Washington: The United States has asked China to support it in imposing sanctions against Iran over Tehran`s controversial nuclear programme as any conflict in the region would have a direct impact on the supply of oil and gas to it from the Gulf.
"We are making the argument in public that China`s dependence on oil from the Gulf should cause it to make a strategic calculation to support sanctions because in the absence of pressure that changes the Iranian efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, there will be an arms race in the Gulf and that will further destabilise the Gulf," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told US lawmakers in her appearance before a Congressional panel.
"It could lead even to conflict, which could dramatically undermine the delivery of oil from the Gulf, so our argument, joined by other countries, including some in the Gulf, to China is that if you`re concerned about your market access to the Arabian Gulf for oil, then you should join the rest of the world in sanctions," she said.
"We were very successful when nobody thought that we could get China on board for the North Korean sanctions, 1,874 out of the Security Council, and even today the South Africans stopped the ship carrying North Korean weapons bound for the Congo to cause more terrible violence and kill even more people there because we got the international community behind us, and that`s what we`re seeking," she said.
"We are making that argument vigorously and lots of people are joining us, to try to convince China to join with the rest of the world," Hillary said.
Earlier, Hillary said with China the Obama administration is seeking areas of common purpose while standing firm where they differ.
"We are making concrete our new beginning with the Muslim world. We are strengthening partnerships with allies in Europe and Asia, with friends in our hemisphere, and with countries around the world, from India to Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, and Turkey," she said.
"At the same time, we are developing a new architecture of cooperation to meet trans-national global challenges like climate change and the use of our planet`s oceans. With regard to the latter, I want to reiterate my support for US accession to the Convention on the Law of the Sea. Our country stands to gain immensely from the treaty," Hillary said.
"Everything we know from what we are picking up with respect to other countries use of the tools under the Law of the Sea demonstrates that we will lose out in economic and resource rights, in terms of environmental interests, and national security," she said.
"In so many instances, our national interest and the common interest converge. We are promoting human rights, from Africa to Asia to the Middle East, the rule of law, democracy, and Internet freedom. We are fighting poverty, hunger, and disease and we are working to ensure that economic growth is broadly shared principally by addressing the role of girls and women," Hillary said.