There will be no major or immediate change in the U.S.-China relations following President-elect Barack Obama's nomination of Hillary Clinton as U.S. secretary of state, some U.S. experts on China said on Monday.
U.S.-China Institute Associate Director Clayton Dube from University of Southern California said in an interview that he based his assumption on the fact that Washington had a number of important issues to resolve immediately, such as dealing with the two wars, the fight against terrorism and problems in the Middle East.
"In solving some of those issues, there needs a closer cooperation with China. I think that over time, the Obama Administration will be a little bit more vigorous in pushing China on a number of issues, but I do not expect overall the relationship to change," Dube said.
"I can expect that Obama and Hillary Clinton are going to work harder to involve and engage China in a number of issues. Hillary has experience in dealing with China on several of those things," Dube added.
Asked whether Hillary Clinton will stick to her husband former President Bill Clinton's foreign policy, Dube said that depended on which stage of the Clinton Administration.
According to him, during Clinton's presidency, he first pushed China hard on human rights issues, but later he decided that it was more important to push for issues to help the U.S. economy and concentrate on trade.
Dube said Hillary Clinton knew how to build a coalition within the leadership, the U.S. Congress and the American people on various foreign policy issues, adding the former first lady was quite experienced in conveying complicated issues to voters.
"She is an outstanding mobilizer, and it is important to mobilize the American people to support the U.S. foreign policy," he said.
Currently, the focus, according to Dube, is on two things: the war and the economy.
He said there would be difficulties in the U.S.-China relations such as trade, currency, human rights and the Taiwan issue. "Those issues are going to come up, but would come up with broad structure where no single issue can be allowed to derail the important cooperativeness that has been forged on economic issues, on nuclear non-proliferation and on environmental issues. Within that structure, they will continue to have a productive relationship."
Stanley Rosen, a China expert and professor at the University of Southern California, expressed similar opinions on the possible development of the U.S.-China relations after Hillary's nomination as Secretary of State.
The China expert shared the view with Dube that Hillary's nomination would not make any major difference in the U.S. policy toward China.
Rosen noted that some China experts in the Obama team would give advices to Hillary on China issues and Obama had to spend much effort on economic issues and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"There is no benefit at all to alienate China. I do not think there will be dramatic changes in the relations between the two countries," he added.
He also said there might be some tensions between the two countries, but the overall trend would be toward a positive direction.