Bill Clinton kicks off conference in Hong Kong
By MIN LEE,Associated Press Writer AP - Tuesday, December 2
HONG KONG - Former President Bill Clinton kicked off his first charitable conference abroad in Hong Kong on Tuesday after his wife, U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, was named secretary of state by President-elect Barack Obama.
The two-day Clinton Global Initiative in Hong Kong marks the first time the former U.S. leader has held his annual charitable conference overseas _ but it also will be the last while his wife holds her new job.
Bill Clinton's international business connections posed potential conflicts of interest for his wife's post, and as part of the deal for her appointment, he agreed to stop holding the meetings overseas and to refuse donations from foreign governments.
He also agreed to disclose every donor to his foundation since its inception in 1997, step away from the day-to-day running of the foundation, and allow Obama's administration to review his speaking schedule and new sources of income.
In naming Hillary Clinton on Monday in Chicago, Obama called the former first lady "an American of tremendous stature who will have my complete confidence, who knows many of the world's leaders, who will command respect in every capital and who will clearly have the ability to advance our interests around the world."
Bill Clinton issued a statement in support of his wife on Monday.
"She is the right person for the job of helping to restore America's image abroad, end the war in Iraq, advance peace and increase our security, by building a future for our children with more partners and fewer adversaries, one of shared responsibilities and opportunities," he said.
The Hong Kong conference focuses on education, energy and climate change and public health issues in Asia.
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