National Public Radio presidential debate

That's what I object to about this administration. We've gotten the worst of both worlds. We've gotten neither the kind of smart enforcement nor the kind of cooperation that might lead to changes in behavior. Instead we have this erratic, incoherent policy.

So I think it's important that, as the next president, I would make it very clear what we expect from China and use every tool at our disposal to try to change behavior.

MS. NORRIS: Just a quick follow. When you traveled to China and then when you returned to the White House, did you advise your husband on Chinese foreign policy or on foreign policy in regard to any other countries that you traveled to? And conversely, if you were elected president, would he advise you?

SEN. CLINTON: I certainly did. I not only advised; I often met with he and his advisers, both in preparation for, during and after. I traveled with representatives from the Security Council, the State Department, occasionally the Defense Department, and even the CIA. So I was deeply involved in being part of the Clinton team in the first Clinton administration. And I am someone who wants the best possible advice from as many different sources as possible, and that would certainly include my husband.

MS. NORRIS: Senator Dodd.

SEN. DODD: Well, I think this is an ongoing situation. I want to commend at this point here people like Nancy Pelosi and others, who just recently, when the Dalai Lama was here, presented him with a gold medal. We've raised the issue — not often enough — on Tibet and what's happened with the almost genocidal behavior, when dealing with this remarkable culture that's been under assault. And the idea that we'd recognize him and welcome him here as a religious leader in the world is exactly the kind of symbols (sic) we need to send.

We're talking here about a lot of things we would do to be tougher on China. It's also important to understand a balance is necessary here. China is acquiring massive natural resources, you raised earlier, around the world. They have huge energy issues. Twenty-five million people a year move from rural China to urban China. We ought to be working with them in various areas on energy policy, environmental policy as well.

So I don't want this to be seen, as we discuss this today here, always just about the acrimonious or the difficult or the tough positions we're going to take —

MS. NORRIS: But — but —

SEN. DODD: — but to make them recognize that the Dalai Lama is an — is an international religious leader who's worthy of recognition. And if they, as they apparently did, threaten to deny some ships to able to move in waters off China over that, they need to be able to understand this isn't going to change in a Democratic administration.

MS. NORRIS: Senator Edwards, with all this tough talk about China, how do you actually hold them accountable?

MR. EDWARDS: You hold them accountable in the WTO. America uses its diplomatic and economic leverage. We have enormous leverage with the Chinese.

And I want to add on to one thing that Chris just said. This whole issue of balance — if you look at what's happened — and this didn't just happen under George Bush; this has been going on for a decade and a half now — in my hometown, the mill that my father worked in, and the people that grew up with — that mill's closed now. The jobs are gone. The same thing has happened in Newton, Iowa, and all across this state.

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