The US could surround China with missiles if Beijing doesn’t agree to Washington's requests to use its influence to disrupt North Korea’s nuclear program, Hillary Clinton apparently said, according to recently leaked emails.
A document featuring Hillary Clinton's private speech transcripts is among leaked emails belonging to her campaign manager, John Podesta. WikiLeaks has been releasing the emails since last week, with over 10,000 hacked documents published so far.
Some of them are believed to reveal the Democratic presidential candidate's stance on relations with China.
"We're going to ring China with missile defense. We're going to put more of our fleet in the area," Clinton apparently said privately in a 2013 speech, when she was head of the US State Department, as quoted by AP.
The then secretary of state was seemingly not pleased with China's opposition to US and South Korean plans to deploy a missile defense system in the region, said to be a measure against North Korea's nuclear tests.
Saying that Pyongyang's potential missiles "could actually reach Hawaii and the West Coast theoretically," Clinton told her private audience that she had confronted Chinese officials on the issue. “So China, come on. You either control them [North Korea] or we're going to have to defend against them," Clinton was quoted as saying.
The Democratic candidate's views on another sensitive issue in the region, the South China Sea dispute, have also been revealed in the hacked emails. In private remarks, she apparently criticized Beijing's position and said that after World War Two the US had "as much right" to call the Pacific Ocean the "American Sea."
"I said, by that argument, you know, the United States should claim all of the Pacific. We liberated it, we defended it. We have as much claim to all of the Pacific. And we could call it the American Sea, and it could go from the West Coast of California all the way to the Philippines," Clinton was quoted as telling her audience in 2013.
"We have as much right to claim that as you do. I mean, you claim [the South China Sea] based on pottery shards from, you know, some fishing vessel that ran aground in an atoll somewhere," she apparently told her Chinese counterparts while confronting them on the issue during her tenure as the State Department head.
China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not immediately commented on Clinton's remarks, AP reported. Clinton's team has neither confirmed nor denied the validity of the hacked emails.