Meet and Greet with Consulate Shanghai Employees

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Pudong Shangri La
Shanghai, China
May 22, 2010

SECRETARY CLINTON: Good morning, good morning.


CONSUL GENERAL CAMP: Good morning, you're looking great, and I want to thank you for all your efforts, all your support. Together, we have really achieved a lot in the recent days and weeks and months.

And I see all the kids up here, and I think about Take Your Child to Work Day last month. And those of you who were there got sworn in as officers of the day. And you know, when I got dressed this morning, I found in my pocket the notes I had. You promised to learn all you can about your own country and the country where you're living, and to be a good representative of the United States of America. And I know you're doing that.

And I first want to introduce Ambassador Huntsman, who I think is another example of that. So, Ambassador Huntsman will introduce our Secretary of State.


AMBASSADOR HUNTSMAN: You hardly need the ambassador to stand between a great consul general and a terrific Secretary of State. But I will point out to Secretary Clinton that there is one of our young consular family members with a tee shirt that says, "Future Secretary of State" -- got to make special note of that one. There we go.


AMBASSADOR HUNTSMAN: That's right, yes. Let me just say that the bottom line is, in standing here with the person who could be the most respected person on the world stage -- she's not just our Secretary of State, she's probably the most respected person on the world stage, when you get right down to it -- but if you want to know, really, what the Chinese people feel about the United States, all you have to do is ride on the bus with Secretary Clinton, and watch row after row of people, when they take a look at that bus and they, all of a sudden, discover who is in there. And to see the Secretary come in contact with the people of China, to see them light up, and to see their respect and admiration for the United States of America, but also for our Secretary of State, it warms your heart.

So, Secretary Clinton, this is a phenomenal consulate family, the hardest-working consulate in the world, I am guessing. But I am also probably willing to say that this is the most exciting place in the entire world to serve in the United States Government.

So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you your Secretary of State, and perhaps the most respected person on the world stage today, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.


SECRETARY CLINTON: Oh, thank you. And it's so wonderful to see all of you this morning. And I want to thank Ambassador Huntsman. He has done such a wonderful job for us here, in China, and has been such an active, involved ambassador in every aspect of the mission, and improving relations between our two countries. And I thank you so much for that, John.

And I want to thank your consul general. Consul General Camp has just exhibited extraordinary leadership. And we are very grateful for everything that she has done every day, but particularly for the intense involvement in the preparations for the Shanghai Expo. It is exciting to see the response to our pavilion, and to just get a sense of how important this people-to-people contact is. And I thank you for understanding that, Bea, and doing such a great job.

You know, virtually every major challenge that we face in the world requires China and the United States to work together. I mean, that's not a surprise to you. You see it every day, you facilitate it. All of you are on the front lines of this critical relationship. So I thank you for all of that work, and all of that outreach. It really does matter. And in the next six months I anticipate that the workload of this consulate is going to increase dramatically. I think I see a lot of nodding heads.


SECRETARY CLINTON: And that's because there is going to be a lot of Americans who are going to want to come here and experience this Expo. And that will give us an opportunity to have more outreach to our Chinese visitors, to showcase our values, and also to have more interaction between Americans and the Chinese.

I want to thank Tom Cooney, and his public affairs team, and everyone else involved in making the most of this unique public diplomacy opportunity. And I know that the demands on your day jobs have not decreased, just because you have the added responsibilities. And I understand that you have hosted three cabinet-level visitors, a team from our inspector general's office, and many other Expo-related visitors, all in a single month. So I want to thank the entire management, general services, and facilities management teams.

Now, I am well aware of the tradition called the wheels up party. And some of you who have served elsewhere in the world know this tradition. And I am often the excuse for a wheels up party. Well, I think you should all have a big pavilion down party when all of this is over, because you have been instrumental in making this happen.

You know, I leave later this afternoon for Beijing, to participate in the second strategic and economic dialogue, along with Secretary Geithner, and a very large delegation from our government. We are going to cover a wide range of issues. But one of our priorities is to encourage a more balanced economic relationship between the United States and China. And this is something you work on every single day. We are very grateful for your efforts on behalf of American companies and American farmers in increasing exports and jobs back home.

I want to applaud the consular section for your support of the tens of thousands of long-term American residents in the region, and the flood of visitors from the U.S. every month. You dealt with a 30 percent increase, a year-on-year increase in visa applications from Chinese citizens interested in coming to the United States. And I know this poses some challenges to you. And we have got to get your consular section more space. And we are working to overcome some bandwidth constraints. So, thank you for doing such a great job under some difficult circumstances, while we try to make some adjustments.

Now, I know how hard every member of this mission works. And I wish I could thank each and every one of you by name. But I just wanted personally to express our gratitude for your service to our country and to this important relationship. Now, before I leave, I want to greet as many of you as possible, and I particularly want to take a picture with all of the children, who look so nice, and are being so patient while we do this. And so, while I maybe say hello to some of the grown-ups, maybe we could get the children in an organized scrum in order to take a picture with them, as a memento.

But again, thank you all for everything you are doing. I am really proud of you.


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PRN: 2010/T29-4