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Clinton to visit China during Asian tour

By GIULIA LASAGNI, MEDILL NEWS SERVICE, Written for UPI
Clinton to visit China during Asian tour
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. UPI/Roger L. Wollenberg | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will stop in China during a two-week tour of the Asia-Pacific region, State Department spokesman Kurt M. Campbell announced Tuesday.

Campbell said Clinton will discuss U.S.-China relations with her Chinese counterpart in Hainan Island in southern China. She will also prepare for the upcoming Group of 20 meetings, scheduled for November in South Korea and Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States early next year.

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The meeting, Campbell said, is a sign that the United States believes in "positive and constructive" relations with China.

The trip, Clinton's sixth in the region, is intended to send a strong message of American engagement on strategic, diplomatic and economic issues in the area.

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The strategic importance of Asian countries goes well beyond the borders of Asia and encompasses issues, such as climate change or energy security, that are key to American security, Campbell said.

Clinton said in a speech at the East-West Center in Honolulu in January that "Asia is also indispensable to meeting global security and humanitarian challenges."

"Asian nations are helping to prevent nuclear proliferation in Iran, build schools and clinics in Afghanistan, keep peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo and combat piracy off the Horn of Africa," she said.

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Clinton, who will visit Hawaii, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia, is to make her first stop Wednesday in Hawaii, where she will meet American commanders and Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara for a review of all aspects of U.S.-Japan relations.

Clinton will also deliver her second major speech on Asia-U.S. relations.

In Vietnam, Clinton will participate in the East Asia Summit, a forum of 16 Asian countries, and will have high level meetings with local as well as Indian and Russian counterparts.

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Campbell said the United States welcomes Indian's growing power in the region.

Clinton will end her trip Nov. 8 in Australia, "the anchor" of U.S. relations in the Pacific, Campbell said.

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