Clinton going to Asia-Pacific region tomorrow

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on August 29, 2012

A file photo of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In her third trip to the region within a year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will embark on a two-week visit to the Asia-Pacific region tomorrow.

Beginning with Cook Island, Clinton will travel to Indonesia, China, Timor-Leste and Brunei. She will end her trip by leading the US delegation to APEC Economic Leader’s Meeting on September 8-9 in Russia.

“We have been emphasising the pivot to Asia for some time now. The Secretary is personally very invested in that. This is the second or perhaps third trip already this year to Asia,” said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, underlining the importance the region holds for the Obama administration.

“The Pacific Islands grouping has been one that she has been working with and nurturing all the way through. She met with the Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers at the UN General Assembly last year. They invited her to be the first Secretary in some years to come to this forum, and she accepted,” she said.

On the issue of South China Sea dispute, Nuland said multilateral conversation over a code of conduct that “keeps with” international law and the Law of the Sea Treaty is the “best way” to address such disputes and the US “continues to urge” for the same.

“With regard to the South China Sea, I think it’s going to come up first on the ASEAN stops — in Jakarta, probably in Brunei. We have been encouraging, ASEAN to have a unified position and to work from a position of unity with China, and obviously it will come up in China as well,” Nuland said.

In the Cook Islands, Clinton will attend the Pacific Islands Forum Post Forum Dialogue on August 31 as part of US intensive engagement and ongoing collaboration with Pacific Islands.

Her visit will emphasise the depth and breadth of American engagement across economic, people to people, strategic, environmental, and security interests,” she said.

The visit represents a “concerted effort” by the US to strengthen regional multilateral institutions, develop bilateral partnerships, and build on alliances — three core elements of US strategy towards the Asia-Pacific, she noted.

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Published on August 29, 2012
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