FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — With the world’s great powers calling on the Cook Islands, factionalism is increasingly present among island nations of the Pacific. It could be trouble.
Hillary Clinton’s first diplomatic foray into the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) took Washington’s much-vaunted“rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific an enormous step forward while upping the ante in a region that is often passed-over as a political backwater.
The message was simple. The U.S. Secretary of State wants Pacific leaders to believe that Washington thinks the 16 isolated states of the PIF matter, and that they will find a much more amiable friend in the U.S. than in China or Russia.