Clinton in Hawaii to Proclaim US Role in Asia-Pacific

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Hawaii, where she plans to meet her Japanese counterpart and talk about America’s role in the Pacific region before kicking off a seven-nation Asian tour.Her first stop in Asia will be Vietnam for the annual meeting of Southeast Asian leaders and the East Asia Summit.Clinton’s talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara are expected to deal with China’s aggressive response to the arrest by Japan of a Chinese fishing boat captain in disputed waters.Other nations on Clinton’s itinerary are also looking for assurances that the United States will remain a force in the region as China becomes more powerful.Clinton is expected to deliver that message in a policy speech at the East-West Center in Hawaii.During an earlier visit to Vietnam, Clinton joined several Southeast Asian countries in calling for a multilateral approach to territorial disputes with China. She also annoyed Beijing by declaring a U.S. interest in maintaining free navigation through the South China Sea.But officials say she will take a positive approach to China on the current tour, which includes a stop on China’s Hainan island to discuss plans for a visit to Washington in January by Chinese President Hu Jintao.An official said this week the United States wants to pursue “cool-headed constructive diplomacy” with Beijing – Voanews