February 16th, 2009
05:53 AM ET
5 years ago

Clinton departs to Asia for first overseas trip as secretary of state

Hillary Clinton seeks improved relations with China, where she said the U.S.  would renew military contacts.
Hillary Clinton seeks improved relations with China, where she said the U.S. would renew military contacts.

ELMENDORF AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska  (CNN) – Hillary Clinton says her first overseas trip to Asia as secretary of state is aimed at creating a "network of partners" to tackle problems that no nation can deal with alone, including the global economic crisis.

En route to Asia on Sunday, Clinton told reporters that the economy would serve as the backdrop of her trip, and she intends to explain steps the United States is taking with its $787 billion stimulus bill. She said she will be "seeking cooperation on ways that we are going to work through these very difficult economic times."

Clinton is slated to travel to Japan, China, South Korea and Indonesia to discuss a range of issues, including mutual economic recovery, trade, the prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation and reversing the global warming trend.

The trip represents a departure from a diplomatic tradition under which the first overseas trip by the secretary of state in a new administration is to Europe.

Speaking at the New York-based Asia Society last week, Clinton said the Obama administration wants to "develop a broader and deeper" relationship with Asia, a region that has felt overlooked by the United States despite its growing global importance.

"It demonstrates clearly that our new administration wants to focus a lot of time and energy in working with Asian partners and all the nations in the Pacific region," she said, "because we know that so much of our future depends upon our relationships there."

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • State Department
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Mary

    Hillary will do a good job for this country. I believe she enjoy working for the American people. Go Hillary.

    February 16, 2009 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  2. Vijay Naik

    Sen. McCain like most other republicans simply can't accept that Obama and democrats beat the pants off them in the last Election. Sen. McCain you and your miniscule knowledge of a national economy were resounding rejected by the voters. So please refrain from trying to get into the limelight and criticize the president. Maybe you should consider returning to Sedona and let the new age healers bring you peace of mind and comfort.

    February 16, 2009 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  3. Vijay Naik

    Is it true that Sen. Greg as Secretary of Commerce was a Trojan Horse, dreamt up by Carl Rove and the republican party leaders,to bring discomfort to the administration, or was he put up merely the Republicans could the next census. In any case 'Thank God" he is no longer in the picture.

    February 16, 2009 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  4. rachel

    Good luck Hillary. You seem to be one of the few cabinet picks that haven't embarrassed the president.

    February 16, 2009 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  5. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Well Europe is about bankrupt too. Duh! Go where the money is. It will be interesting to see how China will react to the new approach and if this is a sign of bringing them into the G7 fold as discussed earlier in Rome.

    February 16, 2009 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  6. Leonel

    Both China and the US were headed for economic hard times and they are interdependent. The US has allowed its industrial sector to deteriorate and built up huge deficits, i.e., it is a debtor nation. China on the other hand, has to become more democratic and less the planet's biggest polluter. In other words, they are debtor and creditor and big trading partners who cannot prosper without a lot more cooperation. This crisis may just have saved them both by happening sooner rather than later, as harsh as that sounds. Their leaders are the only ones who can put these stark realizations in the minds of their respective citizens.

    February 16, 2009 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  7. stormy

    With Hillary on the government dole does that mean Bill gets to go and pick up a million or so in speaking contracts?

    February 16, 2009 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  8. Republican for change

    If the Chinese government hands over an 11 trillion dollar bill, pass it along to the fiscally conservative GOPs.

    Maybe Sen. Lindsey Graham can give another speech on the senate floor about our grandchildren next week.

    February 16, 2009 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  9. Dumas McGee

    hey CNN any reason you're not reporting that our fearmongering President Obama rushed the stimulus vote only to wait 3 days to sign it?

    February 16, 2009 03:29 am at 3:29 am |
  10. Rich

    It's good to see the new Secretary of State does not have a Eurocentric view of things. For hundreds of years, Europe has been dominant over the rest of the world, only ending in the 20th Century with the rise of the United States as the #1 world power. 57% of the world's population lives in Asia, and it is time people in continents like Asia, Africa, Australia, and South America get the same kind of attention as Europe and North America. The only continent that we should ignore is Antarctica, since nobody lives there permanently and there are not any countries there.

    February 16, 2009 04:38 am at 4:38 am |
  11. Corwin7

    You GO girlfriend...sorry Bill but your wife is kinda hot! :P

    February 16, 2009 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  12. Angie

    Good luck Sec. of State Clinton. Finally a person that has the Americans in mind and not just a bush/cheney puppet.

    February 16, 2009 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  13. Ed

    Did they have to make a corkscrew landing to avoid sniper fire. A little duck and cover run to the safety of the sand bag bunkers? The world is shaking in their boots. LOL what a joke the w-hole Obama administration of thieves and liers is. I know you kool aid drinkers will never admit you were taken but the tied is starting to turn. RCP poll feel good number dropping steadily.

    February 16, 2009 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  14. Dawn

    Give them Hell Hillary...We need our friends back, remember the ones we had before Dubya!

    February 16, 2009 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  15. Willy Brown

    Let's hope she stays there.

    February 16, 2009 07:17 am at 7:17 am |
  16. rachel

    Go Hill, one of the few cabinet picks that haven't emabarrassed the president.

    February 16, 2009 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  17. Michiganian

    Go Hillary! You are a wonderful representative for the US, and will do much good in restoring our standing in with world leaders. I'm so proud to have you as Sec. of State.

    February 16, 2009 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Maybe she can get the North Koreas to listen a little more than they did under this administration. I don't know how much the Bush administration did given that there was a recent observation of the North Koreans planning a missle launch. I saw that we spend the money to buy all of the uranium and plutonium (as well as the equipment that they used to make it). Maybe that could get them to stop. Problably not really...

    February 16, 2009 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  19. SHIRLEY "60"

    It's about time.

    February 16, 2009 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  20. lois

    I was surprised to see CNN more interested in Obama's basketball skills than covering Clinton departing for Asia yesterday afternoon.

    February 16, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  21. Carl from MI

    Thanks to the Bush Administration and their "You're either with us or against us" policy... the whole world hates us and thinks we're a bunch of idiots.

    Time for Hillary to start apologizing for everything Dubya did and start rebuilding relationships with the rest of the world... one country at a time!!

    You go... girlfriend!!!

    February 16, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  22. jaye

    Give 'em ell, Hillary!

    February 16, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  23. TEXAS/PHIL

    PROBABLY TO TRY TO BORROW THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THE SPENDING PACKAGE.

    February 16, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  24. Terry

    She should stay there.

    February 16, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  25. lf

    Our Secretary of State HRC appears to be doing what she is supposed to do. She is new to the job, and I feel will put her best effort in carrying out her responsibilities. Let us give her a chance to do so before coming in like "gangbusters" ready to criticize her.

    February 16, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
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