Sep. 1 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives in the Cook Islands to participate in the Pacific Island Forum as Washington looks to boost regional ties. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY - NO REPORTER NARRATION) The United States will expand security partnerships across the Pacific as it strengthens ties with island nations that sit at the intersection of vast maritime resources and key shipping routes, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday (August 31). Clinton arrived in the tiny Pacific outpost of the Cook Islands on Thursday (August 30) to participate in this year's Pacific Island Forum, part of Washington's growing effort to woo nations across the Asia-Pacific which are increasingly coming under China's shadow. She told the gathering, which represents 16 independent and self-governing states ranging from Australia and New Zealand to smaller islands such as Tuvalu and Nauru, that the United States was in the region "for the long haul." Clinton sought to highlight the benefits of the "American model of partnership" in a region where China has in recent years dramatically stepped up its diplomacy and foreign assistance. The trip has spurred some criticism in China, where some commentators accused the United States of seeking to stir up trouble as Beijing's economic and political influence expands.