US struggling to hold role as global leader, Clinton says

La bataille s’intensifie sur la prédominance du monde, les petits pays comme nous vont juste subir les dommages collatéraux, le QE est un exemple.

Extrait de: US struggling to hold role as global leader, Clinton says, By Daniel Dombey in Washington, 2 2011 20:28

The US is at risk of falling behind in a global battle for influence with China, Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, has warned, in a bleak account of how Washington’s straitened financial circumstances affect its world role.

In an appearance before Congress, Mrs Clinton highlighted the “unbelievable” competition with China for influence over islands in the Pacific, with development of Papua New Guinea’s “huge” energy reserves one of the key issues at stake.

Arguing against proposed cuts to the state department budget, she added that the US was already losing an “information war” to al-Jazeera, the Arab news channel, with Russia and China increasing their international broadcasting as Washington and London pulled back.

“We are in a competition for influence with China; let’s put aside the moral, humanitarian, do-good side of what we believe in, and let’s just talk straight realpolitik,”

she told the Senate foreign relations committee, as she appealed to its members to keep state department funding intact.

Giving ExxonMobil’s $15bn natural gas development in Papua New Guinea as an example, Mrs Clinton added:

“China is in there every day in every way, trying to figure out how it’s going to come in behind us, come in under us.”

She added that Beijing had “wined and dined” all the leaders of “these small Pacific nations”. China has been courting Pacific nations for more than a decade, initially in competition with Taiwan and more recently both as a growing regional power and to secure resources.

Mrs Clinton said that it would be “devastating” to national security to proceed with budget cuts favoured by Republicans of the House of Representatives, which would hit the state department more than many other departments.

The state department says that the cuts would amount to 16 per cent of 2010 spending.

“If anybody thinks that our retreating on these issues is somehow going to be irrelevant to the maintenance of our leadership in a world where we are competing with China, where we are competing with Iran, that is a mistaken notion,”
she said.

Mrs Clinton has also warned the House of Representatives this week of China’s increasing efforts.

“They are expending enormous amounts of money; they have a huge diplomatic presence across the Pacific,” she said. “The very least we could do is have a USAid [development agency] office in either Fiji or Papua New Guinea, so that we fly the flag and people know we care about them. That will be on the chopping blocks.”

She added the US was losing out in battles with other broadcasters backed by other governments.

“We are in an information war, and we are losing that war . . .
Al-Jazeera is winning,”
she said,

while noting China and Russia’s stepped-up international broadcasting and the cuts carried out by the BBC World Service.

“We are missing in action,”
she said.