With Chinese President Hu Jintao in Washington for a state visit, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says that while the United States must stand by its values and interests, the relationship should not be “zero-sum.”
In an interview with NBC's Meredith Vieira that aired this morning, Clinton said that looking for common ground is important “because this will be one of the most consequential relationships of the 21st century.”
Among the checklist items are an open trading system, economic cooperation, and dealing with what Clinton calls “the very thorny problem of North Korea” and its nuclear ambitions.
She praised President Obama’s work with the Chinese in managing economic issues bilaterally and through the Group of 20, saying that while the U.S. has a “a ways to go,” it is recovering and making progress.
Clinton added on CBS's Early Show that she expects today’s talks between President Obama and Hu to be a "continuation of two years of the Obama administration's efforts to build a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship" with China.
On her own future, Clinton said she has not committed to or thought about serving a second term.
"I am very pleased to be working in this position now, but I've said on many different occasions that I'm looking forward to returning to private life," she told Vieira.
Responding to rumors that she’s in line for secretary of Defense, Clinton told CBS that "as far as I know, these are just rumors. I'm happy to stay where I am."
In her NBC interview she added, “If Secretary [Robert] Gates is watching, I sure hope he'll stay as long as he possibly can. He's a great colleague and a great leader and has served our country very well.”
The Associated Press contributed