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Date: 02/13/2009 Description: Ask the Secretary graphic. State Dept Photo
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Welcome to "Ask the Secretary" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Secretary Clinton.

In this session, Secretary Clinton answers questions taken during her trip to Asia, February 15-22, 2009. Secretary Clinton selected frequently asked questions and answered them here.

Date: 02/11/2009 Description: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton State Dept Photo
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Secretary Clinton: I welcome this opportunity to answer your questions about issues I've been discussing with government officials, business and civic leaders, and others during my trip to Asia. Listed below are my responses to questions raised during my travel to Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, and China.


Secretary Clinton:

Thank you everyone for your questions regarding my time spent in Japan during the recent trip to Asia. Consider this a combined answer to your questions. Kate: diplomacy is often difficult to quantify; but I believe my visit to Japan was a success. The U.S.-Japanese alliance is indispensable for both of our countries, for the Asia-Pacific region, and for the world to address the challenges and seize the opportunities of the 21st century.

By strengthening our historic Asian alliances, and forging new partnerships with emerging nations, we can begin to build networks around the world to help us solve problems that none of us can solve alone.

Lynn and Cynthia: my meetings in Japan ranged from top political leadership to college students, reflecting the depth and breadth of both government-to-government and people-to-people connections with Japan.

Foreign Minister Nakasone and I addressed energy and climate change and the global economic challenges especially critical to our two countries - the first and second largest economies in the world. Normita, Ken, and Paul, I was also very pleased to extend an invitation on behalf of President Obama to welcome Prime Minister Aso to Washington, D.C. and we also signed the Guam International Agreement on behalf of our two nations, enshrining our two nations’ shared contributions in carrying out the realignment of our forces and the relocation of marines from Okinawa to Guam.

Larry in Missouri asks:
Will you address the illegal whaling occurring in the Southern Antarctic Whale Sanctuary? As you know this whaling activity is illegal and decimating to several species of whale. The Japanese activity is not scientific and is in a recognized sanctuary. I certainly hope you can obtain a committment from the Japanese to stop this activity. (Feb. 19, 2009)

Jack asks:
Congratulations on your meeting with Japan. Do they speak English when not on camera? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Moises in Wisconsin asks:
Secretary of State Clinton: What is the position of President Obama's administration in relation to the multiple cases of parental abduction done by Japanese people? Is there any pressure to the Japanese government to provide some access to our lost children? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Christopher in Illinois asks:
Were you able to get the Japanese banks to release any of our outstanding debt given the crisis, in exchange for an alternative syndicate of agreements on issues of mutual interest? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Normita in California asks:
Madame Secretary: What do you see in the horizon to resolve or address the concerns of the Japanese about the base in Okinawa? Are there plans to move it to either Guam or the Philippines? Thank you and best wishes. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Ken in Ohio asks:
Secretary Clinton:You recently commented during a press conference that the Guam International Agreement is evidence of the modernization of the U.S. military posture in the Pacific. Can you please provide specifics? How will the Obama administration's expectations for Japan differ from those of former administrations? Thanks. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Daniel in Georgia asks:
I never knew that Japanese citizens were kidnapped and sent to North Korea. I would like to know more about it. Is DoS going to demand some answers from the North Koreans abouth this issue the next time we are sitting across the table with them? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Eric in Missouri asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: How do you like your new job as the nation's top diplopmat so far? I'm in the U.S. military stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. Since being stationed over here I'm really interested in learned more and more about the Asia-Pacific region in terms of political, economic in the long history of this region. If I were interested in wanted to pursue a career in State, what recommendations if any would you have for me? Finally, I know the Obama administration is facing huge global challenges as we speak. What can we the people of America do to help out? Sincerely, Eric. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Cynthia in Maryland asks:
I work with high school and college students who have a keen interest in studying abroad, specifically Japan. I would like to know what new opportunities you will create for American student who wish to study abroad? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Paul in California asks:
Thank you Secretary Clinton for signing the agreement between Japan and the U.S. on the realignment of "8000" troops from Okinawa to Guam. When should that movement occur timeframe wise? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Lynn in New York asks:
How did you like meeting the Japanese students? What did they say and what was on their minds? What did you talk about? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Patty in Colorado asks:
First of all, congratulations! I am your supporter for President, and now, as Secretary of State. I am on My Space on your old page. My question is about the Japanese illegal whaling. Can you do anything about this Even bring it up while you are over there? They are killing hundreds of warm blooded animals, against the law. I realize this is out in left field but very important to thousands of people. Thank you and good luck. I will always be your supporter. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Anita and Lee in Washington ask:
Is it okay to offer on this site our congratulations to you for a job well done for so many years, wearing so many hats? Do you know how much the world is praying for you, hoping you can make this old world much, much safer? Our last question: Is there anything in the Japanese economy as it is currently functioning that could be a model for some our economic recovery? How did the Japanese climb out of deflation? Or have they? Thanks so much for what you do. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Travis in Maryland asks:
Secretary Clinton: How will you make it clear to the Japanese that this economic crisis is not caused just by the U.S.? Best Wishes and Safe Travels overseas. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Kate in Washington, DC asks:
Secretary Clinton: What metrics will you be using to measure success of your meetings and interactions as you begin your travel. What is the key/main theme as you arrive in Tokyo for you to address? (Feb. 16, 2009)

S.A. in Minnesota asks:
Why are we offering to send our troops? I find this odd when the administration is cutting back on this. we criticize the Bush administration and now we are sending troops to Japan. Makes no sense. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Jim in California asks:
What is your favorite restaurant in Tokyo? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Nancy in Indiana asks:
I know that your schedule will be very busy, but I hope that you may be able to find time to visit the DFAS workforce in Japan since the facility recently burned. Thank you for service to our country. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Cynthia in Washington asks:
My family and I are very concerned about Japan's continued commercial whaling (under the false guise of research) and their lack of cooperation with the IWC. These extraordinary mammals have barely made a comeback.We were hoping you might add some pressure to Japan's government to halt this program.Thank you and congratulations on achieving such an important position in this administration. We are disappointed we cannot yet call you President, but are comforted by all the good you will do around the world. Kindest Regards. Cynthia, Chris and David (Feb. 16, 2009)

Glimmerman asks:
Madam Secretary: On you visit to Japan while you meet with the families of the people kidnapped by North Korea please ask about our U.S. servicemen still being held by North Korea. I discovered this when I lived in Northern China near the North Korean border (2002-2007). I furnished this information to Bill Richardson who made a trip to North Korea and confronted the North Korean government with this information. They were located east of Nampo and south of Kanggye imprisoned in collective labor camps. I also gave Mr. Richardson two locations where the deceased ones are buried. I am a veteran myself as well as a former state police investigator. I think of these men everyday. (Feb. 16, 2009)

ASIA TRIP: Indonesia

Secretary Clinton:

Renne: Indonesia is the world’s third-largest democracy and a lynchpin for stability in Southeast Asia. In my meetings with Indonesian officials, including my meeting with Foreign Minister Wirajuda, we spoke foremost about the desire for Indonesia and the United States to form a comprehensive partnership that we believe will drive both democracy and development and that can provide a framework for advancing our common interests on a range of regional and global issues. Indonesia and the United States are both members of the G-20, and we have an obligation to help restore global growth and economic prosperity.

As part of this comprehensive partnership, my meetings with senior Indonesian officials covered a wide range of topics including: human rights issues, environmental protection and climate change, allowing the people of Burma to live freely and select their own leadership, bringing the Peace Corps back to Indonesia, renewing the Fulbright Scholarship Agreement, the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact committed to helping Indonesia reduce poverty and promote economic growth, and finally a framework for U.S. science and technology agencies to work with their Indonesian counterparts.

Patricia and Daniel: The Obama Administration believes that there are opportunities to engage with nations that have similar values and visions of the kind of future that we need to share. The United States and Asia certainly have a common future and Indonesia -- being the largest Muslim nation in the world, the third largest democracy --will play a leading role in the promotion of that shared future

Ricardo in Italy asks:
East Timor (Timor Leste) is part of the Comunidade de Paises da Lingua Portuguesa (CPLP). What role can an international organization such as the CPLP play in helping to promote development and reduce international tensions, particularly within East Timor and between Indonesia and East Timor? Can the U.S. encourage countries such as Brazil and Portugal to strengthen and expand economic and societal development both in East Timor and in Portuguese speaking African countries? (Feb. 21, 2009)

Oky in Indonesia asks:
Did you enjoy your trip to Jakarta? (Feb. 20, 2009)

Tye in Colorado asks:
I'm curious to know how diplomants can discuss about East Timor? Secretary Clintom, are you planning to travel to East Timor to discuss the biggest dispute with government, and some reform of government. If you do, please let me know. I'm curious how well you do when you're in East Timor. (Feb. 20, 2009)

Patricia in Washington asks:
Indonesia is the first predominantly Islamic nation you have visited as Secretary of State. Do you perceive any reservations, reluctance, or even animosity amongst Muslims toward U.S. attempts to renew our relationship with Islamic peoples and nations? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Moses in California asks:
No Question(s) at this moment Mrs. Clinton, just to thank you for visiting Indonesia. (Feb. 19, 2009)

Nancy in California asks:
Why did you see fit to bad-mouth George Bush vis-a-vis Indonesia when it was he who ordered the U.S. Navy into action after the tsunami and saved thousands of lives? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Daniel in Massachusetts asks:
How do you think our relationship with Indonesia will change, now that Obama is the President? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Don in Illinois asks:
Why vist Indonesia, a country that has not been a friend of the U.S.A. for years? Your time would have been better spent stengthening ties with our friends. (Feb. 18, 2009)

Anathalie in Haiti asks:
Secretary Clinton: Your travel to Indonesia gives me the opportunity of the following question. I recently read that, as First Lady of the State, you had invited Mr. M. Yunus to Arkansas to share about the microcredit programme used by his Graamen Bank + also that in 1995, going to the famous Beijing conference, you had looked forward to meeting Mrs. Dunham who worked in Indonesia during her journey with young Barack in the same area of development. Did you ever get to meet the late mother of the President then? If so, how was that encounter? With best wishes. (Feb. 18, 2009)

Ray in California asks:
On your upcoming trip to Asia, will you be visiting Indonesia, Vietnam, E. Timor or North Korea? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Renne in Indonesia asks:
When visiting Indonesia, are you going to raise a concern on some unfinished human rights issues in the country like what your predecessors did during President Clinton's administration? Moreover, my colleagues said that your visit to Jakarta is a merely symbolism considering that President Obama's once spent his childhood here and this visit will only bring a very few significance for the U.S. interest in this region. What do you think of such an opinion? (Feb. 16, 2009)

ASIA TRIP: South Korea

Secretary Clinton:

Andrew, Carmen, Jim, Michael and Laura: I cannot reiterate enough the commitment that the United States has to the denuclearization of North Korea, and to the prevention of further proliferation by the North Koreans. The Obama Administration is dedicated to working through the Six-Party Talks, and I discussed with South Korea, Japan, and China how best to get the negotiations back on track. We believe we have an opportunity to move these discussions forward, but it is incumbent upon North Korea to avoid any provocative action and unhelpful rhetoric toward South Korea.

Chip, Irene, Hank, Pranay, and Holly: The North Korean Government has committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and to return at an early date to the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons. We continue to hold them to those commitments. If North Korea is genuinely prepared to completely and verifiably eliminate their nuclear weapons program, the Obama Administration will be willing to normalize bilateral relations, replace the peninsula’s longstanding armistice agreements with a permanent peace treaty, and assist in meeting the energy and other economic needs of the North Korean people.

Andrew in California asks:
Does the State Department consider the health of the dictator, Kim, of North Korea as an important factor is dealing with the North Koreans? What about the successor to Kim should he die? What would the U.S. policy be if the military took over North Korea since there is no named successor to Kim? South Korea and China both fear a sudden collapse of North Korea like East Germany. Refugees would flee to South Korea and China. Is there a contingency plan to help feed a starving nation of 16 million people? (Feb. 22, 2009)

Geoffrey in South Carolina asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: As a U.S. Army Medical Corps Officer, I was stationed with the 18th Medical Command at Yongsan Garrison, Seoul, ROK, from 2001 to 2005. I left active duty in September of 2005. How do you view the continued presence of U.S. military in the R.O.K. in terms of our ongoing relationship with the R.O.K.? (Feb. 20, 2009)

Vel in Oklahoma asks:
Not a question, just an "attagirl." While I disagree with almost every political policy you represent, I have to say that you have performed marvelously in your dealings with North Korea in the last few days. Don't back up. Hold their feet to the fire. (Feb. 20, 2009)

Carmen in California asks:
When we say to N. Korea that we will respond well to them not firing off a test missile, what exactly are we offering? Money, food, or what? (Feb. 20, 2009)

Chip in West Virginia asks:
Do you have any real hope in breaking the very thick ice with North Korea? Will a regime change make any difference in the near future? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Irene in New York asks:
Dear Secretary of State: Why are we not mentioning to the North Koreans, humanatarian aide in exchange for American Prisoners of War that N. Korea is still holding from the Korean War. South Korea has made such a jester or their men, don't we care about Americans? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Hank in Virginia asks:
How does your approach to North Korea provide the expectation that it lead to abandonment of their nuclear program after so many failed attempts in the past? How does Kim Jong Il see the upside and become a supporter of openness when it appears to work against his interests in retaining power? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Pranay in New Jersey asks:
Dear Secretary Clinton: In your opinion what is the best way to negotiate with North Korea? Would Japan be a better partner in negotiations or would it be China? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Daniel in California asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: Best wishes for a successful trip to Asia.When dealing with North Korea’s nuclear weapons it is best to remember that General Douglas McArthur, and portions of the U.S. Government in 1950 threatened use of U.S. nuclear weapons upon Korea 5 years after the U.S. used them on Japan. This gave the North Koreans reason to fear our weapons for a very long time. President Truman removed McArthur because of the fraught situation created. Therefore a U.S. position which rests on the concept of the mutual withdrawal of such weapons from the theater will have the greatest chance of success. Another use of such a policy was in 1962 during the “Cuban Missile Crisis”. The Soviets removed USSR nuclear missiles from Cuba in return for the removal of U.S. missiles (and certainly warheads) from portions of Turkey bordering the U.S.S.R. This mutual removal by both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. proved to be a very fruitful and effective negotiating position for both sides. I commend this program to you and wish you great success in dealing with North Korea and China. Do you agree? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Jim in Texas asks:
Madam Secretary Clinton: Do believe that North Korea is really serious about getting rid of its nuclear weapons program? (Feb. 17, 2009)

James in Maryland asks:
Ms. Clinton: I was wondering if you plan to stop at North Korea at all during your trip to Asia. I was also wondering if you plan to discuss North Korea with the other leaders in Asia seeing that North Korea was believed to be a threat to our country. Thank you for the work you do for our country and I hope you have a safe and productive trip. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Remco in The Netherlands asks:
What shall you do against the nuclear weapon programme from North-Korea and Iran? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Holly in South Korea asks:
Hello! I am an English Teacher living outside of Seoul in Bucheon City. My question is how does the U.S. intend to strengthen its alliance with South Korea during the Obama administration and with Clinton's visit to South Korea? I have serious concerns about North Korea, and am really hoping that strong actions can be taken to reduce their nuclear arms or the possibility of them attaining anymore. Thanks. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Michael in South Korea asks:
6-party talks aimed at disarming Kim's regime with zero tolerance for him to have nuclear weapons... It's actually going nowhere... Is the U.S.A. going to resort to military action against Pyongyang should North Korea's nuke talks reaches dead end? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Laura in South Korea asks:
I'm from the U.S. and traveling through Korea. I was wondering if you will be making any public appearances here in South Korea? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Al in Spain asks:
Dear Madame Secretary, it seems (Washington Post) that you said: "The Agreed Framework was torn up on the basis of the concerns about the highly-enriched-uranium program," Clinton said. "There is no debate that, once the Agreed Framework was torn up, the North Koreans began to reprocess plutonium with a vengeance because all bets were off. The result is they now have nuclear weapons, which they did not have before." Could we try to have a more nuanced way of saying things? It is not good for anybody to have such jabs directed at the previous Administration, in my opinion. Thanks for your work and best wishes. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Colton in Washington asks:
Madam Secretary: As it has been announced, N. Korea is planning on testing long range nuclear missles. What exactly are your plans for diplomatic mediation and at what lengths are you willing to go in order to convince N. Korea to disengage? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Sarah in Illinois asks:
The Obama Administration has been very clear that they are planning to be more proactive in the prevention nuclear weaponry. Does the Obama Administration and the State Department expect much resistance from North Korea and how is the U.S. preparing for an uncooperative, nuclear-armed North Korea? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Quinn in Connecticut asks:
Hello Secretary Clinton. I wish to offer my prayers and well wishes as you embark on your first overseas trip as Secreatry of State. What do you intend to discuss with South Korean officials pertaining to maintaing the cease-fire along the peninsula? More specifically, what do you think the United States can do to aid South Korea in the face of escalating North Korean rhetoric and potential nuclear aggression? Thank you in advance Madame Secretary. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Andrea in Italy asks:
Madame Secretary: One question about North Korea. Should North Korea develope ballistic missiles unquestionably able to reach the West Coast of the United States, and equip them with nuclear warheads, would the United States consider the possibility of a limited pre-emptive strike on its missiles facilities? Thanks. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Michael in South Korea asks:
Madame Secretary: After living here in Korea for close to a year I have been able to experience something cultural that most people will never get to experience. I teach ESL to Korean children and it has been a wonderful post graduation job. I am deeply indebted to the Korean people as I have learned so much for them. My time here has also made me extremely proud to be an American. I have been able to change peoples views on what Americans are like and what we are percieved to be. I was wondering if there is anything I can do to foster my experience here into a meaningful mission for the U.S.? I know you have alot of things to do and if you don't have the time to answer this question I fully understand. Respectfully, Michael. P.S. You are going to be here in Korea on my birthday, the 19th, and as a huge supporter of you, that is a present in itself. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Barbara in Californa asks:
My husband Joe is a follower of Reverend Sun Myung Moon who is a Korean Spiritual leader. Will you be speaking with either Reverend or Mrs. Moon when you stop in Korea? I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip abroad to Asia and let us know all about it and how we can further assist you in all world peace efforts. Love, Barb from Sacramento. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Erickson in Vermont asks:
Madam Secretary, congratulations on being the Secretary of State. My question is: What is your next step to resolve with the government of North Korea once you arrive in Asia? Are you plan to visit North Korea in the near future? Thank you very much for your time. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Damien in Pennsylvania asks:
Firstly, congratulations for your continued service to our country in your new leadership role! Secondly, at what point do you feel it is necessary to intensify efforts to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear programs & adopt formal democracy? Domo arigato (^_^). (Feb. 16, 2009)


Secretary Clinton:

Cheryl, Robert, Susan, Henggao, Erkanda, Monica, and Diane: In engaging China on a broad range of challenges, we had frank discussions on issues where we have disagreements, including human rights, Tibet, religious freedom, and freedom of expression. The promotion of human rights is an essential aspect of our global foreign policy, and something we discussed candidly with the Chinese leadership.

I raised the issue on every stop of my trip, including with the Chinese Foreign Minister. Our candid discussions are part of our approach, and human rights is part of our comprehensive agenda.

Jeremy, Marcelo, and Richard: At least as important in building respect for and making progress on human rights are the efforts of civil society institutions, NGOs, women's groups, academic institutions, and we support those efforts. I am proud to have highlighted the good work of institutions like these in each capital I visited during the trip including hosting a dinner in Indonesia promoting civil society, hosting town halls at universities in Japan and South Korean, and meeting with women leaders and journalists in several of the countries I visited.

Tcharmaga in Switzerland asks:
Greetings ma'am, How does the Chinese government think when it come to talking about North Korea? (Feb. 22, 2009)

Jeremy in Kentucky asks:
Can the U.S. demand the Chinese government to uphold basic human rights for its people. I hope human rights will be apart of the Obama administration policy around the world, and not just look at dollars and cents. (Feb. 22, 2009)

Dave in Washington, DC asks:
Quietly, the Chinese have made major investments in Africa, including arms sales to the Sudanese (which is perpetuating the humanitarian crisis in Darfur). Do you believe that the United States is going to be developing a competition for influence and allies in the African continent with China? (Feb. 22, 2009)

Marcelo in Brazil asks:
Madam Secretary: Good afternoon! Did you get a chance to talk about the human rigths to Chinese Prime Minister? (Feb. 22, 2009)

Jeanne in Illinois asks:
Dear Madame Secretary: I just read how you said after your China trip that "I think that to worry about something which is so self-evident is an impediment to clear thinking," Clinton told reporters traveling with her. "And I don't think it should be viewed as particularly extraordinary that someone in my position would say what's obvious." Good for you! Keep up the straight talk. Regards. (Feb. 22, 2009)

Yohanna in California asks:
Do you think we can find a global resolution to our economy for the United States if we offer solutions for trading products with China, and other parts of the world? (Feb. 22, 2009)

Robert in Virginia, DC asks:
How much more money is the us going to borrow from China? (Feb. 22, 2009)

Cheryl in Indiana, DC asks:
Madam Secretary: With regard to human rights and China you were quoted as saying "But our pressing on those issues can't interfere on the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crisis," Some interpreted this as giving ground on your previously, and eloquently, stated position on this very critical issue. How would you respond? Thank you. (Feb. 21, 2009)

Robert in Washington, DC asks:
I feel betrayed by your comments on the worth of human rights to our policy debates on China, truly betrayed. I trully think you need to take them back, clarify them, or resign. (Feb. 21, 2009)

Susan in Colorado asks:
What is your primary focus in Asia? Human rights is number 1 issue in China. Environment of developing China is number 2 priority. What do you purpose to China in making a combined effort in improving human rights and their environment while continuing to develop? Will the President address these issues in his comments on foreign policy on Tuesday? How can I support raising the age limit for civil and foreign service candidates? Thank you for all you do. (Feb. 21, 2009)

Constance in Texas asks:
Is the United States increasing its efforts to balance the current trade deficits by China? (Feb. 21, 2009)

Michael in Texas asks:
Madame Secretary, I'm very proud of what I've seen you accomplish during the Asia trip & I know you'll be one of our greatest Secretaries of State. However, I was disturbed to read that you'll apparently be putting human rights concerns on the back burner with the Chinese in deference to economic concerns. I know the economy is in dire straits right now, but after the huge damage done the past 8 years, shouldn't our number one priority in dealing with other nations now be reasserting American values? Thanks Madame Secretary. I'm proud that you represent us to the world. (Feb. 21, 2009)

Lyle in Virginia asks:
The new tone that Secretary Clinton has set in China is refreshing and constructive on a variety of fronts. Climate appears to be the big issue though the short term economic turmoil gets most of the press. What is the Secretary's impression of the threats of population growth as she travels in Asia? What is the U.S. role to address this issue? (Feb. 21, 2009)

Tamutana in U.K. asks:
Just wanted to know what you have achieved in your meeting with the Chinese government? (Feb. 21, 2009)

Diane in Arkansas asks:
Did you feel good after leaving China and those in chains as you stood on your statement of "Human rights cannot interfere"? Brush up on the human rights issues in China before making such a statement. (Feb. 21, 2009)

Mark in Ohio asks:
Dear Secretary Clinton: I feel strongly that your positive, pragmatic, and far-sighted approach to China is on the correct path. Thank you for making East Asia a priority. Will this positive engagement continue? (I teach a large enrollment introduction to East Asia at OSU -- the students would love any feedback!) (Feb. 21, 2009)

Henggao in New Jersey asks:
Secreatary of State Clinton: If you need to visit China, you need to understand China's full history because Tibet has been part of China for a long time. (Feb. 20, 2009)

John in Arizona asks:
Dear Secretary Clinton: Wishing you a very best of luck for your first visit to Asia as a secretary of United state. As you may aware whats happening in Tibet and the situation is getting worse day by day. I wonder whether you brought up Tibetn issue forceful to the Chinese communist leader? iIknow economic relation is important but people are dying out there. I belief in your leadership 100%. God bless you. (Feb. 20, 2009)

John in Arizona asks:
Thank you! I read that some groups are "shocked" at the message you've just conveyed to China - but sincerely wish you to know that I think you expressed precisely what needed to be said... I lived in china for several years and know how shameful it feels for the U.S.A. to bash china over human rights issues when we have so many human rights issues of our own... It's very good to remember not to throw stones unless our own record's perfect, i.e., without any rights issues... Perhaps, those who are shocked haven't looked in the mirror lately and/or simply know very little about history… Anyway, I thought your comments were perfect! Thanks, once again, and take care... (Feb. 20, 2009)

John in Virginia asks:
What is your view on the Taiwan-China cross-strait relationship given that the both sides have gradually moved towards mutual understanding, at least with regard to economic and cultural exchange? (Feb. 20, 2009)

Stan in Virginia asks:
I was relieved and excited to hear that you propose that the U.S.A. interact in a more pragmatic manner with China (former Secretary Rice's pontificating must have sounded like nails on a chalkboard to the Chinese). What has been the Chinese response so far to this approach? (Feb. 20, 2009)

Charles in Virginia asks:
Hello Secretary Clinton, I am doing a research report for a course in school studying the politics and government of China and believe this is a beautiful opportunity to ask the new Administration their stance with China and why? And, what are the gains for choosing this stance? Also, what are the goals and objectives envisioned for our relationship with the Chinese government? Thank you for all your services and believe you and your staff will do a wonderful job in conducting effective business in the best interest of not only America, but other nations. (Feb. 20, 2009)

Michael in Arizona asks:
In the course of your discussions with Chinese leaders, how do you plan to ensure that the Chinese government is fully active in efforts to enforce targeted sanctions against the Sudanese government with the goal of ending the ongoing genocide in Darfur? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Danielle in Canada asks:
Honorable Secretary of State: What hope do you think there is for Freedom of Religion in China (specifically minority goups certain eastern religions, Jehovah's Witnesses warious Congregational Group and many others)? Is there anything that the State Dept. can do to encourage this vital Human right? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Danielle in Canada asks:
Would you speak up for those persecuted christians in China who are imprisoned and tortured. Currently a man by the name of Gao Zhisheng is one of them. I can only imagine how busy you are and thank you for considering this request. May God bless you with wisdom and strength in your often difficult job and during these difficult times. (Feb. 19, 2009)

Jonathan in California asks:
How much leverage does Beijing have due to their massive holdings of U.S. securities? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Monica in California asks:
I am very concerned about the well-being of the Tibetan people under Chinese rule and wonder if you could bring up the question of Tibetan cultural autonomy when you are in China. (Feb. 18, 2009)

Reggie in California asks:
What initiatives will the DoS take to counter the economic influence of China in South America? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Maryann in New York asks:
Does the future look bright for new construction in China? Was there any money in the Stimulus Package for U.S. companies who want to build in China? (Feb. 18, 2009)

David in Virginia asks:
Hi Secretary Clinton: It's comforting to see you in Asia fronting our foreign policy. I have faith that you will lead the way in repairing our image there and around the world. With China's economy sliding deeper into recession, along with the rest of the world, is America concerned about the stability of its government? And, how can we work with China to use its influence with North Korea to denuclearize that country and stabilize that region with our troops in harm's way. (Feb. 18, 2009)

Don in Hawaii asks:
Will you visit the Aloha State any time soon? When will Obama go to Beijing? Mahalo. (Feb. 18, 2009)

Betsy in China asks:
It has been reported that a Town Meeting would be held in Beijing. This is a time for conversations similar to what you are doing in Japanand Indonesia. So if not this trip very soon. As a professional working in China this is very important to me and my colleagues. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Mitch in China asks:
Secretary Clinton: Exactly how far is the USA willing to go to take a strong posture against communism and all the evil that the C.C.C.P. brings on it's citizens? Will the U.S.A. ever clearly state that Taiwan is i fact legally not part of mainland China, or will it keep letting China do as it pleases with respect to Taiwan and Tibet? I live here in China. I am an American and I routinely and personally see near daily abuses from the C.C.C.P. Exactly when will the U.S.A. stop kissing China's butts? Respectfully submitted. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Joe in Texas asks:
Madam Secretary: Do you consider China as a friend, an enemy, a strategic competitor, a strategic partner, or none of the above? Thanks. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Andrew in Georgia asks:
Secretary Clinton:Will you pressure the Chinese with regard to possible action on their part to deal with the crisis in Darfur. While the economic crisis is the foremost issue in people's minds, we cannot allow this to take away focus from action that is so desperately needed. I know its a big hurdle, but the country gave the current administration a significant mandate and I would hate to see you trip with our Asian partners be without discussion of the situation in Sudan. Best of luck. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Gregory in Ohio asks:

Madam Secretary: After the success of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, I am curious if the Obama Administration will take less of a hard-line stance against China. I realize the human rights violations that China is notorious for, however I am concerned that for the past 8 years the Bush administration's stance against China could actually impede what appears to be a promising future of mutual co-operation in our technologies and economies. What are your thoughts on this? Best regards. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Xuan in China asks:
This is question for the most independently and liberalism media Southern Metropolis Daily. My question is, which relation is more important to the U.S, Sino-U.S?Cor Japen-U.S relation. And Will Secretary invite Chinese Leader to visit Washington? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Sarah in Illinois asks:
Madame Secretary: Can you go into detail about where specifically you think the U.S. can cooperate with China on energy efficiency to get the best short term results; and what can be done to get best long term results? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Richard in Massachusetts asks:
Madam Secretary: What position do you think the U.S. should take towards China? Given current circumstances, especially with the economic crisis, China has become integral towards U.S. interests in the Pacific. How do you balance the fine line between economics, while also paying attention to issues such as human rights, free speech, freedom of religion, etc.? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Sarah also asks:
Madame Secretary: In regards to China, what stance does the Obama Administration and the State Department take on the speculation that China had been manipulating its currency and keeping it undervalued against the dollar, which gives its exporters an unfair advantage in American markets? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Juanita in California asks:
Secretary of State Clinton: I have a comment about your trip to Indonesia and say that there is unrest in Jakarta. My question is on WTO Organization and China? Are we entering the WTO? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Gary in Arkansas asks:
Madame Secretary, you handled the question and answer session on Taiwan present status and hopeful future relationship with U.S. and China very well. There has never been any news in the past that indicates Taiwan begs for U.S. protection and probably realizes that their own initiated dialog with China Mainland will better suit to foster good relations. Is this how you view the dynamics between the two countries or does it require the U.S. speak on behalf of each party presently? Good luck on your future endeavors. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Matt in Massachusetts asks
Secretary Clinton: Congratulations on your appointment! I was just wondering how the United States can work to improve relationships between mainland China and Taiwan. Obviously, this has been an issue since the Truman presidency when Mao Zedong led the Long March through China, but do you forsee any improvement in the cross-strait relationship in the new administration, and what can the United States do to help improve this relaitonship? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Sarah also asks:
Does the U.S. currently have any plans to build any clean thermal power plants, like those are are existing in China, either with or without support from Chinese technology? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Erkanda in New York asks:
Dear Secretary Clinton: I ask you to hear the growing number of Americans requesting that you clearly and publicly condemn the human rights violations by the Chinese government, particularly the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, one of the gravest and most widespread in the country, when you meet with Chinese leaders during your first visit to China due February 20-22. This will give hope to the many practitioners in China suffering in prisons and labor camps that their voice is heard. Last year the persecution became even more severe as China tried to hide its ugly face during the Olympics. According to the latest report published by the Falun Dafa Information Center, 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners were detained and suffered torture and maltreatment during 2008. During your speech on the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s trip to India, you said that “...the struggle for civil rights and justice has always been and continues to be a global mission;” I hope that you put this to practice and make it an important point in your discussion agenda with the Chinese leaders. It is essential that we continue to send a clear message to the communist Chinese leaders that the whole world is witnessing this persecution and that it must stop! (Feb. 16, 2009)

Jennifer in West Virginia asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: I well remember the amazing speech you gave in September 1995 in Beijing during the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women. I'll never forget your assertion that "human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights once and for all." More than thirteen years have passed since you gave that extraordinary speech. What changes have you noticed in China's record on human rights? And specifically, what has changed for women in that country as well as in other countries you will be visiting during this trip? I understand the need to reach out with an open hand rather than a clenched fist in matters of diplomacy; how then do you plan to push China on human rights issues in a substantive way without closing the door before the conversation begins? Thank you, Madam Secretary, for being our representative! And, if you ever think coverage of your travels and diplomatic efforts from the perspective of a citizen journalist/everyday United States citizen might be beneficial, then I humbly volunteer! ;) I enjoyed covering part of your presidential campaign via vodcasting/video podcasting. (Feb. 16, 2009)

ASIA TRIP: General

Peter: That’s a great question. The U.S. Government has a small number of planes which members of the President’s cabinet can use when we need to travel. These planes have enough space for me, my staff, and sometimes even a few journalists, to travel long distances together. Their communication system allows me to work when I am flying, and on these longer flights, we are able to accomplish a lot while in route.

Glen in Canada asks:
With your visit to the Asian countries, what will be your follow up actions in order not to lose the progress or momentum of the "first visit"? Regards.(Feb. 22 2009)

David in Australia asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: As a an Australian I would like to know when you intend to visit our country? (Feb. 22 2009)

Jerome in Maryland asks:
What was the objective the Dept of States visit to the Asia nation in relationship to the goal of the United States? (Feb. 22 2009)

Cletis in Louisiana asks:
Mrs. Hillary Clinton: Is it safe to travel to Asia without fear. Thanks. (Feb. 22 2009)

Kevin in Florida asks:
Madame Secretary, I've been reading reports of your Asian tour, and I must say I like your style! Thank you for representing us so well. (Feb. 22 2009)

Ashishkumar in India asks:
Madam: Now that you have visited so many places in Asia, some of which are not too far from India, Can we expect your gracious presence in India this year? (I am a journalsit by profession.) (Feb. 22 2009)

Dave in Oregon asks:
Not a question, just a very heartfelt vote of support and confidence for the Secretary as she engages with Asia. I was so very glad to hear about our priorities regarding China, in particular. I believe we can only help each other through engagement, and that China is developing freedoms for her people--albeit slowly--in a way that further integration with the West will only serve to enhance. When I voted for the Democrats this time, it was my sincere wish that deeper engagement and friendship with China would emerge as a bulwark of our foreign policy. I am so very glad to see this beginning. Brava, Madame Secretary! (Feb. 21 2009)

Priscilla in Arizona asks:
What kinds of food do you eat? Asia has a lot of different kinds of food that we don't eat here. (Feb. 21 2009)

Daniel in Alaska asks:
Is the administration considering increased investments in nonviolent communications training for groups in authoritarian countries or in insurgency prone areas in Asia and elsewhere? I'm thinking of places like Myanmar/Burma, Philipines and Thailand. With the success of nonviolent revolutions in the Phillipines and Serbia in the past century it seems worth trying. (Feb. 21 2009)

Arden in New York asks:
Congratulations on your wonderful impact on Asia. As you said this morning, the Obama administration's main job right now, given where we are in the world and what this administration has inherited, is to repair relations (badly damaged for the past eight years) with governments and people all over the world. Continued good luck and Godspeed. (Feb. 21 2009)

Kevin in Florida asks:
Madame Secretary Clinton, I would like to ask what did you learn from your trip to Asia and how were you recieved as the new Secretary of State? (Feb. 20 2009)

Jeffrey in Florida asks:
Do you think that you can assist China in improving their Human rights record? (Feb. 20 2009)

Shaun in Georgia asks:
Secretary Clinton: Asia is a vast multiplicity of cultures and characteristics, as you know. There is much to learn from them as they can learn from us. The relationship with the continent has, however, been strained over the last few decades by American administrations and, thus on both sides of the world there exists a distaste of the other as much as there exists love. Do you have an agenda that specifically targets an improved relationship that can aid in culture, trade, education, and scientific research? Is it possible to remove the breeding grounds for extremism over there? Does America really understand and embrace America as much as Asians embrace us? (Feb. 20 2009)

Craig in Florida asks:
Hillary: How was your trip alike and dfferent as Sec. of State than it was when you were First Lady? (Feb. 20 2009)

Promise in Barbados asks:
How was the trip to Asia? Hope you really enjoyed it. (Feb. 20 2009)

David in Belgium asks:
Dear Secretary Clinton:On behalf of our Facebook-group "Hillary Clinton Foreign Policy Observation Centre", we would like to thank you for taking out time for us to answer some of our questions; 1) to what extent does the fact that your first trip as Secretary of State is to Asia, reflect a changing geopolitical and geo-economic perspective in the Obama Administration, compared to past administrations? 2) what are the main objectives of your trip? how do you evaluate the talks you had until now? 3) to what extent does the current financial and economic crisis affect the US-Asia relations, what dangers/opportunities do you see? Thanks a lot for your time. (Feb. 20 2009)

Lucille in Florida asks:
How was your experience and what did you enjoy the most? (Feb. 20 2009)

Curtis in Singapore asks:
Greetings Secretary Clinton! First, I commend you for coming to Asia on your first overseas trip and the important signal it sends about the Obama administrations engagement with the region, particularly with Southeast Asia. That said, in your discussions with ASEAN Secretary General Pitsuwan, was there any talk about Burma and what the new administrations stance is? To be frank, I think a lot of people have been disappointed in not only how ASEAN has handled Burma (one of its own members), but also how the previous administration handled the issue of Burma and Aung San Suu Kyi. Can you shed any light on the direction President Obama will take in engaging ASEAN on the Burma issue? Thanks in advance for your response. (Feb. 20 2009)

Kevin in Florida asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: What was your favorite Asian cuisine while you met diplomatic leaders in Asia during February 15-Present? (Feb. 19 2009)

Tony in Washington, DC asks:
It seems that many Asian allies are sending their brightest students, workers and others to our country at a much higher rate than we are to theirs. How will you encourage and invest in the export of American talent to the region? (Feb. 19 2009)

Bob in U.S. asks:
Why are you in Asia? What is the purpose? (Feb. 19 2009)

Darren in Arizona asks:
Mrs. Hillary Clinton: Don't you think that your time would be more honorably spent if you were considering capturing Osama bin Laden and bringing his side of the story to the front? Let me know please. Remember 9/11? (Feb. 19 2009)

Burim in New York asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: Allow me first to congratulate on a wonderful job you doing representing U.S.A. abroad. As you travel through Asia you will visit countries that have yet to join 55 other countries to recognize The Republic of Kosovo. Will you be doing any lobying on behalf of our newest ally and most pro-American country (probably) in the world? (Feb. 19 2009)

Paul in New Mexico asks:
Madam Secretary, Will you be addressing the issues of Human trafficking, and child labor, on your trip through Asia? Thanks. (Feb. 19 2009)

Darrell in Alabama asks:
Why didn't you visit Vietnam on this Asia trip? Vietnam's 85 million people are nearly the size of North and South Korea combined and their favorability of the U.S. is one of the highest in Asia. They could be a counterbalance to China and a huge trade option beyond the small incremental steps we've taken with them over the past few years. Allow their military officers to come here to Air Command and Staff College, in Alabama, like the other 40 international officers already in attendance. As a Political-Military Affairs Officer visiting the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam next month, I'd love to explore academic insights with them and would value their partnerships beyond the military. (Feb. 19 2009)

Daly in Egypt asks:
Does the trip of Secretay of State to Asia now mean that the Middle East, regardless of all its implications, is not a priority on the U.S.A. agenda? (Feb. 19 2009)

Sam asks:
Will there be a major move with the ASEAN under Obama Administration? How will a close relation with ASEAN affect U.S. interest in the area? (Feb. 19 2009)

Judy in Georgia asks:
After having studied indepth the countries in Southeast Asia, the people, their beliefs and customs, I wonder how difficult you find it is to reach a mutual udnerstanding with the political leaders of these countries? Or, at this point, are you strictly setting up open dialogue and agetting acquainted status with these people groups? And finally, are you enjoying the distinct dishes offered in the Asia Cuisine? (Feb. 18 2009)

Joanne in Virginia asks:
What are your plans to adress American's damaged brand overseas? (Feb. 18 2009)

Craig in Ohio asks:
Given modern comunications technology, what can be accomplished by traveling to foreign countries that justifies the greater expense? (Feb. 18 2009)

Rebecca in Florida asks:
Madame Secretary: What have you gained from visiting the countries chosen for your first trip overseas? How will this help you perform your job as the Secretary of State? (Feb. 18 2009)

Fabiana in Mexico asks:
Why did you decided to visit Asia in your first trip abroad? Kind regards. (Feb. 18 2009)

Neleah in Ohio asks:
I am 6 years old and I am doing a living museum project at my school and I will be playing you in this at Delshire Elementary and I was just wondering what facts you can tell me that you are doing in Asia. Thanks a lot. (Feb. 18 2009)

Burhan in Idaho asks:
Did You enjoy your trip? What is the outcome? Thanks. (Feb. 18 2009)

Brandon in Washington, DC asks:
Madam Secretary, what is the administrations current stance on relations with Vietnam? Is the state department currently in any talks with the country and are there any plans for you or the president to visit the country? Thank you and keep up the great job. (Feb. 18 2009)

D.F. in Missouri asks:
Shalom, Secretary Clinton ~ My concern regarding our United States of America's foreign policy, is "Legacy Leadership." Frankly, the photo-ops are mildly interesting but of little substance. I mean it is nice to see smiling faces in different cultural settings, but lets be real with the American people - faux smiles are a diplomatic art form. I want to hear how you, Secretary Clinton, carry the meaty message to Asian heads of state that the State of Israel is our friend and ally (and not try to pretend our foreign policy is balanced toward Arabists). We expect even our Asian partners in business and cultural exchanges to fully acknowledge the State of Israel's sovereign right to protect her people against any and all foreign and domestic terrorists. Thank you for responding. (Feb. 18 2009)

Wendy in California asks:
What are the several questions *you* are most asked by governments and especially by women's groups as you make this historic transpacific journey? Is there an emerging theme to what's on *their* minds? (Feb. 18 2009)

Andrew in Australia asks:
Just wondering when you and the President are going to visit Australia? (Feb. 18 2009)

David in Oregon asks:
Will you be going to the Philippines this trip and meet their people? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Justin in Wisconsin asks:
Dear Secretary Clinton: What is the one moment you'll remember forever about your first trip as Secretary of State? P.S. Love you tons!! Keep up the excellent work :o) (Feb. 17, 2009)

Terry in Connecticut asks:
What is it like traveling on the Secretary of State's Boeing 757? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Ryan in New York asks:
How is your trip? How is the weather? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Brian in California writes:
Madame Secretary Clinton: I hope your trip to Asia is extremely successful and safe.I am very excited that you are representing our country. I admire you a great deal. My question states: What type of response is the Asian government thus so far giving to the notion of climate change and the drastic changes that need to be instilled. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Andrew in New York asks:
Secretary Clinton, what specifically will you do to strengthen diplomatic relations between the United States Government and the governments of Asia? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Agga in California asks:
Madame Secretary:With the unprecedented State Secretary first official visit to Asia, particularly what diplomatic ties is the United States attempts to galvanize with Indonesia? I know that we have been sending our financial, physical, as well as humanitarian efforts through USAID; are we going to increase more developmental initiatives and plans for Indonesia? Thank you and have a great trip. (Feb. 17, 2009)

George in Wyoming asks:
Let me see if I have this right -- My goverment is going to ask China for a loan -- so that we can give some of it to North Koran to play nice. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Mary in Washington asks:
Dear Madame Secretary, Thank you for taking this historic trip on behalf of our country and our relationships around the world. As a retired scientist, I am wondering if you have met with groups of scientists during your trip to be briefed on scientific developments in Asia, and do you foresee ways that the State Department might promote additional international collaborative efforts among scientists. I look forward to your response. Thank you. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Doug asks:

Hello. My U.S. History I class recently discussed your job and the many duties that come with it. We are fascinated by your trip to Asia and the fact that we had a special visitor in class today - you!! I impersonated you to inform the class about your job title and responsibilities. It helped us learn more about the Secretary of State. 1) What are you most looking forward to about your trip to Asia? 2) Why is it so important to travel to Asia as you perform your duties as Secretary of State? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Jiesheng in Singapore asks:
Madam Secretary, what will be the new adminstration's relationship be towards the development of South East and East Asia as a whole? Will you increase the USAID's/MCA's resources in helping countries such as the Indochina region and to some extent, the Philippines achieve the MDGs? Will you be engaging with China on issues such as poverty (in Asia and beyond) and other development related subjects? Thank You. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Ann in Washington asks:
This is a light question, but I am curious. On this trip, will you be taking the opportunity to do any personal shopping, for gifts or mementos? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Frank in Guam asks:
Hafa Adai Madam Secretary Clinton. Will you be visiting Guam during your travel to Asia? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Roger in Turkey asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: What will be the most important issue that needs to be taken care of in the next ten years with the Asian countries? Is it economical ties,defense topics,immigration,or something else? Thank you very much. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Alex in New Zealand asks:
Kia Ora Hillary: When will you come to New Zealand? We'd love you to swing by! Regards. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Christian in Florida asks:
As president of my high school's Model United Nations club, I find that the role of the United States will depend increasingly not only on the relationships with other nations, especially those in every corner of Asia, but also with NGO's and the United Nations. How can you as Secretary of State provide any of the much-needed support for these groups that have been proven to spawn such collective international awareness of the critical and sometimes dire crises that people face around the planet? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Rick in Philippnes asks:
Madam: Wll you meet with President Arroyo? If not, do you have any future plans to meet with her? Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. By the grace of God, please have a safe trip and return home. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Paul in Florida asks:
How was your flight? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Linda in Texas asks:
Later, as you complete the end of your first trip as Secretary of State, I would like to know what, if anything, surprised you? Thank you. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Nicholas in New York asks:
Secretary Clinton, Do you plan to eat any interesting foods while you are in Asia? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Helen in New York asks:
Does this trip remind you of travelling with Bill when he was president? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Liza in Texas asks:
What can the U.S. do to help with equality for women in Asia? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Tavia in Virginia asks:
What is your number 1 task you hope to achieve while in Asia? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Jay in Phippines asks:
What considerations came into play on what countries to visit in your first trip to Asia? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Warren in Australia asks:
It is great to see that the United States are maintaining and revitalizing their international relations in the Asia Pacific Region. I do understand why Japan, China and North Korea were selected for the nations to visit. However it disappoints me that Australia a close ally in terms of foreign, commerce and defense relations. Therefore the Question is why is Australia not being visited? I would like to say congratulations on your appointment to the portfolio as U.S. Secretary of State. I think the United States will truly shine under your tenure as State Secretary in partnership with the U.S. President's goals. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Donald in Maryland asks:
Hi. I have a some questions for you. How did you get to Asia? Did you like the trip at all? Do you like your new job for the White House? I Sure would like too meet you and Obama too, and can't forget the Vice-President of U.S.A. Joe Bidin. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Terry in Connecticut asks:
Are you enjoying your job and the your 757 Boeing jet? I am glad you are representing us around the world. The wife and I love you! (Feb. 16, 2009)

Karim in Californina asks:
Hi Secretary Clinton: Thank you so much for visiting Asia! Your expertise will serve as a huge advantage on tackling the major problems there! My question is not directly linked to East Asia but more linked towards South Asia. I'm very concerned about the situation in Pakistan, especially Swat Valley, where the Taliban has taken control over and established Islamic law. The government of Pakistan has recently brokered a deal with the Taliban and have allowed them to stay in the Swat Valley to establish Islamic law which has led to massive killings of innocent civilians. As an American, I am deeply worried that our efforts in protecting America are being comprised as these terrorists are intent on attacking us with their anti-American sentiment. I fear that this will be the new breeding ground for more terrorists and that the rest of Pakistan will fall under the Taliban's hand. Secretary Clinton, what are you going to do to help us in this situation and protect America? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Peter in Wisconsin asks:
Dear Secretary of State Clinton: How do you or members of the Presidents Cabinet travel from point A to B? Is it just any airline or is it with Airforce 1? Thank you. Respectfully yours. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Kyle in New Jersey asks:
Madam Secretary: How do you like your new plane? :-) (Feb. 16, 2009)

Tanya in Minnesota asks:
Congratulations on your first trip as Secretary of State. How are you dealing with the extreme time change and busy schedule in Asia? I am sure you are used to this in your travels as First Lady and U.S. Senator. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Johan in Malaysia asks:
Dear Mdm Secretary Clinton: When will you visit Malaysia? I recently went to the US Embassy and was so happy to see your picture on the walls.You're doing great as SoS! Keep up the good work. Best wishes,

Rudy in Florida asks:
Hello Madam Secretary. First off I would like to share with you of my excitement on your nomination and confirmation as secretary of State. I am a huge supporter. The question that I have for you is: Of all places, Why was Asia on your top priority list? What would come to our minds is that perhaps Iraq, Iran or somewhere else in the middle east would have been on the top of the list. Thank you. Best Regards and good luck to you. (My heart is at ease knowing that someone like you is at charge of such an important task.) (Feb. 16, 2009)

James in New Jersey asks:
Don't you think that you should be saying that you are the Secetary of State of the United States of America and not saying that you are going over to represent the Obma administration? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Kenneth in Michigan asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: There is an editorial in todays Bangkok Post Monday, February 16, 2009 (Editorial: so what are friends for?) that you should be aware of. Apparently the Thai people feel slighted because, after 175 years of rock solid support for the U.S., you are not stoping there on your visit to Asia. Is there a reason for this? They were so happy to see the Bush Administration gone, and want a better relationship with this administration. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Michael in California asks:
Why didn't you include the Philippines in your itinerary on your recent trip to Southeast Asia when this was once a former U.S. colony, the 3rd front (as some say) on the war against terror and an invitation from their President? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Chidu in Maryland asks:
Secretary Clinton, why isn't India, which made major advances in ties with the U.S. during the Bush administration (building on what the earlier Clinton administration initiated) on your Asia schedule? Do you see India as part of Asia or as a part of a sub-set, the so-called ''South Asia''? Do you have plans of a separate visit to India -- if so when? Is the fluid political atmosphere in India, with an impending election, one of the reasons for deferring the visit? Thank you and best wishes for a successful trip. (Feb. 16, 2009)

William in Alaska asks:
What are the most useful roles for Alaskans in the Pacific? Very cordially yours. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Tommy in Norway asks:
Dear Madam Secretary: I wish you a pleasant trip to Asia. :-) Kind regards from a Clinton Supporter in Norway. (Feb. 16, 2009)


Srini in Virginia asks:
Madame Secretary: What is your view on the genocide in Srilanka?. As you know Srilankan Government is involved in ethnic cleansing of Tamils by bombing hospitals, "safe-zones" etc., scroes of civilans are getting killed everyday. What would U.S.A. do to stop this genocide?. SLA is bombing the civilians without any respect to the world opinon to stop this war, situation will definitely worse if LTTE lay down arms and SLA took full control. Did you agree this? Also, from the bitter war between these factions it is evident that a separate Tamil Eelam is the need of the hour, did U.S.A. support this? Instead of viewing this issue thro the Indian prism, will U.S.A. take a independent view of the situation? I agree if tamil Eelam was to be given today under the control of LTTE, it would be rewarding violence, but if Mr. Prahabakarn surrenders to the court of law and LTTE promises that none of their top leaders will be part of the Tamil Eelam and that leaders will be choosen by the civilians, will U.S.A. support Tamil Eelam? Every tamilian in this world has high hopes towards you Madame to stop the genocide and to help achieve Tamil Eelam. I sincerely pray that you will fulfill their aspirations. With mountain of hopes. (Feb. 22, 2009)

Lian in Japan asks:
Madam Secretary: What do you think is the best way to solve political conflicts in Burma? What would be your approach and policy towards Nypidaw? (Feb. 22, 2009)

Kevin in Philippines asks:
Hi there Secretary Hillary Clinton. My question is, what is the important role that the Philippines can contribute in the United States' continued fight for terrorism? (Feb. 22, 2009)

Louis in Georgia asks:
Secretary Clinton: What is international perception of the united states economic state? Does it seem to be a topic of discussion on a broad range? (Feb. 21, 2009)

Jake in Tennessee asks:
I am wondering how you can toss aside basic human rights for all people, as defined by our Founding Fathers, just for the pursuit of economic interests? You stated "Human rights cannot interfere with the global economic crisis, the global climate change crisis and the security crises." This is the most absurd comments I have ever heard. It is almost deplorable that a member of the US government would utter such words. I think you really need to go and look at yourself and really define what your true values are. I gave up a lot of prosperity to pursue service in the military, a service which is to protect the basic human rights for all. Perhaps you should think of doing the same. Next time you speak, make sure to clarify you are speaking for yourself, not all Americans. If find your comment deplorable, and I strongly condemn it. (Feb. 21, 2009)

Useman in Pakistan asks:
Hey Mrs, Hillary Rodham Clinton! It's always been inspiring, and encouraging to see the fact that the "Great Blue and White," the United States of America, is making a difference felt in the world, and not only just this difference, or just this diplomacy "at its very best." but giving hope, courage, and making a difference in the lives of so many people, cultures, traditions, gender, nations, and geographically located people, day-in and day-out. I believe that change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. There is not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America -- there's the United States of America. Mrs. clinton, tell me that if there is a student, who belongs to South Asia, who has just specifically speaking finished his undergraduate studies in computer sciences from a well-recognized computer sciences ranked campus of the Asian region, can he be given the chance of doing an internship at the U.S. State Department? If he intends, wishes and hopes to contribute the U.S. in any way possible, because he feels and realizes that he has been given the symbol of "hope" by a person, whose name happens to be "Barack Hussein Obama"? I'Il be waiting for your respective reply Mrs. Clinton. Reagrds, and saying it loud " Yes we can!" and "Yes we will!" (Feb. 21, 2009)

Bob in New York asks:
Thank you for doing a wonderful job. Are other country citizens also worried about there economy as much as Americans? Do they also have a high unemployment and forclosure rates? Are they having any success with any type of stimulus? Thank You again!!! (Feb. 20, 2009)

Jennifer in California asks:
I am concerned about Sharia law around the world. Recently I learned that President Arroyo has allowed Sharia Law to be used by Muslim people in The Phillipines. Additionally, the use of Sharia law in the SWAT Valley is disturbing. Can we raise this issue as a threat to democracy and women's and children's lives? (Feb. 20, 2009)

Pete in North Dakota asks:
Just wanted to give a great big compliment on what I have heard about your up front, no nonsense comments. I also thought your appearance on the show "awesome" was the kind of representation the United States has needed for a long time. As a retired Veteran I thank you for representing the U.S. so well. (Feb. 20, 2009)

Reese in Alabama asks:
President Obama was elected with a clear mandate from his supporters to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It seems that so far both you and he are continuing the Bush folly, sending more troops to Afghanistan in an illegal and immoral war and occupation. When will we and the world see the change in Middle East policy we are waiting for? (Feb. 20, 2009)

Ivan in Utah asks:
Are you having fun as Secretary of State? (Feb. 20, 2009)

Toni in Australia asks:
No question, I'm sorry. I just wanted to offer my congratulations and best wishes to Secretary Clinton in her very important new venture. I think we would be hard pressed to find a better person to do the job. As an Australian with a strong interest in global politics, I am confident global harmony can only increase with Ms Clinton and Mr Obama doing the two most important jobs. Not that it will be easy. Good luck. (Feb. 20, 2009)

Kevin in Ireland asks:
May God bless you Hillary in your great work. The Irish people love you and Bill and Chelsea. We are Sincerely grateful. Please come back to Ireland soon and bring the family. Barak Obama and Joe Biden are great guys, we love them. We love you Hillary. (Feb. 19, 2009)

Sher in California asks:
Dear Mrs. Clinton: First of all I would like to say that I'm a big fan of you and Mr. Clinton. My question to you is: How will the Dept. of State (under your rule) shine with its policies towards countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Kirubeal in Washington asks:
Dear Secretary Clinton: When will the United States, the beacon of democracy, stop funding the freedom killers in Ethiopia? The dictators who are terrorizing the Ethiopian people have rearrested the chairwoman of the main opposition party in Ethiopia. These barbaric dictators are torturing Ms. Burtukan Mideksa in solitary confinement on your watch. In fact, they are getting more incentive from IMF and the European union to continue to kill freedom and democracy in Ethiopia. Can you help in any way you can to free the queen of democracy who is languishing in bug-infested jail cell in Ethiopia today? Thank you. Sincere regards. (Feb. 19, 2009)

Rebecca asks:
What change in policy will be made in this administration concerning the millions of people that need our assistance which is whithheld due to our lack of financial interest in the area (i.e. Tibet, Kurds, North Koreans, etc.)? (Feb. 19, 2009)

QinXu in Singapore asks:
I would like to ask Secretary Clinton what she thinks of the long term relationship between the United States of America and Singapore under the Obama's administration? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Elame in Gabon asks:
Good day Mrs Clinton. I am a Cameroonian living and working in Gabon with and American (oil drilling) company offshore. I am 30 years old and I speak French and English fluently. Please your excellency, I wish to know how exactly is your government planning to help young Africans and the African continent as a whole given the fact that President Obama has a family in this continent? Secondly, we young Africans believe that we are suffering all this while because of our leaders; dictators like Mogabe of Zimbabwe, Paul Biya of Cameroon, Omar Bongo of Gabon, Ghadafi of Libia, Mubarrack of Egypt, Obiang of Equatorial Guinee, etc. Can your country or your foreign policies do something to chase them out of power and restore peace and stability in this continent? if yes, how? Thanks. (Feb. 19, 2009)

Tobinwa in Arkansas asks:
What is the goal/mission of that Cabinet? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Jordann in California asks:
Congratulation Secretary Clinton: I am so very proud of you and the work you are doing for America- What is the common stuggle that we as a global community face in terms of economic challenges along with social challenges? Also how can we as everyday citizens contribute? (Feb. 19, 2009)

David in Germany asks:
Madame Secretary of State, during your tenure, would you fight for the freedom of Nobel Peace Price laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's freedom? Thank you! (Feb. 19, 2009)

Michael in California asks:
Madame Secretary, it's nice to see you meeting with our allies, but when are you planning on meeting with our foes so that the real issues facing our nation on an international basis can be addressed and what results do you expect to achieve once you have held those meetings? (Feb. 19, 2009)

Marti in Washington asks:
I just finished listening to an interview on the Jim Lehrer News Hour with Richard Holbrook. He was impressive. I am so pleased to hear someone speak with in-depth knowledge and insight into the cultures and concerns of the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. I have spent some time in this region and have a great affinity for its' peoples and cultures. But what I most want to convey to you is the sense of assuredness and relief I felt as the interview concluded. It honestly brought tears to my eyes because I sense now, that my government is truly addressing the matters with seriousness, goodness, and sensibility. I don't think I realized the anxiety and angst I carried the last seven years in regards to our nations foreign policy until witnessing a contrasting performance. Thank you Madame Secretary, for your leadership. Your team really will help us average Americans sleep better at night. We need you! Know that you have a fan in Washington state praying for you regularly. :) (Feb. 19, 2009)

Sarah in California asks:
Have you encountered any difficulties establishing credibility as a female leader in the countries you are visiting, particularly those where women typically play a less dominant or equal role in society? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Bob in California asks:
How do you propose to adopt an even-handed approach to both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian dispute? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Carolyn in New York asks:
I would be curious to hear your thoughts about the decision by others in the Obama administration to participate in planning the Durban 2 conference in April. Durban 1 back in 2001 has been widely characterized as an anti-West anti-Israel hate fest. What is our national advantage in lending legitimacy to this human rights masquerade by participating in the planning? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Lucas in Virgina asks:
I know that Asia is a vital part of the U.S.A.'s trade and development partnerships, going forward. Peace with Asia is very important for the our survival. However, I know that Africa can also play a vital part in the peace and stability of the U.S.A. What part is the State Department going to play in capturing the African muslims for purposes of isolating fundamentalist that have always found safe havens in the continent??!! I realize that this needs to be done early in this administration's honeymoon stage, to avoid any infiltrations by the bad guys. (Feb. 18, 2009)

Aparna in Georgia asks:
Would you support India if they launched surgical air strikes against terrorist training camps in Pakistan? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Marge in New York asks:
What is the prevailing impression of American's and what can be done to improve our relations and change bad impressions? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Frank in South Carolina asks:
I used to work for the State Dept, and I understand the mission of the State Dept. To further relationships with other countries through diplomacy. But I believe we need to take action on behalf of David Goldman, to help him get his son Sean back. This case seems to be pretty similar to Elian Gonzalez's case. I'm not saying we do the same thing, but I feel like we need to show Brazil we are serious about paternal rights. What are you going to do to help bring Sean home? (Feb. 18, 2009)

Sophia in California asks:
Just a comment. I love the idea of your blog. I think its fantastic for our leaders to be somewhat transparent in their actions, travels, observations and thoughts. I hope you keep updating your blog with photos and just plain observations. The blog gives us a small window into how the world sees America and what you see in your day to day travels and visits. Too often, our foreign and domestic policy is "announced" to the American people with little background. Eventhough I am an avid reader of news/analysis, I often don't have the luxury of deeply understanding or experiencing the issues that impact our policies. I hope that through this blog, I can better understand the nuances and experiences that affect our government's decisions. Thanks and "yi lu suen feng" ("safe travels" in Mandarin Chinese) (Feb. 18, 2009)

Burnell in Iowa asks:
We have a huge trade imbalance. We allow foreign products to be sold in the USA, without a tax. At the same time, products made in this country pay many different taxes. This seems to give foreign products an unfair advantage in our economy. Why is it that we do not have a value added tax or national income tax or consumption tax, like many European countries? If we had such a tax,it would help to level the things out. This seems to make sense. We could even give lower income citizens a tax rebate or credit to make the tax less regressive. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Naomi in California asks:
Madam Secretary: I am interested in your views regarding Mexico. As a resident of a border-town, I am concerned about the violence across the border which frequently crosses over in the form of kidnappings. From what I understand, this is a cross between a drug war and basic revenge against a government that wants to crack down. I'm not sure but I know it is so terrible that our local paper reports on Tijuana violence now. Is Mexico a place you might use your diplomatic influence? Are you aware of any plans to appoint an ambassador to the region? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Maggie in Ohio asks:
Do you have any suggestions for young people interested in the foreign service? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Nate in Ohio asks:
Secretary of State Clinton, I am a 17 High School Senior, and I someday hope to become a politician like you. As a member of the National Eagle Scout Association, I feel that it is important to work for your community and become a productive and hard-working member of society. I want to make this country the best it can be. I hope to one day become a national political figure and maybe one day hold a position similar to yours (and if I'm lucky, maybe even running for the Presidency). So my question to you is what specific subjects should I persue to become a politican like you? Thank you in advance for your response. (Feb. 17, 2009)

David in New York writes:
Madame Secretary: Loved you as my Senator and now as our new Secretary. What do you feel is the most important job of the Secretary of State? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Dan in Ohio writes:
Mrs. Clinton: I know you are a busy person, but I was hoping that you lend any assitance possible to David Goldman to help get his son Sean home from Brazil, who is holding him in violation of the Hague Treaty as you know. Brazil would certainly have to listen to someone of your stature. This is very important to anyone who has heard his story and would be a wonderful example of government working for its citizens. And getting this precedent set would certainly help disuade Brazil from repeating their awful actions of the last 4 plus years. Please help...this is important. Thank you for your time. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Michelle in Arizonia asks:
Hello Hillary. Great to see you in the forefront of it all. You make us look good! Keep up the good work! Peace and good health! Be well. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Dennis in Wisconsin asks:
Just a note of delight for this feature. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Mohammad in Egypt asks:
This question has no relation about ur traveling to Asia; It just from me to you Mrs.Clinton. I just want to know how come you say that you work hard to achieve peace? (Feb. 17, 2009)

Muhammad in Pakistan asks
I am U.S.A. educated and former member of Wichita State student Senate (1988-89). I am teaching in Pakistan. I want to ask the honourable Secretary what she wants to do to improve the rural life in South Asia? What she plans to do so that poor get good education, justice and health care in rural South Asia? I feel the U.S.A. should improve justice, education and health system in South Asia by sending U.S.A. judges who should observe court proceedings in remotes areas and ask the goverments to change laws acceptable to the free world. The right of free speech should be allowed by all governments. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Michael in New York asks
Hello Madame Secretary: My question comes in regard to todays appeasement of the Taliban by the Pakistani government. With such concession being made by the Pakistani Government to Taliban terrorists, what actions will the United States take to keep the region stable and secure? Will the United States allow the Taliban, who sympathize with our enemies, to nest securely while our troops are in harm's way? Thank you for your time. (Feb. 17, 2009)

Elliot in New York asks:
From an article in the Feb. 13th The Forward, will Sec. Clinton renew her commitment to restore the original mission of the Office of the Holocaust to insure that victims of the Holocaust receive a just and fair restitution settlement, a course of action she commendably pursued 8 yrs. ago, which had been ignored by the Bush administration? The upcoming international conference in Prague appears to be an important forum for addressing this issue. Best wishes. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Mahdad in Iran asks:
Honorable Secretary of State, H.E Hillary Rodham Clinton: More Power to your Elbow! I wish You Happiness, Good Health and Prosperity on your Diplomatic endeavors and undertakings during your official visit to Asia. Madam Secretary I would be grateful if you could tell me in your point of View what kinds of policies should be adopted to Strengthen the Trans-Pacific cooperation and establish a Trans-Pacific Alliance like the existing efficient model of Trans-Atlantic Alliance? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Subrahmanyan in India asks:
How does the Secretary see the India-U.S. relations in the Obama administration.The Bush era has seen a dramatic engagement with India and people of India seem to endorse it.Will the Obama administration carry this relationship a step forward in the advent of the Mumbai Terror attacks? We have seen good government to government contacts in the last presidency, will this time be more stress on cultural and people to people engagement? Is it appropriate to say that the best is yet to come in relationship between our two nations? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Kathleen in Texas asks:
No question, just my best to you as U.S. Secretary of State... (Feb. 16, 2009)

Chris in Georgia asks:
How are the diplomatic leaders and foreign ministers treating you and do they treat you any differently now? I know its probably been a whirlwind for them to see you go from meeting with their wives as First Lady to being in a Senate Diplomatic Tour as Senator to being the nations top diplomat for them. I would also like to know, are you going to throw Bill around as a sort of De Facto Vice-Secretary of State to other nations? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Iyad in Syria asks:
What do you think about visiting Syria? Don't you think it is important to persuade us of a new American political way? I do think you'll say "not yet" or something likes that however, but I believe humanity makes its suitable times... Thank You. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Nandhivarman in India asks:
Respected Madam: Franklin Roosevelt took the leadership to end the genocide of Jews by the Nazi forces during Second World War II, and we Indian Tamils want to know why the U.S.A. is reluctant to take the lead to end genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka, and genocide of Indian Tamil fishermen in midseas by Sinhalese? (Feb. 16, 2009)

August in Wisconsin asks:
You are in a position of considerable influence and power, where you have an opportunity to strengthen the U.S.'s alliances, and friendships. Don't you feel guilty and foolish playing politics instead? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Steve in Ohio asks:
No question just a comment I know you will do a good job as Sec. of State but I know you would hasve made a wonderful President to. Don't give up on youur dream! (Feb. 16, 2009)

Ross in Florida asks:
Madame Secretary, first off I want to let you know I am such a big supporter of yours and I was so honored that I got to meet you not once, but twice, during the 2008 election season. My question to you is what has surprised you most about your new position as Secretary of State? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Teri in Alabama asks:
International Women's Day is March 8th. Women around the world have celebrated this day since in the early 1900's, yet in the U.S. women have hardly heard of it. We are hardly equal, but too many of us take for granted the strides we have made, and do not show enough support for the struggles of our sisters around the world. Secretary Clinton, you are in the prefect position to promote International Women's Day, so that women around the world can unite in celebration of women and in common purpose for women's equality, safety, and opportunity. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Gatluak in Utah asks:
Hi, madame secretary my name is Gatluak Nhial, as one who follows foreign policy of this adminstration. am curious of the position of the Obama administration position on possible indictment of Sudan President Omer el Basher..? (Feb. 16, 2009)

Stevie in California asks:
Honorable Secretary of State: Are you hiring capable associates, assistants? Thank you so very much. (Feb. 16, 2009)

Hicham asks:
How are you? (Feb. 16, 2009)