Clinton to embark on extended trip to Asia
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton departs Wednesday on an extended trip through the Pacific region and Asia and has added China to her itinerary, dpa reported.
The nearly two-week trip - the longest of her tenure - starts off with a stop in the US state of Hawaii for a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara before Clinton heads to Vietnam to attend the East Asia Summit.
The seven-country trip is meant to address a host of issues ranging from economics and trade to security, Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell told reporters Tuesday.
"It is intended to send a strong message of US engagement on a range of issues - strategic, political, multilateral," Campbell said. "We'll be dealing with some of the key institutions that are evolving in Asia - and also economics and trade as well."
Clinton will fly from Vietnam to China's Hainan Island to meet with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo in a last-minute addition to the trip. They are expected to discuss Chinese President Hu Jintao's planned visit early next year to Washington.
"Both sides fully recognize both the significance and the importance of President Hu Jintao's upcoming visit to the United States," Campbell said. "And we are seriously engaged in high-level diplomacy to ensure that this trip and the preparations in advance for it go smoothly."
Clinton will also go to Cambodia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand wrap up the trip in Australia.