In a farewell speech today at the Council on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made clear that we, the United States, "welcome China's rise." Clinton is expected to step down from her current perch tomorrow, and John Kerry will take her place.

"The Pacific is big enough for all of us," said Clinton, "and we will continue to welcome China's rise if it chooses to play a constructive role in the region. For both of us, the future of this relationship depends on our ability to engage across all these issues at once."

Clinton continued that "That's true as well for another very complicated and important region, the Middle East and North Africa. I've talked at length recently about our strategy in this region, including in speeches at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Saban Forum and in my recent testimony before Congress."

And she suggested her helm as head of the State Department has been successful. "So let me just say this: There has been progress. American soldiers have come home from Iraq. People are electing their leaders for the first time in generations, or ever, in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya. The United States and our partners built a broad coalition to stop Gadhafi from massacring his people. And a cease-fire is holding in Gaza. All good things, but not nearly enough."

Regarding China, President Obama has said something similar in the past. "We welcome China's rise," said Obama in 2011 standing next to China president Hu Jintao at the White House, according to CBS. "I absolutely believe that China's peaceful rise is good for the world, and it's good for America."

Obama continued, "We just want to make sure that that rise occurs in a way that reinforces international norms and international rules, and enhances security and peace, as opposed to it being a source of conflict either in the region or around the world."

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