North Korea's belief that it will be rewarded for its bad behavior if it waits long enough will dissipate."
Today, Clinton will attend an expanded bilateral with Lee and President Obama, and enjoy a working lunch with the South Korean president.
Below, Clinton and Lee engaged in "hug diplomacy" when she greeted him at the Blair House, the presidential guesthouse.
Photos: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday night, TV comedian Conan O'Brien had a joke about Secretary Clinton:
Hillary Clinton's in the news. Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a stern warning to North Korea to stop their belligerent actions. Yep. Her exact quote was, "Don't make me get all Hillary on your a#@."
That may just be a joke, but Clinton did have some stern words for North Korea in late April, and in the past two days, she has made some remarks regarding North Korea's bad behavior.
In her Sunday interview on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Clinton said the United States is reconsidering whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism. And yesterday, in remarks after meeting with Indonesia's foreign minister (see photo below), she was asked by NBC's Andrea Mitchell about the harsh 12-year sentence to hard labor that North Korean authorities gave to American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee. Clinton said:
Obviously, we are deeply concerned about the length of the sentences and the fact that this trial was conducted totally in secret with no observers. And we’re engaged in all possible ways through every possible channel to secure their release. And we, once again, urge North Korea to grant their immediate release on humanitarian grounds.
Photos, top to bottom: Vince Bucci/Getty Images, TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images
China has expressed "strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition" to Secretary Clinton's statements marking the 20th anniversary of the military crackdown on the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protesters. (In the photo above, the People's Liberation Army guards a street leading to Tiananmen Square on June 6, 1989, two days after the infamous crackdown.)
On June 3, Clinton called on the Chinese government to "provide a public accounting of those killed, detained or missing, both to learn and to heal." She also said China should "give the rule of law, protection of internationally-recognized human rights, and democratic development the same priority as it has given to economic reform."
In response, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized Clinton for "crudely meddling in Chinese domestic affairs." He also said, "We urge the United States to forsake its prejudices, correct its erroneous ways and avoid obstructing and damaging China-U.S. relations."
The Chinese government has never published a count of those who died. A New York Times article yesterday stated that hundreds died.
The bold tone of Clinton's remarks are a contrast to those she made in February, in which she seemed to downplay human rights as a priority.
Photo: MANUEL CENETA/AFP/Getty Images
Yesterday morning at the South Korean Embassy in Washington, Secretary Clinton wrote a message in a condolence book for former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun who committed suicide Saturday, May 23. Her message is above. Below, Clinton observes a moment of silence in front of a photo of Roh.
Photos: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Secretary Clinton delivered even more testimony today, speaking about the State Department's FY2009 supplemental appropriations request, as seen in the photo above. Her schedule today:
9:00 a.m. Testimony before House Appropriations Committee, Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2359.
2:30 p.m. Bilateral with His Excellency Kasit Piromya, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand.
3:25 p.m. Welcome Children of Department Employees, “Take Your Child to Work Day,” Acheson Auditorium.
4:00 p.m. Meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images
As some of you know, President Obama and Secretary Clinton received a "3 a.m. phone call" (OK, it was actually 4:30 a.m.) in Prague on Sunday morning after North Korea launched a missile. (An April 6 Congressional Quarterly article I accessed on Nexis confirms that both received the call.)
Now here's an interesting nugget from an Associated Press analysis piece, "Hillary Warned There'd Be Days Like This." The article states:
In all fairness, Obama was working the phones too, consulting his top aides, but it looks like when the 3 a.m. calls come ringing, Clinton is right there, too, doing 3 a.m. diplomacy.
Clinton, now Obama's top diplomat who no longer hawks the 3 a.m. campaign line, was traveling with the president. She worked the phones, and Obama issued the expected words of condemnation. Calls went out for the U.N. Security Council to convene.
Madam Secretary is an obsessive blog about all things Hillary Clinton. From her policies to her pantsuits, Madam Secretary delivers up-to-the-minute news, analysis, and gossip about America's top diplomat.