U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton departed to attend the Pacific Islands Forum in the Cook Islands, on Aug. 30, which leads to joy and sorrow of the tiny nation in South Pacific. On the one hand, it is the first time that the high-level U.S. leader visits the island country. On the other hand, the reception level in the Cooks Islands may not high enough to welcome Clinton.
As an observer at the Pacific Islands Forum, the United States used to merely send low-ranking officials to the forum. Even the Western media were surprised this time about the high-profile visit of Clinton. Michael Powles, senior researcher at the Centre for Strategic Studies: New Zealand, said that the presence of Washington’s top diplomat at the summit would send a clear message to Beijing that the United States intends to re-engage in the region. Agence France Presse clearly pointed out that the move was aimed at curbing China’s growing influence in the region.
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