While Hillary Clinton
held talks with top leaders in Beijing on how to resolve Beijing’s territorial disputes with smaller nations in South China Sea, Xi Jinping canceled his meeting with her at the last minute.
It is speculated that Xi Jinping, ‘President-in-waiting’ did not meet her in protest over her continued insistence that the US-Japan Defense Treaty applied to Diaoyu/Senkaku islands claimed by China. According to unofficial reports, however, Xi did not attend the meeting laid up as he was with a back problem.
Yet, Hillary Clinton, on her last visit as Secretary of State before the November Presidential polls in U.S, held wide ranging consultations with the President, Foreign Minister and other top Chinese officials
Hillary Clinton’s visit failed to narrow differences over South China Sea. The U.S is insisting that China and ASEAN countries work out a code of conduct
to resolve their South China Sea disputes. The nations involved in the dispute include China, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam and Malaysia.
“As a friend to the countries involved we do believe that it is in everyone's interest that China and ASEAN engage in a diplomatic process for the shared goal of code of conduct,” she said.
The Chinese side however, insisted that “…these should be discussed directly by concerned countries on the basis of respect to historical facts, international law, and settled through direct negotiations and friendly consultations.”
An opinion poll conducted recently by China Daily
on the question of the relationship between China and the U.S in 2011 shows that a majority of those polled considers bilateral ties very important and recommended that the “situation on the Korean Peninsula, the Taiwan question and imbalanced trade should be the priorities for the leaders of the two countries…”