UPDATE 1-U.S. not seeking to ‘contain’ China -Clinton

* Clinton says U.S. committed to getting it right in China

* Trip comes after period of U.S.-China tension

* U.S. launching formal participation in East Asia summit
(Adds more Clinton quotes, paragraph 15)

By Arshad Mohammed

HONOLULU, Oct 28 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton denied on Thursday the United States was
seeking to contain China as she began a two-week trip to an
Asia-Pacific region rattled by recent Chinese assertiveness.

Washington and Beijing have clashed this year over issues
including the value of China’s currency, U.S. arms sales to
Taiwan and U.S. President Barack Obama’s February meeting with
the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader.

China’s relations with its neighbors have also been
strained by territorial disputes — notably with Japan — but
also with Southeast Asian nations that have competing claims
over the South China Sea.

The top U.S. diplomat, starting a trip to seven
Asia-Pacific nations including China, sought to strike a
balance between the U.S. desire to work with Beijing and its
concerns about some Chinese policies.

“The relationship between China and the United States is
complex and of enormous consequence and we are committed to
getting it right,” Clinton said in a speech on U.S.
Asia-Pacific policy delivered in Honolulu.

“There are some in both countries who believe that China’s
interests and ours are fundamentally at odds. They apply a
zero-sum calculation … so whenever one of us succeeds, the
other must fail,” she said. “But that is not our view.”

While saying the two nations work together on many issues,
Clinton also alluded to their many differences, including U.S.
desires to see the Chinese currency appreciate as well as U.S.
criticism of China’s human rights record.

“There are also many in China who still believe that the
U.S. is bent on containing China and I would simply point out
that since the beginning of our diplomatic relations, China has
experienced breathtaking growth and development,” she said.

“This is due, of course, to the hard work of the Chinese
people. But U.S. policy has consistently — through Republican
and Democratic administrations and Congresses — supported this
goal since the 1970s,” she said.

Clinton’s trip began on Wednesday with a stop in Hawaii to
meet Japan’s foreign minister. On Friday, she is in Vietnam for
the East Asia summit and then heads to Cambodia, Malaysia,
Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia.

While China was not originally on her itinerary, the State
Department added a last-minute detour to China’s Hainan Island
on Saturday so Clinton could meet Chinese State Councilor Dai
Bingguo, a key figure in managing the strained U.S.-China
relationship who will not attend the summit in Hanoi.

SEEKING COOPERATIVE SOLUTIONS

Sino-Japanese relations have been on edge since last month
after Japan detained a Chinese trawler captain whose boat
collided with Japanese patrol ships near the disputed islands
— called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Reports that China had curtailed exports of so-called rare
earth minerals, vital for the production of high-tech goods, to
Japan following the dispute have rattled policy-makers and
markets fearing a scarcity of the commodities.

Clinton’s speech made no reference to that dispute, but she
made clear the U.S. view that China and its neighbors should
work cooperatively to resolve their territorial disputes.

“Military buildups matched with ongoing territorial
disputes create anxieties that reverberate,” she said, adding,
“We are encouraged by China’s recent steps to enter discussions
with ASEAN about a more formal, binding code of conduct” over
the South China Sea.

In Hanoi in July, Clinton signaled new U.S. engagement in
the South China Sea issue, emphasizing that Washington believed
territorial disputes in the region had global implications
because of its role as a trade and shipping crossroads and
potentially rich source of natural resources.

Built around this week’s East Asia Summit in Hanoi,
Clinton’s trip is designed to demonstrate the U.S. commitment
to the region as the United States, and other nations in the
region, grapple with China’s economic and military rise.

“There are some who say that this long legacy of American
leadership in Asia Pacific is coming to a close — that we are
not here to stay. I say look at our record. It tells a very
different story,” Clinton said. “We are focused on a distant
time horizon — one that stretches out for decades to come.”
(Editing by Peter Cooney)

UPDATE 1-U.S. not seeking to ‘contain’ China -Clinton