PAPEETE, Tahiti (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is in the South Pacific, beginning a six-nation Asia tour during which she aims to reassert American interests in the face of China's growing influence.
Clinton landed in Tahiti late Thursday for a brief refueling stop on a trip that will take her from the Cook Islands to Russia's Far East. The journey will keep her half a world away from U.S. politics at the height of the presidential conventions.
But it will put her at the center of rising tensions over territorial disputes involving China and its smaller neighbors in the South China Sea.
Clinton will visit Beijing at the midpoint her tour.
She will also visit Indonesia and Brunei before wrapping up the trip at a summit in Vladivostok, Russia.