Hillary set to visit Asia for sixth time in 18 months

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to embark on her sixth Asian visit in 18 months, reflecting the significance attached by the US to its ties with the countries of the region.

Last Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 15:20 PM IST

Washington: Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton is set to embark on her sixth Asian visit in 18 months, reflecting the significance attached by the US to its ties with the countries of the region.

"It covers our engagement with the multilateral
institutions of Asia that are evolving ? the great important
powers of Northeast Asia, high-level diplomacy with Japan,
with China, with South Korea," Assistant Secretary of State
for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Kurt Campbell, told
reporters in a pre-trip briefing.

"A lot of the key emerging states in Southeast Asia
where we have had, frankly, only infrequent visits in the
past, the Secretary is very much looking forward to those
stops," he said.

The trip that would take Clinton to at least half a
dozen countries including Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, New
Zealand and Australian, is the longest Asian visit by her as
the Secretary of State, Campbell said.

In fact, her first overseas visit as the Secretary of
State was to Asia.

"It (the trip) is intended to send a strong message of US
engagement on a range of issues strategic, political,
multilateral. We`ll be dealing with some of the key
institutions that are evolving in Asia and also economic and
trade as well," Campbell said.

After leaving Washington later today, Clinton would have
her first stop in Hawaii where she would be meeting her
Japanese counterpart to review all aspects of their bilateral
relationship, ranging from security developments to prospects
on the economic and trade front.

In Honolulu, she would also deliver a major speech on
Asia at the East-West Centre, a think-tank. From Hawaii,
Clinton would head to Hanoi, with a brief stopover in Guam.

In Hanoi, Clinton will represent the US President as his
Special Representative to the East Asia summit meeting.
Besides, Clinton would also meet Indian interlocutors
participating in the summit.

From Hanoi, she will travel to Hainan Island, where she
will have a meeting with her Chinese counterpart in Strategic
and Economic Dialogue, State Councillor Dai Bingguo.
"At that session, we will review the various issues
in the US-China relationship, make sure that we`re making
adequate preparations for both the upcoming G-20 meeting,
APEC, and particularly for the session that will take place in
January when (President) Hu Jintao will visit the United
States, or in early part of 2011," he said.

From there, Clinton will travel to Cambodia and then
she will go to Malaysia.
After a brief stopover in Papua New Guinea, Clinton
would travel to New Zealand where the two countries will issue
the so-called Wellington Declaration. From there, she will go
to Australia.

PTI