Clinton: U.S., China Must Overcome Differences

It's natural that the United States and China "do not always see the world the same way" - especially on divisive human rights issues - but the countries need to work together in spite of their differences, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told CBS' "The Early Show" Wednesday.

Chinese President Hu Jintao is in Washington for a state visit this week. On Tuesday, President Barack Obama hosted a rare private dinner for the Chinese leader and on Wednesday the White House will hold a state dinner - its most elaborate ceremonial event for a foreign leader and something President Bush declined to do when Hu visited.

Hu's visit "is a continuation of two years of the Obama administration's to build a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship with China," Clinton said "and we think it is one of the most consequential relationships for and the future of our country and the future of the world."

Clinton acknowledge that the U.S. and China remain divided on human rights issues - the 2010 Nobel peace laureate remains a political prisoner there - but said that it wouldn't be the only issue on the table.

"The United States must always stand for our values, and therefore we must raise human rights, which remains at the heart of American diplomacy," Clinton said. "But we cannot say that that's all we're going to be talking about, or the fact that we disagree there eliminates the need for us to work together on climate change, North Korea, Iran, and so much else."

As for North Korea, Clinton said that China was "helpful ... in helping to restrain" the North during a series of cross-border military skirmishes in November and December that killed several South Korean civilians brought the Korean peninsula to the brink of war.

"The fact is that a stable nuclear-free Korean peninsula is in both Chinese and American interests," Clinton said.
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