US to follow NZ's lead in Pacific, says Clinton
Sat, 01 Sep 2012 6:02p.m.
By Tova O'Brien
Hillary Clinton says the United States would like to follow the example set by New Zealand for working with China.
The US Secretary of State has been in Rarotonga for talks following the Pacific Islands Forum, and referred to a planned joint venture between New Zealand and China to build a water system on the island.
Ms Clinton says America would also like to work alongside China in aid projects in the Pacific.
PHOTOS: Hillary Clinton's visit to Rarotonga
With open arms Hillary Clinton arrived, in Rarotonga to extend America's reach in the Pacific.
But it's best not to try to change the world on an empty stomach – her first stop local institution Trader Jack’s for breakfast.
“I'm afraid half my team won't want to go onto the next thing,” jokes Ms Clinton.
She nearly made it into meet the waiting leaders, but backtracked when she spotted a group of American nuns. It was hugs and kisses for them and then down to business, with the first of many photo ops.
“Having Hillary here is like, wow” says Trader Jack’s owner Jack Cooper. “It's almost as good as having Zac Guildford run through my bar naked, but I think Zac wins this over Hillary.”
That's not the case for John Key, who was in high spirits for talks with the American Secretary of State.
New Zealand media was allowed two questions – both had to be submitted the night before. We asked how concerned America is over China's growing influence in the Pacific.
“We want a comprehensive, positive and cooperative relationship between the United States and China,” says Ms Clinton. “We think it’s good for our countries; it’s good for our people. It’s not only good for this region, it’s good for the world.”
China's big cash investments in island buildings like sports stadiums has been criticised by some countries, including New Zealand, for missing the real priorities.
“Our relationship with island countries, including Fiji, is not motivated by any self-centred grand strategy of our own,” says Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai.
Ms Clinton is in Rarotonga as part of America's Pacific pivot. It's the most powerful US delegation to ever attend the forum and we are likely to see more of these kinds of visits.
As for New Zealand, the Government loves any time it gets with the States and the relationship between the countries is at an all time high.
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2/09/2012 2:20:10 p.m.
Fair NZer wrote:
Without China's big cash investments in island buildings like sports stadiums, their economies could be falling behind at least a few decades....and wonder USA cares, eh?
1/09/2012 11:24:30 p.m.
should'nt that headline say NZ to do what its told in the pacific
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