Hillary Clinton, who recently ended her largely successful tenure as US Secretary of State by being talked down to by a panel of old white men trying to craft a controversy out of thin air, spoke to the New York Times over the weekend about her time in office, and the state of US foreign affairs.
On the continued spat between China and Japan over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, and America’s role in the South China Sea:
I would make the case that we have influenced the behavior of the nations in the region, in a way that has pulled them together, particularly through Asean [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] to seek a code of conduct, which had been promised but not delivered in years past.
In the last two years, there’s been a move toward a rules-based framework that should be used to resolve these disputes. Now having said that, it’s going to be very difficult.
We keep saying that we want China to be a responsible stakeholder in a rules-based global order. And being a responsible stakeholder means that you have to present your claims if you can’t resolve it between you and the other claimant or you have to negotiate a fair, acceptable compromise. I think there has been some movement on that with respect to some of the nations.
There’s still going to be belligerence, and there’s going to be a lot of very hot rhetoric, and there’s going to be a flotilla of Chinese vessels in the region. But I think we’ve helped support a strong case of the kind of framework that we believe in.
On the negotiations that led to Chen Guangcheng leaving on a jet plane:
It was a very, very tough set of negotiations.
And I was pulled into it, as I recall, on Wednesday night when we thought we had a deal. And then Mr. Chen decided that he did not like the deal we had negotiated, which, you know, caused a great deal of anxiety on the part of our team and we had to had to go back and renegotiate, which the Chinese were understandably quite unhappy about. And so there was a lot of drama. And I believed I would eventually have to get into it, but we would have to let a lot of the steam off.
I made what I knew would be the kind of final argument about why, but we couldn’t risk seeing our relationship founder over this. We would never agree on what happened and why, but we had to resolve it. So then [Chinese foreign policy official Dai Bingguo] gave the go-ahead for his side to negotiate with ours again and we got an agreement. It was incredibly intense, but I was always confident.