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Saturday, November 17, 2012
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Asia-Pacific Tour

Hillary in Singapore to prepare ground for Obama

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Singapore yesterday for consultations with the city-state's leaders, ahead of an Asia-Pacific summit in Cambodia with President Barack Obama.

While in Singapore, Hillary will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Foreign Minister K Shanmugam and elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew, the US embassy said.

She will deliver a speech today on Washington's economic strategy before joining Obama for the East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh.

A senior US State Department official said earlier that she hoped to get insights about China's new leaders from the Singaporeans, who enjoy close ties with Beijing.

China's relations with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have been strained by rival territorial claims in the sea.

Obama will also visit Thailand and Myanmar as part of his four-day trip to the region, his first foreign visit following his re-election on November 6.

The landmark trip will also be the first by a US president spent entirely in Southeast Asia since the Vietnam War.

It comes as part of Obama's effort to focus on the dynamic and largely US-friendly region in which there are concerns about a rising China.

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