Fiorina: Clinton's 'tough talk' on China 'has no impact'

Republican Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (Calif.) said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's "tough talk" on human rights is not an effective way to secure U.S. interests in China.

"I applaud our Secretary of State when she talks in tough terms about human rights," Fiorina said at a Technology Policy Institute forum Monday in Aspen, Colo. But humanitarian rhetoric isn't enough, according to the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive.

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"The truth is that the tough talk in my estimation has no impact," she said. "I believe China is not swayed by our discussions of human rights."

Fiorina said Washington should instead focus on China policies on economic matters.

"What they are swayed by is their own assessment of their commercial self-interest," she said.

Google's saga in China, in which it has struggled with threats from regulators, has been "instructive" on this point, according to Fiorina.

Fiorina argued China policies should have a greater focus on intellectual-property protection.

"Billions of dollars are being pirated by China each year," she said. "We need to protect our own innovation."

Fiorina also addressed domestic policy, saying any Federal Communications Commission (FCC) effort to reclassify broadband as a telecommunications service would amount to "bad public policy."

The FCC has said it is considering this move as a way to better ground its consumer protection and broadband expansion policies.

"We are truly talking about taking a regulatory structure born in the 20th century and trying to apply it to [what has been] an engine for innovation in the 21st century," Fiorina said, referring to broadband.

To read about Fiorina counting up tech job losses and discussing WikiLeaks, read Good morning tech.