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Clinton to focus on China during Asia trip

Feb. 15, 2009 at 7:37 AM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she wants to make new inroads in bilateral relations with China.

Clinton was set to depart Sunday on her first overseas voyage as Washington's top diplomat, a four-nation Asian tour that will begin in Tokyo. But it's U.S.-China relations that will dominate the trip, The Washington Post reported.

Clinton has said several times since her selection by President Barack Obama to head the State Department that she wants to move the relationship with China dramatically forward, finding new ways to build and sustain economic growth, but also to forge new agreements on climate change and the environment.

Analysts told the Post that Clinton believes the overall U.S.-China relationship was hijacked by the Treasury Department during the Bush administration and is focused too narrowly on economic policy.

In the past, Clinton has argued for what she calls a "comprehensive dialogue" and a "broader agenda." Aides told the newspaper she is bringing proposals to Chinese leaders to stage regular discussions at very high levels of both governments.

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