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No escape from domestic politics for Clinton in Asia

Published on Sep 3, 2012 10:38 AM
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during an event on peace and security as part of the annual Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands on August 31, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

ARAVUA (AFP) - United States (US) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is missing the Democratic Party convention to build ties in Asia as the US relationship with China increasingly encroaches on politics back home.

Mrs Clinton, the most travelled Secretary of State in US history, was heading on Sunday from a summit in the remote Cook Islands to Indonesia before she meets China's top leaders on Tuesday and Wednesday in Beijing.

She will represent President Barack Obama at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vladivostok on Sep 8-9. The president formally launches his re-election bid at this week's Democratic convention in North Carolina.

Since narrowly losing the party nomination to Mr Obama in 2008, Mrs Clinton has devoted her energy to foreign policy and carefully stayed out of domestic politics - never showing an inch of public distance with her former rival while also maintaining cordial relationships with the rival Republican Party.

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