MATTHEW LEE | Associated Press
US SECRETARY OF STATE Hillary Clinton has pledged renewed American commitment to security in the Asia-Pacific, where tensions are rising between China and its neighbours over territorial disputes and many nations face threats from climate change.
Speaking at a meeting of leaders of South Pacific island nations, Clinton said the US would not abandon its long history of protecting maritime commerce in the region and serving as a counterbalance to domination by any single world power.
However, she played down the idea that the U.S was acting "perhaps as a hedge against particular countries."
She said America wants to cooperate with China in the vast Pacific and encouraged other countries, including those in the region, to do the same.
"The Pacific is big enough for all of us," she told reporters.
Yet she pointed out that China's interests in the region are not necessarily the same as others, contrasting US goals as aimed at adding rather than extracting value.
The comment was a veiled shot at China, which some complain is using its overseas investments to exploit resources at the expense of local populations.