Clinton Underscores 'Pivot to Asia' as She Wraps Up Tour (Cambodia news in Khmer)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended the East Asia Summit and Asean Regional Forum, two major regional meetings, Thursday, wrapping up a trip to Southeast Asia that also included Laos and Vietnam. Clinton's trip was a reinforcement of the US "pivot to Asia" policy that has meant increased attention on smaller countries in the region. VOA's Scott Stearns, a State Department correspondent, spoke about her trip to VOA Khmer's Men Kimseng from Cambodia on Thursday. Stearns said the administration is now focusing on Asia both militarily and diplomatically to improve the region's economy, following 10 years of focus on Iraq and Afghanistan. In Laos, Clinton stressed environmental protection of the Lower Mekong region and pledged more funding for demining. In Phnom Penh, Clinton met with top diplomats from across Asia and said the US will not take sides on the South China Sea, which has competing claims from China and several Asean states. Asean ministers failed to agree on a code of conduct after Thursday's talks, but officials told VOA that China is willing to engage in more discussions with Asean as early as September. That would be ahead of a major Asean summit scheduled for November, which US President Barack Obama is expected to attend.