Address at the Politburo Standing Committee Members’ Meeting by Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, Great Hall of the People, Beijing (November 15, 2012)
Good day, ladies, gentlemen, and friends. Sorry to have kept you waiting. I am very happy to meet with you, friends of the press.
Yesterday, the 18th CPC [Communist Party of China] National Congress victoriously concluded.
During these days, friends of the press have made lots of coverage on the congress and conveyed China’s voice in abundance to every country around the world. Everyone has been very dedicated, professional, and hardworking. For this, on behalf of the Secretariat of the 18th Party Congress, I would like to express sincere gratitude to you.
Just now, we have conducted the first plenary meeting of the 18th CPC Central Committee and elected the new central leadership organization during the meeting. The plenary meeting election has produced seven Standing Committee members of the Political Bureau and elected me as the CPC General Secretary.
Here, let me introduce to you my colleagues, the other six Standing Committee members.
They are: Comrade Li Keqiang, Comrade Zhang Dejiang, Comrade Yu Zhengsheng, Comrade Liu Yunshan, Comrade Wang Qishan, and Comrade Zhang Gaoli.
Comrade Li Keqiang served as a Standing Committee member of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee while other comrades served as members of the Political Bureau of the 17th CPC Central Committee. You have known them well.
Here, on behalf of the members of the new central leadership organization, I sincerely thank all comrades of the party for their trust in us. We will live up to the great trust placed on and the mission assigned to us.
The great trust of all members of the party and the expectations of people of all ethnic groups around the country are not only a tremendous encouragement to our doing the work well, but also a heavy burden on our shoulders. This great responsibility is the responsibility to our nation. Our nation is a great nation.
During the civilization and development process of more than 5,000 years, the Chinese nation has made an indelible contribution to the civilization and advancement of mankind. In the modern era, our nation experienced constant hardship and difficulties. The Chinese nation reached the most dangerous period. Since then, countless people with lofty ideals to realize the great revival of the Chinese nation rose to resist and fight, but failed one time after another.
Since the founding of the CPC, we have united and led the people to advance and struggle tenaciously, transforming the impoverished and backward Old China into the New China that has become prosperous and strong gradually. The great revival of the Chinese nation has demonstrated unprecedented bright prospects.
Our responsibility is to unite and lead people of the entire party and of all ethnic groups around the country while accepting the baton of history and continuing to work for realizing the great revival of the Chinese nation in order to let the Chinese nation stand more firmly and powerfully among all nations around the world and make a greater contribution to mankind.
This great responsibility is the responsibility to the people. Our people are a great people. During the long process of history, by relying on our own diligence, courage, and wisdom, Chinese people have opened up a good and beautiful home where all ethnic groups live in harmony and fostered an excellent culture that never fades.
Our people love life and expect better education, more stable jobs, better income, more reliable social security, medical care of a higher standard, more comfortable living conditions, and a more beautiful environment.
They hope that their children can grow up better, work better and live better. People’s yearning for a good and beautiful life is the goal for us to strive for.
Every bit of happiness in the world has to be created by diligent work and labor. Our responsibility is to rally and lead the whole party and all of China’s ethnic groups and continue to emancipate our way of thinking, insist on reform and opening up, further unleash and develop social productive forces, work hard to resolve the difficulties faced by the masses in both production and life, and steadfastly take the road of common prosperity.
This is a major responsibility towards the party. Our party is a political party that serves the people wholeheartedly. The party has led the people in scoring accomplishments that capture the attention of the world. We have every reason to be proud. However, we are proud but not complacent, and we will never rest on our laurels.
In the new situation, our party faces many severe challenges, and there are many pressing problems within the party that need to be resolved, especially problems such as corruption and bribe-taking by some party members and cadres, being out of touch with the people, placing undue emphasis on formality, and bureaucracy must be addressed with great effort.
The whole party must be vigilant.
The metal itself must be hard to be turned into iron. Our responsibility is to work with all comrades in the party to be resolute in ensuring that the party supervises its own conduct; enforces strict discipline; effectively deals with the prominent issues within the party; earnestly improves the party’s work style and maintains close ties with the people. So that our party will always be the firm leadership core for advancing the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
It is the people who create history. The masses are the real heroes. Our strength comes from the people and masses. We deeply understand that the capability of any individual is limited, but as long as we unite as one, there is no difficulty that we cannot overcome. Individuals have limited time in work, but there is no limit in serving the people wholeheartedly.
Our responsibility is weightier than Mount Tai, and our journey ahead is long and arduous. We must always be of one heart and mind with the people; share weal and woe with the people; make concerted and hard effort with the people; attend to our duties day and night with diligence; and strive to deliver a satisfactory answer sheet to history and the people.
Friends from the press, China needs to learn more about the world, and the world also needs to learn more about China. I hope you will continue to make more efforts and contributions to deepening the mutual understanding between China and the countries of the world.
Thank you everybody!
“Work Together to Achieve Common Security and Development,” Statement by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at 67th United Nations General Assembly, New York, New York (September 27, 2012)
Source: People’s Republic of China, Mission to the United Nations
I wish to congratulate you on your election as president of the 67th Session of the General Assembly. I am confident that with your ability and experience, you will successfully fulfill this lofty mission. I also wish to thank Mr. Al-Nasser for his positive contribution as president of the last session.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world is undergoing major and profound changes. The trend towards multi-polarity, economic globalization and the application of information technology are gaining momentum. Countries have never been so interconnected and interdependent as they are today; emerging markets and developing countries have never had such strong influence, and cross-civilization dialogue and exchanges are flourishing as never before. To promote peace, development and cooperation has become the shared aspiration of people across the world and the common pursuit of the international community.
On the other hand, the world is still far from being peaceful. The underlying impact of the international financial crisis and the European debt crisis remains strong. Destabilizing factors and uncertainties affecting global growth have increased. Regional turbulence persists, hotspot issues keep emerging and traditional and non-traditional security issues are entwined. The international security environment is highly complex.
Facing both unprecedented opportunities and challenges, we must not allow the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game theory to stand in our way. We should act like passengers who stick together in a boat when crossing a torrential river and seek win-win progress through cooperation. This is the only option for countries around the world. To ensure one’s own security, a country should respect and accommodate the security of other countries. To realize one’s own development, a country should actively promote common development; and in pursuing one’s own interests, a country should take into account the interests of other countries. Only by promoting common security and development for all of its members can the international community effectively address complex and multiple security threats and global challenges, resolve increasingly serious difficulties facing development and ensure durable peace and sustainable development of the world. With this in mind, China, believes that it is important that we do the following:
We should promote equality and democracy in international relations. Mutual respect and equality are basic norms governing international relations. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. Respect for each other’s sovereignty, core interests and choice of social system and development path is a fundamental principle guiding state-to-state relations. We should vigorously promote greater democracy in international relations. The internal affairs of a country should be handled by itself, and issues involving the interests of various countries should be handled by them through consultation. We should remain true to multilateralism and uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the central role of the United Nations in international affairs. China endeavors to strengthen political mutual trust and address problems and differences with other countries through dialogue and exchanges. China does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries or impose its will on others, and China does not allow outside forces to interfere in its internal affairs.
We should seek win-win progress through cooperation in the course of development. As economic globalization deepens, all countries have a high stake in each other’s success. We should therefore enhance cooperation and expand common interests to achieve win-win and all-win progress. We should tap the potential for cooperation in all countries, expand and enrich cooperation, improve cooperation mechanisms and work together to make economic globalization balanced, inclusive and beneficial to all. We should accelerate the development of developing countries and narrow the North-South gap. We should enhance global cooperation on development to ensure that the benefits of development reach every one. Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China has, while maintaining its own robust growth, significantly increased contributions to international financial institutions, extended a helping hand to other developing countries and increased purchase of bonds of some developed countries. All this has helped stabilize the international economic and financial situation and maintain economic and social development of relevant countries.
We should ensure fairness and effectiveness in conducting global governance. Facing growing global challenges, the international community should strengthen coordination and cooperation, establish a fair, equitable, flexible and effective system of global governance, properly address various global issues and promote the common well-being of mankind. China supports the United Nations in enhancing its authority and efficiency and the ability to address new threats and challenges through proper reform as called for. It is important to advance the building of a global system of economic governance with a focus on reforming the international financial system, speedily implement the quota and governance reform plans of the IMF and other financial institutions and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries. We should fully implement the outcome and consensus of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, make new progress in international cooperation on sustainable development and discuss the formulation of a post-2015 international development agenda on the basis of actively implementing the UN MDGs [Millennium Development Goals]. We should launch a process of open, transparent and democratic intergovernmental consultation with development and poverty reduction as the core objectives. We should also fully leverage the role of the civil society and private sector in this endeavor. Together with all other parties, China is ready to take an active part in the reform of the international system and in global governance and jointly meet various global challenges.
We should pursue common progress by embracing diversity of civilization. According to ancient Chinese philosophy, the world will be a great place when, “all things thrive without hurting one another, and various endeavors are pursued in parallel without collision among them.” We should encourage exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations and social systems, draw on each other’s strength through competition and comparison and make joint progress by seeking common ground while reserving differences. We should respect the diversity of the world and the right of all countries to independently choose their development paths. China encourages cross-civilization dialogue and exchanges. We should replace confrontation with dialogue and bridge differences with inclusiveness so as to make the world a more harmonious place and ensure common progress for mankind.
We should seek common security amid growing interdependence. No country is immune to the complex and multiple security threats and challenges in the world. We should foster a new thinking on security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, take a holistic approach to address both the symptoms and root causes of diverse security challenges and build a peaceful and stable international and regional security environment. The United Nations should fully play its role in safeguarding world peace and security and establishing a fair and effective mechanism for common security. We must resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and oppose willful use or threat of force. We must oppose terrorism, separatism and extremism in all forms.
West Asia and North Africa is undergoing profound changes. China respects and supports efforts by countries in this region to independently handle their internal affairs and respects the aspirations and calls of people in this region for change and development. The unique features of this region, in terms of religion, civilization, history and ethnicity should be respected. We hope that the relevant parties will settle differences through inclusive and constructive political dialogue and resolve problems peacefully. Safeguarding peace and stability in the region, upholding the fundamental and long-term interests of Arab countries and ensuring the growth of friendly China-Arab relations will remain a central goal of China’s policy towards this region. We will continue to make unremitting efforts with countries in the region to promote peace and development in keeping with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
China is deeply concerned about the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and the economic and humanitarian difficulties facing the Palestinian people. The turbulence in the region should not divert international attention from the Palestinian issue. China supports the Palestinian people in establishing, on the basis of the 1967 borders, an independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty with East Jerusalem as its capital. China supports Palestine’s membership in the United Nations and other international organizations. China urges both Palestine and Israel to take concrete measures to remove obstacles and work for the early resumption and substantive progress of the peace talks.
China is deeply concerned about the persistent tension and worsening humanitarian situation in Syria. We call on all relevant parties in Syria to put an immediate end to fighting and violence, implement the relevant Security Council resolutions, Mr. Kofi Annan’s six-point plan and the communiqué of the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Action Group for Syria, and launch an inclusive political dialogue and a Syrian-led political transition as soon as possible. China is open towards any political plan that is acceptable to all parties in Syria. The relevant parties of the international community should play a positive and constructive role in this regard, support with credible steps Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative, in conducting impartial mediation, and endeavor to set in motion and advance the process of political transition in Syria.
The Iranian nuclear issue has reached a new crucial stage. The relevant parties should remain committed to a diplomatic solution and begin a new round of dialogue as soon as possible. We should, acting in the spirit of respecting each other’s concerns, showing flexibility and pragmatism, expanding common ground and overcoming differences, seek early progress in dialogue and negotiation and, over time, achieve a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution to the issue. China has always supported efforts to uphold the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and will continue to work with parties concerned and play a constructive role in seeking a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.
The Asia-Pacific region has maintained general stability and rapid growth for many years, thus making important contribution to global stability and prosperity. Given the growing downward risks in the global economy and increasing volatilities in the international situation, to maintain peace, stability and sound growth in the Asia-Pacific is crucial to ensuring the well-being of people in the region. This also meets the broader interests of the international community. We should fully respect the reality of a diverse and interdependent Asia-Pacific and continue to follow an approach for regional cooperation that has proved effective over the years, namely, building consensus, making incremental progress and accommodating each other’s comfort level. We should promote regional development with greater determination, advance regional cooperation with increased resources and handle differences with longer-term interests in mind so as to uphold peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.
As an important participant which has contributed to building the international system, China is committed to sharing development opportunities with other countries and working with them to overcome various challenges and realize security and development for all.
China will stay on the track of peaceful development. We seek a peaceful international environment in which China can develop itself. By developing itself, China will contribute to global peace and common development. China is firm in upholding its core interests. At the same time, it respects the legitimate right of other countries to protect their interests. We seek to expand common interests with other parties for the sake of common good. China has contributed a total of about 21,000 personnel to UN peacekeeping missions and taken an active part in international cooperation on counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and nonproliferation. In our efforts to resolve major international and regional hotspot issues, we have urged parties concerned to seek peaceful solutions through negotiation and thus played an important and constructive role in easing tensions and achieving political resolution of these issues. China has made remarkable progress in pursuing peaceful development and will continue to follow this path in the years to come.
China will enhance friendly relations and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and strive to build a new type of relations between major countries based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
Following a policy of building good-neighborly relationships and partnerships with neighboring countries, China has actively expanded exchanges with countries in its neighborhood. China has contributed to over 50 percent of Asia’s growth for many consecutive years. We have endeavored to build political mutual trust and cooperation mechanisms with other Asian countries and properly handle differences and frictions with relevant countries. On the basis of firmly upholding China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, we have worked with our neighbors to maintain sound relations and overall stability in the region.
China treats other developing countries as good friends and good partners, and we support each other and seek common development on the basis of equality. By the end of 2011, the Chinese government had built over 2,200 projects in relevant countries which are important to local economy and people’s lives. We have cancelled debts owed to China by 50 heavily indebted poor countries and least developed countries. We have trained over 60,000 personnel in various sectors for 173 developing countries and thirteen regional and international organizations. All of this has contributed to economic and social development of other developing countries.
China has taken an active part in reforming the international system and in global governance, and assumed its due share of international responsibilities and obligations as its capability permits. We are working to build a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory global trading system and a more equal and balanced new global partnership for development. We support the G20 in playing a greater role as the premier forum for international economic cooperation and the efforts of emerging markets represented by BRICS countries to explore a new model of global cooperation.
The global economy is in a crucial stage and achieving full recovery and sustained growth remains a long and difficult task. Last year, despite a challenging economic environment both at home and abroad, China registered a GDP growth rate of 9.3 percent and made good progress in adjusting the economic structure and improving people’s lives. Since the beginning of this year, to address some new problems in economic performance, the Chinese government has stepped up anticipatory fine-tuning of the economy and introduced a series of targeted policy measures. This has boosted market confidence and ensured steady growth. China’s GDP grew by 7.8 percent in the first half of the year and the country has enjoyed sound economic and social development. China is still in an important period of strategic opportunities for development. Industrialization, urbanization, application of information technology and the agricultural modernization will continue to unlock great potential of development. We have the confidence, means and ability to maintain steady and robust growth and achieve long-term, sound and sustainable development. During the 12th Five- Year Plan period (2011-2015), China’s domestic market will be one of the largest in the world, its total imports are expected to exceed $10 trillion and direct outbound investment is expected to exceed $500 billion. This will create enormous business and job opportunities for the world and provide good opportunities for other countries’ development.
Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands have been an integral part of China’s territory since ancient times. China has indisputable historical and legal evidence in this regard. Japan seized these islands in 1895 at the end of the Sino-Japanese War and forced the then Chinese government to sign an unequal treaty to cede these islands and other Chinese territories to Japan. After the Second World War, the Diaoyu Dao islands and other Chinese territories occupied by Japan were returned to China in accordance with the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation and other international documents. By taking such unilateral actions as the so-called “island purchase,” the Japanese government has grossly violated China’s sovereignty. This is an outright denial of the outcomes of the victory of the world anti-fascist war and poses a grave challenge to the post-war international order and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The moves taken by Japan are totally illegal and invalid. They can in no way change the historical fact that Japan stole Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands from China and the fact that China has territorial sovereignty over them. The Chinese government is firm in upholding China’s territorial sovereignty. China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all activities that violate China’s territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes, and return to the track of resolving the dispute through negotiation.
The Communist Party of China will soon hold its 18th National Congress. We are confident that this important meeting will lead China’s reform, opening-up and modernization drive to a new stage. Facts have shown and will continue to prove that China’s development is peaceful, open, cooperative and win-win in nature. We will work with the international community to follow the trend of history and the call of the times and build a harmonious world of enduring peace and shared prosperity.
Remarks on “U.S. Rebalance Toward the Asia-Pacific Region” by U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, Shangri-La Security Dialogue, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore (June 2, 2012)
Source: U.S. Department of Defense
Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to have the opportunity to attend my first Shangri-La Conference. I want to commend the International Institute for Strategic Studies for fostering this very important dialogue, this very important discussion that is taking place here this weekend.
I am, as I understand it, the third United States secretary of defense to appear at this forum, across administrations from both political parties in the United States. That is, I believe, a testament to the importance that the United States places in this dynamic and critical region of the world.
It is in that spirit that I have come to Singapore, at the beginning of an eight-day journey across Asia that will take me to Vietnam and to India as well.
The purpose of this trip, and of my remarks today, is to explain a new defense strategy that the United States has put in place and why the United States will play a deeper and more enduring partnership role in advancing the security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region, and how the United States military supports that goal by rebalancing towards this region.
Since the United States grew westward in the nineteenth century, we have been a Pacific nation. I was born and raised in a coastal town in California called Monterey, and have spent a lifetime looking out across the Pacific Ocean. As a fishing community, as a port, the ocean was the lifeblood of our economy. And some of my earliest memories as a child during World War II are of watching American troops pass through my community, trained at the military reservation called Fort Ord, and were on their way to face battle in the Pacific.
I remember the fear that gripped our community during World War II, and later when war again broke out on the Korean Peninsula. Despite the geographic distance that separates us, I’ve always understood that America’s fate is inexorably linked with this region.
This reality has guided more than six decades of U.S. military presence and partnership in this region—a defense posture which, along with our trading relations, along with our diplomatic ties, along with our foreign assistance, helped usher in an unprecedented era of security and prosperity in the latter half of the 20th century.
In this century, the 21st century, the United States recognizes that our prosperity and our security depend even more on the Asia-Pacific region. After all, this region is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies: China, India, and Indonesia to mention a few. At the same time, Asia-Pacific contains the world’s largest populations, and the world’s largest militaries. Defense spending in Asia is projected by this institute, the IISS [the International Institute for Strategic Studies], to surpass that of Europe this year, and there is no doubt that it will continue to increase in the future.
Given these trends, President Obama has stated the United States will play a larger role in this region over the decades to come. This effort will draw on the strengths of the entire United States government. We take on this role not as a distant power, but as part of the Pacific family of nations. Our goal is to work closely with all of the nations of this region to confront common challenges and to promote peace, prosperity, and security for all nations in the Asia-Pacific region.
My colleague and my good friend Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also outlined our refocus on the Asia-Pacific, emphasizing the crucial part that diplomacy, trade, and development will play in our engagement.
The same is true for defense policy. We will play an essential role in promoting strong partnerships that strengthen the capabilities of the Pacific nations to defend and secure themselves. All of the U.S. military services are focused on implementing the president’s guidance to make the Asia-Pacific a top priority. Before I detail these specific efforts, let me provide some context for our broader defense strategy in the twenty-first century.
The United States is at a strategic turning point after a decade of war. We have significantly weakened al-Qaida’s leadership and ability to attack other nations. We have sent a very clear message that nobody attacks the United States and gets away with it. Our military mission in Iraq has ended and established—established an Iraq that can secure and govern itself.
In Afghanistan, where a number of Asia-Pacific nations are playing a critical role in the international coalition, we have begun our transition to the Afghan security lead and to an Afghanistan that can secure and govern itself. At a recent meeting in Chicago, NATO and its partners—over fifty nations—came together to support General Allen’s plan to accomplish this goal. In addition to that, we joined in a successful NATO effort to return Libya to the Libyan people.
But even as we have been able to draw these wars to a hopeful end, we are confronted today by a wide range of complex global challenges. From terrorism—terrorism still remains a threat to the world—from terrorism to the destabilizing behavior of Iran and North Korea, from nuclear proliferation to the new threat of cyber-attack, from continuing turmoil in the Middle East to territorial disputes in this region.
At the same time, the United States, like many other nations, is dealing with large debt and large deficits, which has required the Department of Defense to reduce the planning budget by nearly half a trillion dollars or specifically $487 billion that were directed to be reduced by the Congress in the Budget Control Act over the next decade.
But this new fiscal reality, a challenge that many nations confront these days, has given us an opportunity to design a new defense strategy for the twenty-first century that both confronts the threats that we face and maintains the strongest military in the world.
This strategy makes clear the United States military, yes, it will be smaller, it will be leaner, but it will be agile and flexible, quickly deployable, and will employ cutting-edge technology in the future. It makes equally clear that while the U.S. military will remain a global force for security and stability, we will of necessity rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region. We will also maintain our presence throughout the world. We will do it with innovative rotational deployments that emphasize creation of new partnerships and new alliances. We will also invest, invest in cyber, invest in space, invest in unnamed systems, invest in special forces operations. We will invest in the newest technology and we will invest in the ability to mobilize quickly if necessary.
We have made choices and we have set priorities, and we have rightly chosen to make this region a priority.
Our approach to achieving the long-term goal in the Asia-Pacific is to stay firmly committed to a basic set of shared principles—principles that promote international rules and order to advance peace and security in the region, deepening and broadening our bilateral and multilateral partnerships, enhancing and adapting the U.S. military’s enduring presence in this region, and to make new investments in the capabilities needed to project power and operate in Asia-Pacific. Let me discuss each of these shared principles. The first is the shared principle that we abide by international rules and order.
Let me underscore that this is not a new principle, our solid commitment to establish a set of rules that all play by is one that we believe will help support peace and prosperity in this region.
What are we talking about? These rules include the principle of open and free commerce, a just international order that emphasizes rights and responsibilities of all nations and a fidelity to the rule of law; open access by all to their shared domains of sea, air, space, and cyberspace; and resolving disputes without coercion or the use of force.
Backing this vision involves resolving disputes as quickly as possible with diplomatic efforts. Backing these principles has been the essential mission of the United States military in the Asia-Pacific for more than 60 years and it will be even a more important mission in the future. My hope is that in line with these rules and international order that is necessary that the United States will join over 160 other nations in ratifying the Law of Seas Convention this year.
The second principle is one of partnerships. Key to this approach is our effort to modernize and strengthen our alliances and partnerships in this region. The United States has key treaty alliances with Japan, South Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand. We have key partners in India, Singapore, Indonesia, and other nations. And we are working hard to develop and build stronger relations with China.
As we expand our partnerships, as we strengthen our alliances, the United States-Japan alliance will remain one of the cornerstones for regional security and prosperity in the twenty-first century. For that reason, our two militaries are enhancing their ability to train and operate together, and cooperating closely in areas such as maritime security and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. We are also jointly developing high-tech capabilities, including the next generation missile defense interceptor, and exploring new areas of cooperation in space and in cyberspace.
In the past several months we have strengthened the alliance and our broader strategic objectives in the region with a revised plan to relocate Marines from Okinawa to Guam. This plan will make the U.S. presence in Okinawa more politically sustainable, and it will help further develop Guam as a strategic hub for the United States military in the Western Pacific, improving our ability to respond to a wide range of contingencies in the Asia-Pacific region.
Another linchpin of our Asia-Pacific security is the U.S. alliance with the Republic of Korea. During a year of transition and provocation on the Korean Peninsula, this alliance has been indispensable, and I have made it a priority to strengthen it for the future. To that end, even as the United States reduces the overall size of its ground forces in the coming years in a transitional way over a five-year period, we will maintain the United States Army’s significant presence in Korea.
We are also boosting our intelligence and information sharing with the Republic of Korea, standing firm against hostile provocations from North Korea while transforming the alliance with new capabilities to meet global challenges.
The third shared principle is presence. While strengthening our traditional alliances in Northeast Asia and maintaining our presence there, as part of this rebalancing effort we are also enhancing our presence in Southeast Asia and in the Indian Ocean region.
A critical component of that effort is the agreement announced last fall for a rotational Marine Corps presence and aircraft deployments in northern Australia.
The first detachment of Marines arrived in April, and this Marine Air-Ground Task Force will be capable of rapidly deploying across the Asia-Pacific region, thereby enabling us to work more effectively with partners in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean and tackle common challenges such as natural disasters and maritime security.
These Marines will conduct training and exercises throughout the region and with Australia, strengthening one of our most important alliances and building on a decade of operational experience together in Afghanistan. Speaking of that, I welcome and applaud Australia’s announcement that later this year it will assume leadership of Combined Team Uruzgan, and will lead our security efforts there through 2014.
We’re also continuing close operational cooperation with our longtime ally, Thailand. The Thais annually host COBRA GOLD, a world-class multilateral military exercise, and this year we will deepen our strategic cooperation to meet shared regional challenges.
We are energizing our alliance with the Philippines. Last month in Washington I joined Secretary Clinton in the first-ever “2+2” meeting with our Filipino counterparts. Working together, our forces are successfully countering terrorist groups. We are also pursuing mutually beneficial capability enhancements, and working to improve the Philippine’s maritime presence. Chairman Dempsey will be traveling from here to the Philippines to further our military engagement.
Another tangible manifestation of our commitment to rebalancing is our growing defense relationship with Singapore. Our ability to operate with Singaporean forces and others in the region will grow substantially in the coming years when we implement the forward deployment of the Littoral Combat Ships to Singapore.
As we take existing alliances and partnerships in new directions, this rebalancing effort also places a premium on enhancing partnerships with Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, and New Zealand.
In the coming days I will travel to Vietnam to advance bilateral defense cooperation, building off of the comprehensive memorandum of understanding that our two nations signed last year.
From Vietnam, I will travel to India to affirm our interest in building a strong security relationship with a country I believe will play a decisive role in shaping the security and prosperity of the twenty-first century.
As the United States strengthens these regional partnerships, we will also seek to strengthen a very important relationship with China. We believe China is a key to being able to develop a peaceful, prosperous, and secure Asia-Pacific in the twenty-first century. And I am looking forward to traveling there soon at the invitation of the Chinese government. Both of our nations recognize that the relationship—this relationship between the United States and China is one of the most important in the world. We in the United States are clear-eyed about the challenges, make no mistake about it, but we also seek to grasp the opportunities that can come from closer cooperation and a closer relationship.
I’m personally committed to building a healthy, stable, reliable, and continuous military-to-military relationship with China. I had the opportunity to host Vice President Xi and later Defense Minister General Liang at the Pentagon in the effort to pursue that goal. Our aim is to continue to improve the strategic trust that we must have between our two countries, and to discuss common approaches to dealing with shared security challenges.
We are working with China to execute a robust mil-to-mil engagement plan for the rest of this year, and we will seek to deepen our partnership in humanitarian assistance, counter-drug, and counter-proliferation efforts. We have also agreed on the need to address responsible behavior in cyberspace and in outer space. We must establish and reinforce agreed principles of responsible behavior in these key domains.
I know that many in the region and across the world are closely watching the United States-China relationship. Some view the increased emphasis by the United States on the Asia-Pacific region as some kind of challenge to China. I reject that view entirely. Our effort to renew and intensify our involvement in Asia is fully compatible—fully compatible—with the development and growth of China. Indeed, increased U.S. involvement in this region will benefit China as it advances our shared security and prosperity for the future.
In this context, we strongly support the efforts that both China and Taiwan, both have made in recent years trying to improve cross-strait relations. We have an enduring interest in peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The United States remains firm in the adherence to a one-China policy based on the Three Communiqués and the Taiwan Relations Act.
China also has a critical role to play in advancing security and prosperity by respecting the rules-based order that has served the region for six decades. The United States welcomes the rise of a strong and prosperous and successful China that plays a greater role in global affairs.
Another positive step towards furthering this rules-based order is Asia’s deepening regional security architecture, which the United States strongly supports. Last October, I had the opportunity to be the first U.S. secretary of defense to meet privately with all ASEAN defense ministers in Bali. We applaud the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus for producing real action plans for multilateral military cooperation, and I strongly support the ASEAN decision to hold more frequent ADMM-Plus discussions at the ministerial level. We think this is an important step for stability, real coordination, communication, and support between these nations.
The United States believes it is critical for regional institutions to develop mutually agreed rules of the road that protect the rights of all nations to free and open access to the seas. We support the efforts of the ASEAN countries and China to develop a binding code of conduct that would create a rules-based framework for regulating the conduct of parties in the South China Sea, including the prevention and management of disputes.
On that note, we are obviously paying close attention to the situation in Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. The U.S. position is clear and consistent: we call for restraint and for diplomatic resolution; we oppose provocation; we oppose coercion; and we oppose the use of force. We do not take sides when it comes to competing territorial claims, but we do want this dispute resolved peacefully and in a manner consistent with international law. We have made our views known and very clear to our close treaty ally, the Philippines, and we have made those views clear to China and to other countries in the region.
As a Pacific power, the United States has a national interest in freedom of navigation, in unimpeded economic development and commerce, and in a respect for the rule of law. Our alliances, our partnerships, and our enduring presence in this region all serve to support these important goals.
For those who are concerned about the ability of the United States to maintain a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region in light of the fiscal pressures we face, let me be very clear. The Department of Defense has a five-year budget plan and a detailed blueprint for implementing this strategy I just outlined for realizing our long-term goals in this region, and for still meeting our fiscal responsibilities.
The final principle—shared principle that we all have is force projection.
This budget is the first in what will be a sustained series of investments and strategic decisions to strengthen our military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region. I would encourage you to look at the increasing technological capabilities of our forces as much as their numbers in judging the full measure of our security presence and our security commitment.
For example, over the next five years we will retire older Navy ships, but we will replace them with more than forty far more capable and technologically advanced ships. Over the next few years we will increase the number and the size of our exercises in the Pacific. We will also increase and more widely distribute our port visits, including in the important Indian Ocean region.
And by 2020 the Navy will reposture its forces from today’s roughly 50/50 percent split between the Pacific and the Atlantic to about a 60/40 split between those oceans. That will include six aircraft carriers in this region, a majority of our cruisers, destroyers, Littoral Combat Ships, and submarines.
Our forward-deployed forces are the core of our commitment to this region and we will, as I said, sharpen the technological edge of our forces. These forces are also backed up by our ability to rapidly project military power if needed to meet our security commitments.
Therefore, we are investing specifically in those kinds of capabilities—such as an advanced fifth-generation fighter, an enhanced Virginia-class submarine, new electronic warfare and communications capabilities, and improved precision weapons—that will provide our forces with freedom of maneuver in areas in which our access and freedom of action may be threatened.
We recognize the challenges of operating over the Pacific’s vast distances. That is why we are investing in new aerial-refueling tankers, a new bomber, and advanced maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft.
In concert with these investments in military capabilities, we are developing new concepts of operation which will enable us to better leverage the unique strengths of these platforms and meet the unique challenges of operating in Asia-Pacific. In January, the department published a Joint Operational Access Concept which, along with these related efforts like Air-Sea Battle, are helping the Department meet the challenges of new and disruptive technologies and weapons that could deny our forces access to key sea routes and key lines of communication.
It will take years for these concepts and many of the investments that I just detailed, but we are making those investments in order that they be fully realized. Make no mistake—in a steady, deliberate, and sustainable way the United States military is rebalancing and bringing an enhanced capability development to this vital region.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy. And there I had the pleasure of handing a diploma to the first foreign student to achieve top graduate honors, a young midshipman from Singapore: Sam Tan Wei Chen.
I told that graduating class of midshipmen that it would be the project of their generation to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that are emanating from the Asia-Pacific region.
By working in concert with all elements of American power, I truly believe that these young men and women will have the opportunity to play a vital role in securing a century of peace and prosperity for the United States and for all of the nations of this region.
Over the course of history, the United States has fought wars, we have spilled blood, we have deployed our forces time and time again to defend our vital interests in the Asia-Pacific region. We owe it to all of those who have fought and died to build a better future for all nations in this region.
The United States has long been deeply been involved in the Asia-Pacific. Through times of war, times of peace, under Democratic and Republican leaders and administrations, through rancor and through comity in Washington, through surplus and through debt. We were there then, we are here now, and we will be here for the future. Thank you.
“Protecting American Interests in China and Asia,” Testimony by Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, House Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, Washington DC (March 31, 2011)
Source: U.S. State Department
Mr. Chairman, Mr. Faleomavaega, and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you very much for inviting me here today to testify about the vital importance of Asia-Pacific countries to the United States and for the opportunity to underscore key aspects of our engagement strategy for the region.
I want to also use this opportunity to underscore the United States’ unwavering commitment to Japan. Twenty days ago today, Japan experienced a “triple blow” from an earthquake, tsunami, and the subsequent challenges associated with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. By themselves, any of these incidents would have been enough to bring a country to its knees. In Japan, we have seen the opposite. The Government and people have responded bravely and, with the help of the United States and the international community, committed to building an even stronger Japan in the future. Japan is the cornerstone of our strategic engagement in East Asia, and we are committed to standing side-by-side with our ally in its time of need.
It is clear that America’s success in the twenty-first century is tied to the success of the dynamic Asia-Pacific region. As Secretary Clinton has noted, much of the history of the twenty-first century will be written in Asia. There is no question that the region’s influence is growing and holds the key to our shared future. Asian nations are vital to the life-blood of the global economy. Their opinions and decisions have profound influence from Latin American to the Middle East and Africa on addressing complex and emerging transnational challenges, like climate change.
Despite the Asia-Pacific region’s tremendous growth, the region still faces some of the most pressing challenges of the twenty-first century. North Korea and Burma remain outliers to the region’s prosperity and continue to be sources for insecurity and instability. Many of today’s most critical issues—military competition, nuclear proliferation, violent extremism, financial crises, poverty, weak and ineffective governments, unresolved territorial disputes, growing competition over energy and natural resources, climate change, and disease—transcend national borders and pose a common risk in the region. The rapid emergence of transnational security risks and threats demands collective action, and it is critical for the United States to work with our allies and partners in the region to address and meet these significant challenges.
Essential to our long-term national interests is to make sure that the United States remains true to its identity as a Pacific power. The Obama Administration, following a long history of bipartisan commitment to Asia, has articulated a five-part framework for our engagement in the Asia-Pacific: First, deepen and modernize our alliances with Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Thailand and the Philippines. Second, broaden our engagement with increasingly important partners like Indonesia, Vietnam, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, and most notably India. Third, develop a predictable, stable, and comprehensive relationship with China. Fourth, engage and invest in the region’s burgeoning multilateral architecture. And, fifth pursue a confident and aggressive trade and economic strategy.
Underpinning our strategy is a steadfast commitment to our belief in the universality of democracy and our respect for human rights. The U.S. commitment to these values defines the unique aspect of U.S. relations with Asia-Pacific nations and is an intrinsic and indispensable aspect of our character as a nation. It is one of the best and most important contributions that we can offer the region. We are working to promote fundamental human rights in the region and support the region’s own efforts to promote and protect human rights, democratic principles, and freedom of religion and of expression.
In order to ensure that the promotion of human rights and the rule of law as well as the development of civil society remain strong pillars of our engagement, we will continue to adopt new and creative approaches that seize the opportunities presented by advances created in our dynamic information age. The freedom to speak one’s mind and to choose one’s leaders, the ability to access information and worship how one pleases are the bases of stability. The United States will continue to speak for those on the margins of society, encouraging countries in the region to respect the internationally recognized human rights of their people while undertaking policies to further liberalize and open their states. We will continue to work with countries to combat the scourge of trafficking in persons, to promote the rights of women and children, and foster greater religious dialogue among the many communities of faith in the region. We continue to press for the restoration of democracy in Fiji, as well as to promote good governance, rule of law, and respect for human rights in Vietnam and China. We have already seen positive signs reflecting greater internalization of human rights with the recent establishment of such institutions as Indonesia’s Bali Democracy Forum and the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), which we welcomed for an official visit to the United States last November. In Burma, we have intensified efforts to promote human rights and democracy both through diplomatic engagement with key stakeholders in Southeast Asia and by delivering our message to the Burmese government via direct engagement. At the same time, we maintain extensive financial, trade, and visa sanctions that target regime authorities and their cronies who thwart democracy and disrespect human rights. Our message remains clear and consistent: absent concrete progress in key areas of democracy and human rights, our sanctions will remain in place.
I will use the remainder of my testimony to describe how we are implementing this strategy through an aggressive “forward-deployed diplomacy,” and the steps we are taking to ensure U.S. leadership in the Asia-Pacific.
U.S. Strategic Framework for Engagement in the Asia-Pacific Region. The pace of our engagement in this critical region signals the renewed emphasis we place on developing and deepening partnerships. As Secretary Clinton has articulated, our forward-deployed diplomacy in Asia seeks to leverage these relationships to underwrite regional security, heighten prosperity, and support stronger democratic institutions and the spread of universal human rights in the Asia-Pacific region. The region offers the United States tremendous opportunities in a number of areas, including expanding markets for U.S. economic interests and forming new strategic partnerships.
First, our alliances remain the foundation for our strategic engagement in the region, and the Obama Administration is committed to strengthening and modernizing our alliances to address both continuing and emerging challenges. Also, we must recognize that those alliances are, at their core, security alliances. Our alliances have underwritten peace and stability for over a half-century and continue to provide a context for the region’s tremendous economic growth and vitality.
Our treaty alliance with Japan remains a cornerstone of our strategic engagement in Asia. The U.S.-Japan relationship is both strong and comprehensive; it links two of the world’s three largest economies and is supported by our people-to-people exchanges and our shared commitment to democracy and human rights. The cooperation between the Government of Japan and the United States in the aftermath of the March 11 events demonstrates the value of our security alliance with Japan. The United States stands resolved to assist Japan in its reconstruction efforts and to taking steps to further strengthen our alliance relationship. The pictures on the front-pages of Japanese newspapers that show U.S. military forces and Japanese soldiers working hand-in-hand to assist those in need is a potent symbol of the importance of this relationship. As we help Japan in its time of need, our two governments will continue to conduct open and direct discussions on a number of important strategic and alliance issues, including the roadmap for realigning U.S. forces in Japan. In addition, we are working to create a durable and forward-looking vision for the alliance that builds upon Japan’s important global role in several areas, including climate change, non-proliferation, and humanitarian and development assistance programs. We have intensified high-level engagement between our two governments to address regional and global security challenges, and Japan is a lead contributor to the efforts to bring reconciliation and reconstruction to Afghanistan. Secretaries Clinton and Gates look forward to hosting their Japanese counterparts this year for an important “2+2” meeting where both sides will issue a detailed framework statement for the alliance going forward.
We are also working vigorously with our other critical ally in Northeast Asia, the Republic of Korea (ROK), both to modernize our defense alliance and to achieve a partnership that is truly global and comprehensive. The United States remains steadfastly committed to the defense of the ROK and to an enduring military presence on the Peninsula. The relationship continues to evolve from one solely focused on peninsular challenges to an ever more global and dynamic partnership that builds on our shared values and strategic interests. The ROK now has forces deployed overseas in over a dozen countries, with 200-to-300-person peacekeeping and reconstruction contingents in Haiti, Afghanistan, and Lebanon. The ROK understands that global challenges such as counter-piracy, nuclear nonproliferation, and development fundamentally affect Korea’s interests and involve an obligation to be actively engaged around the world.
Our respective alliances with the ROK and Japan, as well as increasing trilateral coordination, play an essential role in maintaining peace and stability in Northeast Asia, including responding to the destabilizing policies and provocations of North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, DPRK). The DPRK’s sinking of the ROK corvette Cheonan in March 2010, its November 2010 disclosure of a uranium enrichment program, and its November 2010 shelling of Yeonpyong Island underscore the threat that the DPRK’s misguided policies and provocations, including its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and proliferation activities, pose to regional stability and global security. Effective trilateral engagement in the wake of these provocations demonstrated to North Korea that its belligerent actions will be met with collective resolve. During an important U.S.-Japan-ROK Trilateral Ministerial meeting in December 2010, the three countries jointly declared that the DPRK’s belligerent actions threaten all three countries and will be met with solidarity. The three countries jointly condemned the DPRK’s uranium enrichment program as a violation of the DPRK’s commitments under the September 2005 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and its obligations under UNSCR 1718 and 1874.
We have also worked closely with Japan, the ROK, and our other partners in the Six-Party Talks to achieve the verifiable denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in a peaceful manner. We are working closely with our partners and allies to make clear to the DPRK that its uranium enrichment program violates its commitments and obligations. We continue to urge the international community to fully and transparently implement UNSCR 1718 and 1874 to curb the DPRK’s conventional and WMD-related proliferation efforts, as well as its illicit activities.
Australia remains a strategic anchor for regional stability and plays an incredibly important role in maintaining global security. U.S. and Australian forces fight side-by-side, extending a legacy of cooperation that goes back a century, and Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to the coalition effort in Afghanistan. The U.S. commitment to Australia was on clear display during the visit of Prime Minister Gillard to Washington last month. Prime Minister Gillard had a very productive meeting with President Obama, in which they reviewed the many areas in Asia and around the world in which our two countries work together. She demonstrated Australia’s respect for our past joint efforts through a generous contribution to the new Vietnam Veterans Memorial education center here in Washington. In addition, Secretaries Clinton and Gates visited Australia for the 25th Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN) in November. That meeting was essential to our objective of modernizing and deepening our alliance, and our two governments announced the launch of the Australia-U.S. Force Posture Review Working Group, which is now exploring the potential for expanded U.S.-Australia military cooperation to optimize our U.S. force posture in the Asia-Pacific region.
We are also working to invigorate the Trilateral Strategic Dialogue with Japan and Australia, as well as to deepen security partnerships throughout the region. Our alliances with the Philippines and Thailand, our long-time Southeast Asian treaty allies, continue to evolve to meet modern challenges from violent extremism to infectious disease. We are working closely with our Philippine partners to improve maritime security and disaster response capabilities. In January of this year, we launched the first ever joint State-DOD strategic dialogue with the Government of the Philippines to help create a framework to enhance our alliance partnership. In Thailand, our oldest treaty ally in East Asia, we partnered to deploy Thai naval vessels, with U.S. Navy personnel aboard, to join Combined Task Force 151 to combat piracy off the Horn of Africa. Thailand has also provided a full battalion of peacekeepers to Darfur to assist with UN humanitarian relief operations. Our robust and mutually beneficial military relationships with both allies include joint exercises, ship visits, information sharing, logistics assistance, and a broad slate of training and capacity-building activities in such areas as peacekeeping and anti-piracy operations.
Second, the Obama Administration is committed to broadening our relations with growing powers like Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, and most notably India.
India: The Administration has taken significant steps to enhance our engagement with India, which is playing a key role in the Asia-Pacific. We have launched a dialogue on Asia-Pacific strategic issues, and I will travel to New Delhi next week to have further discussions and consultations. As a growing international player, engagement with India on a wide array of global issues is increasingly in the strategic interests of the United States.
Indonesia: Our engagement with Indonesia continues to mature. The President’s historic trip to Jakarta last fall highlighted the broadening and deepening of the U.S.-Indonesia relationship. The launch of the Comprehensive Partnership by President Obama and President Yudhoyono will further boost our growing partnership on bilateral, regional, and global issues. We look forward to working with Indonesia this year in its role as ASEAN chair and host of the East Asia Summit and value its emerging, positive voice on global topics, such as democracy and climate change.
Malaysia: In addition, the Administration is working hard to enhance our bilateral relationship with Malaysia. We are in the process of launching a major English-language initiative that will place more young Americans in Malaysia to teach English and expose primarily rural Malay students to American culture. The Malaysian government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib, has also taken a number of steps to create more stringent export controls and play a constructive role in the international non-proliferation regime. Medical personnel from the Malaysian Armed Forces are currently deployed to Afghanistan. Our two countries are also working together closely in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
Mongolia: Recently, I visited Mongolia, an ancient country yet a relatively young democracy on the verge of an economic boom that offers opportunities for American companies. According to some estimates, Mongolia has about $400 billion worth of minerals in the ground. Mongolia provides 190 troops to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and hosts training for peacekeeping operations. Mongolia also cooperates closely with us in international organizations such as the UN and International Atomic Energy Agency. And, Mongolia will chair the Community of Democracies starting this year. Mongolia is a reliable, democratic partner with a bright future.
Vietnam: Over the last several years, we have broadened and deepened our engagement with Vietnam on a wide ranges of issues, including trade, security, nonproliferation, health, education, and the environment. Vietnam is also among our eight negotiating partners in the TPP talks. During their meetings in Hanoi last year, Secretary Clinton and Prime Minister Dung agreed to elevate the relationship further by moving toward a strategic partnership. However, we remain deeply concerned about the lack of progress in the human rights front. We continue to make it very clear to the Vietnamese government that political freedoms are not a source of instability but of strength.
New Zealand: Last fall, Secretary Clinton visited New Zealand where she launched the Wellington Declaration. This visit effectively culminated the thaw in our relationship with New Zealand, after a 25-year freeze since the mid-1980s. New Zealand is an important friend and partner of the United States, especially in the South Pacific, and the Wellington Declaration establishes a framework for a new United States-New Zealand strategic partnership that will enhance our practical cooperation and political dialogue. Likewise, the United States and New Zealand are working to deepen our economic relationship through the TPP negotiations. In response to the tragic earthquake that struck New Zealand earlier this year, the United States deployed a USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) that included the Los Angeles County and the Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue teams (USAR), transferred equipment and supplies, and committed more than $1 million for humanitarian assistance to support relief and recovery efforts.
Singapore: The Administration is also taking steps to enhance our bilateral engagement with Singapore. In addition to being a strong partner on non-proliferation and other regional security matters, Singapore has participated in global security operations, including in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Gulf of Aden counter-piracy efforts for which Singapore will chair the International Contact Group in July. Singapore is hosting the sixth round of TPP negotiations this week.
Third, an important component of our efforts in the Asia Pacific is an approach to China that is grounded in reality, focused on results, and true to our principles and interests. Through this approach, we are pursuing a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship with China. As Secretary Clinton has said, the U.S.-China relationship is at a critical juncture; how we manage the relationship today—with its elements of both competition and cooperation—will have a large impact on the future of the region.
Over the past year, we have taken solid, tangible steps to translate these words into action. Through steady diplomacy, we worked with Beijing to move the relationship in a positive direction, with President Hu attending the Nuclear Security Summit in April and China voting in favor of strengthened sanctions on Iran at the UN Security Council in June. The success of our approach is most clearly illustrated by President Hu’s January state visit to Washington. Through that visit, China for the first time expressed concern about the DPRK’s uranium enrichment program; we also gained Chinese agreement to respect the results of the referendum in southern Sudan, and strengthened cooperation with the Chinese on Iran through both the P5+1 process and enforcement of UN Security Council Resolutions. We also held firm to the principles that are important to us as Americans, making strong statements in both public and private about our concerns on China’s human rights record. President Hu’s visit was a success in large part because of our concerted effort since the beginning of the Administration to get this relationship right—in a manner that ensures U.S. interests are protected and advanced.
Related to our interactions with China is our consistent approach to Taiwan. As Secretary Clinton has noted, we are encouraged by the greater dialogue and economic cooperation between the Mainland and Taiwan—as witnessed by the historic completion of the Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement last year. Our approach continues to be guided by our One China policy based on the Three Joint Communiqués and the Taiwan Relations Act. In the period ahead, we seek to encourage more dialogue and exchanges between the two sides, as well as reduced military tensions and deployments, and we have and will continue to meet our responsibilities under the TRA.
We will continue to make clear our views on the principles of freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Recent events in China, including the forced disappearances of rights lawyers and crackdowns on Chinese and foreign journalists, have only further increased our concerns about human rights. And we continue to press China for further action on the DPRK’s actions in violation of the September 2005 Joint Statement and UN Security Council Resolutions, as well as the need to more tightly enforce sanctions on Iran.
On the economic front, we continue to make lowering trade barriers a high priority in all our engagements with China, including the Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED), the U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT), and the G-20. Our embassy in Beijing and consulates throughout China reinforce the importance of maintaining a level playing field for U.S. companies on a regular basis and at all levels of the Chinese government. The State Department also works closely with other federal agencies to monitor China’s compliance with U.S. and international trade rules. In 2010, the Department of Commerce initiated six investigations against imports from China (three antidumping and three countervailing duty) in order to provide relief for U.S. companies from unfair trade practices. Moreover, following consultations with the State Department and other Executive Branch agencies, USTR initiated WTO dispute settlement proceedings against China in three separate cases.
As a result of these efforts, during the December 2010 meeting of the JCCT and the January visit of President Hu, China made significant commitments on key trade issues, agreeing to ensure that Chinese government agencies use legitimate software, delink innovation policies from government procurement preferences, and include sub-central entities in its revised offer to join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. China is a key export market for U.S. goods and services and a focus of President Obama’s National Export Initiative that calls for doubling U.S. exports in five years to support millions of American jobs. In 2010, exports from the United States to China approached $92 billion, an increase of 32 percent from 2009.
An important element of our engagement with China is the S&ED, which brings together cabinet members and agency heads across both of our governments, not only to discuss a range of issues critical to our bilateral relationship, but also to inculcate the habit of cooperation across our two governments. Secretaries Clinton and Geithner will host the third S&ED in Washington in May and will build on the successes of the second S&ED last May, including cooperation in addressing the global economic crisis in the framework of the G20. In our preparation for the next S&ED, the U.S. Government will continue to press China for demonstrable progress on economic issues, including further advancements on trade and investment and full implementation of commitments it made during President Hu’s visit on trade, investment, and economic rebalancing, including exchange rate reform.
Fourth, the Obama Administration is committed to enhancing engagement in Asia-Pacific multilateral organizations. In her speech in Hawaii in January 2010, Secretary Clinton highlighted the importance of the United States’ involvement in the development of the regional institutions and architecture. APEC remains the premier economic organization in the Asia-Pacific region, and the United States remains committed to it. We have also taken a series of steps to deepen U.S. engagement in regional institutions such as ASEAN, which the Secretary Clinton calls “the fulcrum” for the region’s emerging architecture, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (Plus), the East Asia Summit (EAS), and the Pacific Island Forum (PIF).
U.S. membership in the EAS will allow us to work with ASEAN and other EAS members to foster engagement on pressing strategic and political issues of mutual concern, including nuclear nonproliferation, maritime security, and disaster assistance. Last year, Secretary Clinton attended the EAS as the first-ever U.S. representative to the organization. This year, President Obama will attend the EAS in Indonesia and will focus on steps the organization can take to advance regional maritime security, capacity of countries to respond to humanitarian and natural disasters, and non-proliferation. In addition, we will seek to work with ASEAN to identify ways we can supports its Plan of Action. The President will also co-host the third U.S.-ASEAN summit, a regularized feature of our bilateral engagement with ASEAN.
Regional engagement can also be an effective way to enhance our efforts to deal with transnational security challenges such as climate change, pandemics, or environmental degradation, and disaster management. Humanitarian assistance and disaster preparedness will continue to play a role in the region’s economic well-being. With the cooperation of the ARF, we supported the ARF Disaster Exercise in Indonesia earlier this month. We are looking at ways for the ARF to strengthen its capacity in managing crises, which is critically important in light of the spate of recent natural disasters that have battered the region. Another regional effort is the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), one of Secretary Clinton’s signature priorities for U.S. engagement in Southeast Asia. Over the last year, the Secretary convened several meetings of the LMI with her counterparts from Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam to chart the way forward to advance shared goals for the region in environment, education, health, and infrastructure.
In August 2010, I led the largest-ever U.S. delegation to the Pacific Islands Forum Post-Forum Dialogue in Vanuatu. The delegation included not only Department of State officials, but also key defense and development personnel. We plan to take an even larger delegation to the 2011 meeting this September in Auckland to demonstrate our whole-of-government approach to addressing shared concerns in the Pacific. Building on the urgent request for support from the Pacific Small Island States, we have committed funds specifically for climate adaptation projects and related programs in Pacific Island countries. To help administer these new programs, USAID is finalizing plans for a new office in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea this year. Funding to address climate adaptation will be an essential component of our strategy—and a critical element in the regional effort both to meet increasingly severe climate-related challenges and to maintain American pre-eminence in a region wooed by other suitors with deep pockets.
In this regard, the Compact of Free Association between the United States and Palau is a vital component of our growing presence and engagement in the Western Pacific. Our existing defense arrangement with Palau makes a valuable contribution to U.S. and international security. The Administration has submitted to the Congress legislation covering the results of the recently concluded fifteen-year review of the Compact. Enacting the proposed legislation will uphold our partnership under the Compact, underscore the United States’ renewed commitment to the region, and keep Palau allied with the United States at a time when other, international interests are aggressively courting Pacific Island countries.
Fifth, we are pursuing an aggressive economic and trade agenda in Asia. 2011 is a year of consequence for the United States to demonstrate economic leadership in the region and shape the agenda for future years to accelerate regional economic integration. We are taking a three-pronged approach to driving successful engagement with the region: securing ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, achieving milestone progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, and concluding a successful APEC host year.
Today, the 21 APEC economies, with approximately 2.7 billion consumers, purchase almost 60 percent of U.S. goods exports. Seven of the United States’ top fifteen trading partners are in APEC. Strong Asian participation in APEC, the WTO, and the G-20 reflects the increasing importance of Asian economies and their centrality to strengthening the multilateral trading system and sustaining our own economic recovery. We must ensure our competitiveness in this vital region and promote continued integration of the U.S. economy with APEC economies, which will benefit workers, consumers, and businesses in the region and create jobs back here in the United States.
The region is essential to the success of President Obama’s National Export Initiative, and our goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015 to create new American jobs. In the first year of the National Export Initiative, U.S. exports to APEC members grew much faster than U.S. exports to the rest of the world (non-APEC member economies). U.S exports to APEC economies last year totaled $774 billion, up 25 percent from 2009, while U.S. exports to non-APEC member economies grew only about 15 percent to reach $503 billion. We are working with governments in the region to ensure an environment in which this trend can continue.
As we seek to achieve the President’s goal of doubling exports over the next five years, a tremendously important concrete step toward reaching this goal is the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). In December, the Administration achieved important new commitments from the Koreans on outstanding issues that will level the playing field for U.S. automakers and autoworkers, and the Administration will submit the agreement to Congress soon. This agreement represents a major accomplishment for both countries and is an historic opportunity to boost exports, create jobs, and bolster our economy. It eliminates tariffs on 95 percent of U.S. consumer and industrial exports to Korea within five years and significantly reduces tariffs on our agricultural exports to Korea. KORUS is expected to increase exports of American goods by up to $11 billion based on the tariff cuts alone of KORUS and to support at least 70,000 additional jobs on the U.S. side alone. In addition, this agreement will support many more American jobs by opening Korea’s $580 billion services market to U.S. companies in express delivery, telecommunications, insurance, and other services industries. The economic benefits for the ROK are also considerable. This trade agreement will deliver immediate, significant economic benefits, but will also deepen our engagement and strengthen our partnership with a central ally in a volatile and rapidly growing region. In strategic terms, it will underscore our commitment to prosperity and security in the Asia Pacific and fortify our leadership role and influence in the region.
Another important pathway to expanding U.S. economic engagement in Asia, and increasing U.S. exports to dynamic Asian markets, is the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, or TPP. The nine APEC economies involved – Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States – represent almost 40 percent of APEC’s total goods and services exports. With these economies we are negotiating a new template for a high-quality, high ambition, twenty-first century trade agreement. This is a strategic agreement that is central to enhancing the twenty-first century supply chain and new economies of IT and green growth, and one that supports high labor standards and the environment. We have now had a number of rounds of TPP negotiations, and we look forward to working in partnership with Congress as we continue towards realizing this important agreement.
And, in 2011, the United States is hosting APEC for the first time in 18 years, providing us with unique opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to and engagement in the region and to shape the organization’s agenda in ways that reflect our values, promote regional economic integration, and create opportunities for U.S. businesses and workers in this dynamic region. The first round of Senior Officials Meetings took place here in Washington earlier this month, and we will have a busy APEC schedule as we build to the APEC Leaders Meeting, which President Obama will host in Hawaii in November. We have set an ambitious agenda that challenges APEC to maximize tangible, practical results, particularly in the area of removing trade barriers, promoting green growth, and building regulatory convergence among APEC economies. To that end, the President has laid out three priority areas to guide APEC’s agenda in 2011 to build towards a seamless regional economy: (1) strengthening regional economic integration and expanding trade; (2) promoting green growth; and (3) expanding regulatory cooperation and advancing regulatory convergence. We are looking to conclude specific and ambitious initiatives in each of these three priority areas this year. We want to ensure that APEC will continue to benefit American businesses, especially small and medium size enterprises, and will remain focused on specific, practical outcomes. Through APEC, we can continue to advance regional economic integration, and by reducing barriers to trade and investment in the region, we can increase U.S. exports and support jobs at home at the same time.
American leadership in the Asia-Pacific is essential to our long-term national interests. The Administration is committed to investing in and playing an engaged and active role in the region. The shift of geopolitical forces from the West to the East is a defining feature of the twenty-first century’s international landscape—and Asia will be the main stage for these transformations. These changes will present both tremendous challenges and opportunities for the United States. We are committed to meeting these challenges and seizing opportunities through high-intensity and comprehensive engagement. We have demonstrated to the region that as a global power, we can “walk and chew gum at the same time.” We can, and will continue to be forced to, juggle multiple challenges at once. We are committed to taking steps to further strengthen our linkages to the Asia-Pacific region to ensure the preservation and promotion of our interests.
I look forward to working with you, Mr. Chairman, and with Members of this Subcommittee and Congress to seek opportunities to influence positively the future direction of the region to deliver more benefit to more of our people. Thank you for extending this opportunity to me to testify today on this vitally important issue. I am happy to respond to any questions you may have.