February 22, 2009 / 8:49 AM / 10 years ago

Clinton says U.S. and China are in the same economic boat

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) talks to Chinese President Hu Jintao during a meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing February 21, 2009. Clinton said on Saturday the United States and China can pull the world out of economic crisis by working together and made clear this took precedence over U.S. concerns about human rights in China. REUTERS/Oliver Weiken/Pool (CHINA)

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and the United States are both dependent on a revival of the U.S. economy and will rise or fall together, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said during a visit to Beijing on Sunday.

“It would not be in China’s interest if we were unable to get our economy moving again,” Clinton said in an interview to Shanghai-based Dragon TV shortly before leaving China.

“So by continuing to support American treasury instruments, the Chinese are recognising our interconnection. We are truly going to rise or fall together. We are in the same boat and thankfully we are rowing in the same direction.”

China is the world’s biggest holder of U.S. treasuries and Clinton said continuing to invest in them was “a very smart decision” for two reasons.

“First, because it’s a good investment, it’s a safe investment. Even despite the economic challenges sweeping over the world, the United States has a well-deserved financial stability reputation.

“And secondly, because our economies are so intertwined the Chinese know that in order to start exporting again to its biggest market, namely the United States, the United States has to take some very drastic measures with this stimulus package, which means we have to incur more debt.”

U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao are expected to meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in London in April.

Clinton said the two countries planned to establish a joint strategic and economic dialogue in which she and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner would participate, although she provided no details.

Writing by Tom Miles; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani

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