1.  U.S. Support for Reform in Russia and The Other New Independent 
States--Strobe Talbott
2.  POW/MIA Update:  Finding the Answers--Winston Lord 
3.  Focus on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
4.  U.S. Policy Toward the Embargo Against Vietnam
5.  Humanitarian Programs for Vietnam


U.S. Support for Reform in Russia and The Other New Independent States
Strobe Talbott, Ambassador-at-Large and Special Adviser to the Secretary 
on the New Independent States
Statement before the Subcommittee on European Affairs of the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, DC, September 7, 1993

Mr. Chairman, I welcome the opportunity to report to this Committee on 
President Clinton's policy toward Russia, Ukraine, and the other New 
Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union.  In appearing 
before you, my colleagues and I hope to reinforce your willingness to 
support the Administration's program.  We recognize that for that to 
happen, you must be convinced on four counts:  

First, that it is vital to American interests for reform in the NIS to 

Second, that despite setbacks and opposition, the process of reform is 
widespread, deep-seated, and resilient;  

Third, that we have the right policy to support reform; and 

Fourth, that we have the means and the determination to implement that 
policy effectively.

From the beginning of his presidency, Bill Clinton made clear that 
support for reform in the NIS would be the No. 1 foreign policy priority 
of his Administration.  He understood that the collapse of the Soviet 
system and the Soviet empire constituted an historic transformation of 
our world, overwhelmingly for the better.  But he also understood that 
in the new post-Cold War era, there were sure to be new uncertainties, 
new troubles, and new challenges to American leadership.  Only with 
international help--marshaled by the United States--could Russia, 
Ukraine, and the other former republics of the U.S.S.R. make the 
transition from totalitarianism to democracy and from a centralized 
command economy to the market.

Initially, many Americans saw the stakes primarily in terms of what we 
do not want to happen:  We don't want the economic distress and 
political turmoil to trigger a civil war that could rage across 11 time 
zones; we don't want a nuclear Yugoslavia in the heart of Eurasia; we 
don't want to see the rise of a new dictatorship that represses its own 
subjects, threatens its neighbors, and requires the United States and 
its allies to return to a Cold War footing.

But there was, in President Clinton's mind, a more positive vision 
underlying our policy as well:  In Russia, Ukraine, and several of the 
other New Independent States, national rebirth has begun.  Great nations 
and good people are finally trying to join the political and economic 
culture of the industrialized democracies.

When I appeared before this Committee in March for my confirmation 
hearings, I asserted that while events in the former Soviet Union were 
confused and sometimes disturbing, there was a pattern to them 
nonetheless--a pattern that points in the right direction--toward the 
evolution of a community of modern states, at peace with themselves and 
with each other, productively and prosperously integrated into the 
international economy, a source of raw materials and manufactured 
products, a market for American goods and services, and a partner for 
American diplomacy in ensuring regional and, indeed, global peace.

So, Mr. Chairman, the premise of our policy from the beginning has been 
that reform in the NIS is a long-term proposition, requiring a long view 
and steadiness on our part.  I stress this today, Mr. Chairman, because 
since I last met with most of you, Russia and its neighbors have come 
through a stormy summer, prompting talk of a new "time of troubles" and 
worries that the main engines of reform have sputtered and stalled, if 
not slipped into reverse.

That is not our view.  We can all see the difficulties that beset 
Russia, Ukraine, and the other New Independent States; we know that 
tensions have erupted within and between them; we are dealing with 
strains and disagreements that have arisen between them and us.  
Nonetheless, Mr. Chairman, it is the working conviction of the Clinton 
Administration that the overall trend in that vast part of the world 
remains favorable, and therefore that the underpinnings of our policy 
remain sound.

Indeed, many of today's grim or ominous headlines advertise what might 
be called the downside of one of history's great upturns.  Age-old 
national and ethnic tensions and conflicts have flared precisely because 
the Soviet prison house of nations has collapsed.  There are noisy 
squabbles between presidents and parliaments precisely because real 
politics, with open elections and secret ballots, has replaced autocracy 
and terror.  Does anyone really long for the days of perfect harmony 
between the Kremlin and the Supreme Soviet, when the former was the seat 
of absolute power and the latter a rubber stamp?

Knotty economic problems, such as how to control inflation and budget 
deficits, confront governments precisely because they have thrown off 
the strait jacket of the command economy. While the citizens of the 
former Soviet Union have a long way to go in their trial-and-error 
experiment with market economics, they have already come a vast distance 
by breaking with the old system, which impoverished nations, despoiled 
the environment, and fueled limitless military buildups.  The ruble is 
still a long way from being a stable convertible currency, but it has 
also come a long way from the Soviet-era funny money, with a totally 
artificial value assigned by the state and of little use in empty 

My point, Mr. Chairman, is that, if kept in perspective, events in the 
former Soviet Union should not discourage us and certainly should not 
tempt us to pull back or slow down.  On the contrary, they should 
sustain our hope, our engagement, and our support. 

Russian Politics--The Period Ahead
In substantiating this general point, Mr. Chairman, let me concentrate 
for a moment on Russia, the largest and most powerful of the New 
Independent States.  What happens there will have a major, perhaps 
decisive effect on the future of reform in all the other former 

Over the past 4 months, President Yeltsin has been able to convert his 
stunning victory in the referendum on April 25 into a process intended 
to give Russia both its first post-communist constitution and its first 
post-communist parliament.  That process has been contentious and 
suspenseful.  The Supreme Soviet has resisted President Yeltsin on a 
broad legislative front, from the budgetary policy to religious freedom.  
The political atmosphere has been further soured by personal political 
vendettas, fueled by charges and counter-charges of corruption.  
Russia's increasingly assertive regions are demanding greatly increased 
autonomy from Moscow as the price of their backing for constitutional 

President Yeltsin now faces the daunting task of pushing through 
constitutional reform over the entrenched opposition of the Supreme 
Soviet.  This drama will take time to play itself out; that is hardly 
surprising.  It took our own Founding Fathers a decade to hammer out 
their vision of a more perfect union.

As Russian politics continue to evolve, we must have open channels of 
communication at all levels across the political spectrum.  Ambassador 
Pickering and our embassy in Moscow have frequent contacts with key 
figures on both sides of the executive-legislative divide in Moscow, as 
do members of Congress on their visits to Russia.  Our special efforts 
to broaden and deepen contacts with Russia's regions are symbolized by 
the superb work being done by our consulates in St. Petersburg and 
Vladivostok, and our initiative to open a new consulate in Ekaterinburg.  
We are determined to maintain lines of communication to all legitimate 
and responsible groups and factions.

Those activities in no way diminish our strong support for President 
Yeltsin.  That support is appropriate for four reasons:  

--  He is Russia's only President; 
--  He is Russia's first elected leader in 1,000 years; 
--  The Russian people reaffirmed their confidence in him at the polls 
in April; and 
--  He is pushing ahead with policies that will, if they take root, 
assure Russia's transformation into a strong, democratic, prosperous 
country, with a government that reflects the greatness of the Russian 

The Russian Economy:  Good News As Well As Bad
The economic picture in Russia has, especially in the past few months, 
been neither clear nor pretty.  That is partly because of the stalemate 
between the government and the parliament.  President Yeltsin will not 
be able to push through his full economic reform program unless and 
until he has a legislature he can work with, and that will almost 
certainly have to wait until a new constitution is in place and new 
elections are held.  In the meantime, the Russian economy suffers from 
the inevitable growing pains that accompany the transition from a 
command to market economy.

Still, there was a period during the spring and early summer when the 
government was able to pull Russia back from the brink of hyper-
inflation and impose some basic discipline on the budget and on the 
emission of credits to inefficient state-run enterprises.  In response, 
the International Monetary Fund was able to release the first half of a 
$3 billion facility aimed at helping Russia achieve macroeconomic 

Since then, however, there has been backsliding on both fiscal and 
monetary policy.  Another blow came when the Central Bank announced it 
would confiscate pre-1993 rubles, a move that undercut confidence of 
both Russian consumers and the international financial institutions.

These developments--a resurgence of inflation and the ruble debacle--
have gotten most of the attention, contributing to the misimpression of 
an economy in meltdown.  That is not the whole picture, by any means.  
Just as important, in our view, is the government's success to date in 
weathering a parliamentary attack on its all-important privatization 

We recognize, of course, that privatization alone is not enough; it must 
be accompanied by the right macroeconomic policies to work.  Still, 
privatization goes to the heart of the de-communization of the old 
system.  We believe that, along with democratization, privatization is 
one of the two most important manifestations of reform.  Hence it is one 
of the two most important targets of our own assistance programs.  In 
fact, we believe that privatization and democratization are mutually 
reinforcing; there is a synergy between the two:  The more people work 
in private enterprise, the more they are likely to participate in the 
democratic process--and vote for candidates who will support economic, 
as well as political, freedom.

While the ruble has fluctuated wildly and fallen precipitously, 
privatization has remained steady.  There will be between 16,000 and 
20,000 private retail trade establishments created in Russia by the end 
of this year.  Since December, over 2,300 medium-sized firms have been 
privatized through voucher auctions.  More than 4 million workers are 
now employed in privatized enterprises in Russia.  That is 1 in 10.  
Thus, the transfer of state-controlled property to individual 
shareholders is clearly on the rise and is becoming a way of life.

There is other good news as well.  The decline in industrial output has 
slowed significantly over the past 12 months; subsidies on key 
foodstuffs and other agricultural products are being further reduced, 
and there is some evidence of an improvement in Russian living 

America can encourage these positive developments in two interacting 
ways:  first, through our bilateral reform support program, and second, 
through the package of multilateral, macroeconomic measures which we 
have set up through the Group of Seven major industrialized democracies.  
One of the tenets of President Clinton's policy from the beginning has 
been that we will do all we can, but we will not do it alone; we will 
take the initiative--show the leadership--but we will do so largely in 
order to leverage much greater amounts of money from the international 
financial institutions and from the other industrialized democracies.

Meanwhile, we are working with our Russian partners to expand the flow 
of trade and investment between the two countries.  That means lowering 
barriers on both sides, including ours; we must do much more to open 
Western markets to the NIS.  A milestone in this essential effort came 
last week with the highly successful initial session of the U.S.-Russian 
Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation, co-chaired by   
Vice President Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin.  We and the Russian 
Government see the Gore-Chernomyrdin commission as proof of our 
determination to give meaning and substance to the new watchword in 
U.S.-Russian relations:  Rannership.

Ukraine:  A Friend in Need
Let me turn, Mr. Chairman, to Russia's great neighbor, Ukraine.  This is 
a country to which we are also giving priority.  Ukraine has a vital 
contribution to make to the peace and prosperity of Europe.  It is a 
nation with which we feel a deep bond and with which we want to develop 
a broad and mutually beneficial relationship.

In our dialogue with Kiev, we hope to focus on economic cooperation, for 
the Ukrainian economy is in serious trouble.  The parliament and 
government are in deadlock over what course to take.  There seems to be 
a growing realization in Kiev that political paralysis threatens the 
long-term economic viability of Ukraine.  We continue at every 
opportunity to urge the development of a national consensus on the 
difficult decisions that are necessary to put in place a meaningful 
market economic reform plan.  The lack of such a plan hamstrings the 
international financial institutions in their desire to assist Ukraine.  
While we have allocated $15 million to facilitate the beginning of a 
privatization program in Ukraine, our efforts to provide increased 
technical assistance are impeded by Kiev's failure thus far to commit 
itself to the policies that will allow private enterprise to thrive.

Last Friday's summit meeting between Presidents Yeltsin and Kravchuk was 
a tribute to their personal statesmanship and a promising development 
for both countries.  The two Presidents clearly realize that the 
fundamental national interests of Russia and Ukraine would be served by 
a sustained improvement in their bilateral relations.  Expanded economic 
cooperation between Russia and Ukraine--as long as it is based on the 
introduction of market principles and not on a recreation of the old 
Soviet system of economic exchanges--could ease the difficult transition 
in both countries away from central planning.

We are particularly gratified that progress appears to have been made in 
resolving the extremely sensitive nuclear issues discussed by the two 
Presidents.  The United States has worked with both Moscow and Kiev to 
assist them in addressing and resolving these complex and sensitive 
questions.  In particular, our ideas on the early deactivation of 
nuclear weapons in Ukraine, first conveyed by Secretary of Defense Aspin 
in early June, appear to have been helpful in achieving progress on that 

Non-Proliferation:  A Global Objective
Mr. Chairman, as you know, we believe it is essential to world peace 
that the disintegration of the Soviet Union should not result in any 
increase in the number of nuclear weapons states.  We are convinced that 
proliferation of nuclear weapons in the former U.S.S.R. would increase 
the risks and potential costs of conflict among the New Independent 

It was, therefore, a welcome development when the Governments of 
Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan agreed in May 1992, at a meeting in 
Lisbon, to sign and ratify the START I Treaty and accede to the Nuclear 
Non-Proliferation Treaty as non-nuclear-weapon states.  Belarus was the 
first of the three states to fulfill its Lisbon commitments.  In July, 
Supreme Soviet Chairman Stanislav Shushkevich presented President 
Clinton with Belarus' instrument of accession to the NPT.  Kazakhstan, 
which has already ratified START I, has assured us that it will accede 
to the NPT this fall; Ukraine has yet to take either of these steps, 
although its leadership has reiterated its commitment to do so.

The status of nuclear weaponry outside of Russia is a piece of old, but 
essential, business left over from the Cold War.  It must be laid to 
rest, in accord with the Lisbon agreements, before we can devote 
ourselves fully to the new business of building broad and productive 
relationships with Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Our policy in this regard reflects the high priority that the Clinton 
Administration attaches to worldwide efforts to prevent proliferation of 
weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.  Indeed, we seek to 
give fresh impetus to our global non-proliferation policy by enlisting 
Russia and the other NIS in that cause.  In this connection, the U.S.-
Russian agreement on prevention of ballistic missile proliferation, 
signed by Vice President Gore and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin last week, 
broadens and bolsters the multinational Missile Technology Control 
Regime, which is very much in Russia's interests as well as our own. 

Regional Stability and Security
The months since we last met, Mr. Chairman, have been a particularly 
difficult period in the Caucasus.  In Georgia, civil war has threatened 
to thwart the efforts of a brave people to consolidate the gains of 
independence and to undermine the leadership of a great statesman, 
Eduard Shevardnadze.  Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are paying a terrible 
price for the ongoing dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh, the region of 
Azerbaijan populated overwhelmingly by ethnic Armenians.

Azerbaijan offers a particularly stark example of the four-way 
connection among democratization, political stability, economic 
development, and regional peace; remove the last ingredient, and the 
other three are all but impossible.

In June, Azerbaijan's democratically elected President, Abulfez 
Elchibey, was forced from power as troops under a dissident military 
commander, Surat Huseynov, marched on Baku.  In the political 
maneuvering touched off by Huseynov's rebellion, the former Communist 
Party First Secretary of Azerbaijan, Haydar Aliyev, returned to power as 
Chairman of the Supreme Soviet.  While President Elchibey remains in the 
country and retains his title, he has been effectively stripped of his 
powers.  Although a national referendum on August 29 produced an 
overwhelming vote of no confidence in President Elchibey, the voting 
took place under conditions that did not allow the people of Azerbaijan 
a free and fair choice.

Despite this clear setback, we hope democracy will ultimately prevail in 
Azerbaijan.  We will continue to press Prime Minister Aliyev and other 
Azerbaijani leaders to restore freedom of speech and assembly, to 
release those who remain illegally detained, and to restore democracy 
through genuinely free and fair elections.

Azerbaijan is a potentially rich country, with oil reserves of great 
interest to American companies.  We would like our business community to 
participate in the development of these resources to the benefit of both 
countries.  But the leadership in Baku must know that relations between 
our countries will remain severely burdened as long as democracy is 
denied in Azerbaijan.

That is a point I intend to stress personally during a visit to 
Azerbaijan later this week.  But the point I want to stress here, Mr. 
Chairman, is that the process of democratization in the former Soviet 
Union will be severely impeded wherever peace is denied.  President 
Elchibey's Government lost the confidence of the Azerbaijani people in 
large measure because of its battlefield reverses at the hands of the 
Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians.

The United States has been in the forefront of efforts to resolve this 
conflict under the aegis of the Conference on Security and Cooperation 
in Europe (CSCE).  We are hopeful that a peaceful solution will emerge 
from these complex negotiations.  However, the recent offensives of the 
Nagorno-Karabakh Armenians have dimmed that prospect.  We have called 
for an end to this aggression.  A settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh 
dispute would alleviate human suffering throughout the region, and it 
would open the way for regional cooperation to rebuild the war-ravaged 
economies of both Azerbaijan and Armenia.  In parallel with our 
diplomatic efforts, we are working to assist refugees of the recent 
fighting in Azerbaijan, in accordance with the restrictions in the 
FREEDOM Support Act.  We are also helping Armenia, whose economy has 
been devastated by war and economic blockade, prepare for another 
difficult winter.

The United States has a number of reasons for involvement in the 
international effort to foster peace and stability in the former Soviet 
Union.  Our objective throughout the New Independent States is to 
support reform in all its dimensions, and as the Nagorno-Karabakh 
tragedy demonstrates, reform is one of the first victims of conflict.  
Indeed, Russian reform is vulnerable to the consequences of trouble 
around the periphery.  The presence of ethnic Russians in neighboring 
states and the likelihood that, one way or another, they will be caught 
up in fighting there will divide and inflame political sentiment in 
Russia itself--and not to the advantage of the reformers.  Moreover, if 
unchecked, conflicts in the New Independent States could spread, drawing 
in other states beyond the borders of the old U.S.S.R.

Let me be clear about the principles that govern our approach to this 
challenge.  We begin from firm and unwavering support for the 
independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of all the New 
Independent States, including the Russian Federation itself.  We do not 
support secessionism through armed struggle or the breakup of any of 
these states, nor do we seek to pit any state in the region against any 
other.  In accordance with the United Nations Charter and the CSCE Final 
Act, the United States can accept changes of borders only if they are 
achieved by peaceful means and mutual consent.

Much has appeared in the public media recently about our view of 
Russia's role in conflicts in the former Soviet Union.  Let me be 
precise on this point.  We want to see a democratic Russia that is a 
great power and a global partner of the United States.  We understand 
Russia's concerns for stability on her borders and for the well-being of 
millions of ethnic Russians in neighboring states.  It is crucial, 
however, that Russia neither assert nor exercise any special role or 
prerogatives that would be inconsistent with the independence, 
sovereignty, and territorial integrity of any other state.  We have made 
our position on this question clear in dialogue at all levels with 
Russia, as well as with the other New Independent States.

The United States does not presume to prescribe detailed blueprints for 
the settlement of conflicts in the former Soviet Union, many of which 
are fueled by ancient ethnic hatreds.  Nor do we seek a formal role as 
mediator among the independent and sovereign states of the region.  At 
the same time, the United States will continue to lead international 
efforts to assist the parties to these conflicts in finding peaceful 
solutions--if they want our help and are prepared to work for peace.  
America's role will often be as an active participant in multilateral 
efforts through international bodies in which all the New Independent 
States are members--such as the UN, CSCE, or the NATO coordinating 
council.  The United States will also continue to use bilateral contacts 
with each of the New Independent States whenever our diplomacy can help 
resolve or prevent conflict.  We will not act unilaterally, nor will we 
take sides.  Our efforts will be undertaken openly and in close 
consultation with all the states of the region.

To help us with this priority of our policy, Secretary Christopher has 
appointed James Collins, currently our Deputy Chief of Mission in 
Moscow, to head a new office in the State Department as Coordinator of 
Regional Affairs for the New Independent States.  Working closely with 
me, Mr. Collins' task will be to advise Secretary Christopher on how we 
can best use our diplomatic resources and good offices.  He will also 
coordinate the efforts of other executive branch offices, agencies, and 
departments to this end.

Mr. Collins' office is new, but his task is not.  We have all along been 
actively involved in this work in a variety of forms and places.  For 
more than a year, Ambassador Jack Maresca has worked tirelessly and 
skillfully as our Special Representative to the CSCE Nagorno-Karabakh 
peace process.  American Foreign Service officers have served as members 
of CSCE peace missions to Georgia, Moldova, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.  A 
team of experts from the State Department recently visited Russia and 
Tajikistan to consult with those governments on ways to move the 
conflict in that country toward a solution.  Mr. Collins' appointment 
will enable us to bring greater focus and effectiveness to this vital 

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, let me summarize the rationale and strategy 
for our policy--and explain how that strategy will be served by the 
program we are asking you to fund.

Our policy is based on four principles:

(1)  Firm support for political reform and the building of durable 
institutions to promote democracy, the rule of law, and the protection 
of human rights;

(2)  Readiness to work with all the New Independent States to build 
market economies and to promote private enterprise, trade, and 

(3)  Commitment to full implementation of the Lisbon Protocol 
(ratification of START I and accession to the NPT) as the only 
acceptable approach to resolving the nuclear dilemmas created by the 
collapse of the U.S.S.R.; and

(4)  Willingness to participate in international efforts to resolve 
conflicts and build regional security on the foundation of the UN 
Charter and the Helsinki Final Act.

Democracy, the market, non-proliferation, and ethnic peace--these are 
global goals, Mr. Chairman.  If we can advance them from Vilnius to 
Vladivostok, we will have considerably increased the chances that they 
will prevail throughout the world.

At the beginning of my statement, I argued that there is a pattern and 
direction of events in the former Soviet Union that should give us hope 
and keep us engaged.  It was with that belief in mind that President 
Clinton proclaimed, on April 1, the goal of developing over time a 
"strategic alliance with post-communist reform."  Strategic alliances 
are, by definition, intended to last; they are intended to withstand the 
buffeting of adverse and contradictory developments; and they require 
the investment of national resources.

Hence President Clinton's decision to commit $1.6 billion to the support 
of reform during his first meeting with Mr. Yeltsin in Vancouver on 
April 3-4.  The Vancouver initiatives included pioneering concepts, such 
as a Russian American Enterprise Fund, support for Russia's 
privatization efforts, and a program for resettlement of Russian 
officers returning from postings abroad.  Reflecting President Clinton's 
firm commitment to rapid and effective implementation, 66% of the funds 
included in the Vancouver Package have already been obligated.

My colleagues and I appear before you today to ask for your support in 
funding the second stage of President Clinton's plan to support reform 
in the New Independent States.

After Vancouver, the President determined that more needed to be done.  
We are, therefore, asking Congress for a total of $2.5 billion dollars 
in this fiscal year and the next to support reform in Russia and the 
other New Independent States.  The programs in this package build on the 
foundation laid at Vancouver and reflect an emphasis on rapid support 
for private-sector development, trade and investment, democracy-
building, humanitarian assistance, and energy and environment.

This program has been carefully constructed to ensure that our support 
for reform proceeds on a broad front and that it is not excessively 
dependent on the success or failure of any particular policy on the part 
of the Russian or other NIS Government.  Given the unpredictable twists 
and turns of the reform process, this resilient, flexible, broad gauge, 
grass-roots-oriented approach is essential.

Moreover, the programs that we propose are designed to be mutually 
reinforcing and cumulative in their impact.  For instance, private-
sector development depends importantly on development of trade and 
investment, so that privatized firms have markets for their products and 
services.  Expanded exchanges, humanitarian assistance, and officer 
resettlement are investments in human resources that will stimulate the 
growth of the private sector and trade and investment.  The $300 million 
special fund for the other New Independent States, along with the money 
available to the non-Russian former republics in the FREEDOM Support 
Act, will enable us to promote democracy and markets among Russia's 
neighbors, making it less likely that instability in those countries 
will impede reform in Russia itself.

So our program is synergistic--the various components work together, 
each enhancing the effectiveness of the other:  The whole is more than 
the sum of its parts.

Mr. Chairman, it has been hard for the President and his Administration 
to propose this package in an era of severe budgetary stringencies.  We 
realize that it is no easier for you and your colleagues to vote for it.  
The President has infused his entire Administration with his personal 
determination to see that each dollar we spend on support for reform has 
a clear and positive impact on the ground in the New Independent States.  
That is our pledge to you today.  (###)


POW/MIA Update:  Finding the Answers
Winston Lord, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Address to the American Legion Annual National Convention,  Pittsburgh, 
Pennsylvania, September 8, 1993

It is my great honor and pleasure to address an organization that speaks 
for more than 3 million veterans, their families, and survivors.  When 
your National Commander Roger Munson extended this invitation, I 
accepted at once.

As a national guardsman whose greatest challenge in the line of duty was 
doing battle in a sleepy classroom with the sandman, who risked nothing 
more than the loss of a weekend pass, who never had to set boot beyond 
our beloved soil--however alien Fort Dix seemed then to this trainee--I 
stood and I stand in awe of the American Legion.  You, who personify 
patriotism;  you, who care for your countrymen;  you, who never forget a 
comrade--I salute you.

I realize only too well how impoverished my imagination must be when 
conjuring up the plight and pain of those who are lost or maimed by war.  
But as a spouse, father, son, brother,  and friend, I have known the 
anguish of waiting for the key to turn in a door,  for a car to pull in 
the driveway, for the surgeon to flash a smile.  I have known times when 
I would have gladly given everything just to hear the words, "I'm home."

Therefore, I am grateful for this opportunity to express, on behalf of 
President Clinton, his whole-hearted commitment to the POW/MIA issue and 
his desire to include you and your organization in the process.  A month 
ago in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, John Sommers--your 
Executive Director--and I heard the President and Vice President 
reaffirm these goals.  Last week, representatives of veterans groups and 
high-level officials met again to share information and views.

That the fates of American soldiers remain unresolved 20 years after the 
war haunts us as a nation.  For too long, Hanoi spurned our inquiries 
and withheld information, prolonging the agony of the families and the 
American people.  The anguish was all the more keen because our own 
government also unnecessarily withheld information on our missing men.

President Clinton is working hard to change past practices and ensure 
full disclosure.  On Memorial Day, he directed that all information on 
POW/MIAs in Southeast Asia--except for the  small percentage still 
relevant to national security and family privacy--be declassified by 
Veterans Day.  We are on schedule to meet that target.

At the President's direction, the Secretary of Defense has also revamped 
and streamlined the Pentagon's operations on POW/MIA affairs.  All 
personnel working on this issue will now be placed in one organization 
and their interactions with families increased.  They will keep you and 
the families better informed and involved.  There are over 500 people 
working on POW/MIA issues full time, and we are spending approximately 
$100 million a year.

The President, the Secretary of State, and I urge you to tell us your 
views.  They are important to us.  That was why President Clinton, for 
the first time, invited John Sommers of the Legion and the 
representatives of three other veterans organizations to join our 
Presidential Delegation to Hanoi in July.  And that was why, for the 
first time, a senior official of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 
Deputy Secretary Hershel Gober--a Vietnam veteran with a long-term 
commitment to these issues--was selected as co-leader.  Lt. Gen. Michael 
Ryan, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and I 
served beside him.

This Administration is firmly committed to finding the answers about our 
fighting men who never came home, and to including veterans at every 
stage of our quest.  For 16 years, you were not offered such a role to 
play.  Now you have an attentive audience.  Whether through the American 
Legion or other veterans groups, your voices will be heard, your 
opinions will be weighed.  This change was a long time coming.  This 
change is just and proper and good.  As long as I sit in the office of 
the Assistant Secretary of State, my door will always be open to the 
Legion, to all veterans, and to the families of our missing men.

We cannot expect all of you to agree with our tactics or strategy, but I 
can assure all of you that we share the same goals.  We cannot guarantee 
success in every instance, but I can assure you that in every instance 
we will do our best.  America aches for the families of the missing who 
have waited so long--too long--to learn the truth.  We dedicate 
ourselves to ending that wait.  And I am here today to describe the 
efforts and the progress we are making in that quest.

Before detailing our exertions on Vietnam, let me briefly point out 
recent developments about our missing in other countries--Korea, Russia, 
and China.  These activities may not appear in the headlines as often, 
but they are equally important to us.

I am pleased to inform you that the UN Command and the military 
representatives of North Korea have just reached agreement to establish 
a working group dedicated to resolving the issue of MIAs from the Korean 
conflict.  The working group, which will soon meet, will include 
representatives from the Office of the Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA 
Affairs, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the UN Command/U.S. Forces Korea, 
the Army's Central Identification Lab, and the Army Center for Military 
History.  It will seek to establish a mechanism to regularly recover and 
repatriate remains of our missing comrades from North Korean territory.  
This initiative is the result of long-standing efforts by the UN Command 
which we strongly supported.

U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIA
In Russia, we established the U.S. - Russia Joint Commission in March 
1992 to determine whether any American POWs were being held against 
their will on the territory of the former Soviet Union, and to seek the 
fate of missing American POWs who might have been taken there since 
1940.  We have also worked to unearth any information they might have 
regarding American POWs in Indochina.  We have opened an office in 
Moscow, conducted live-sighting investigations, obtained some access to 
Russian archives, and interviewed Russian citizens with possible 
knowledge of U.S. POWs in the former U.S.S.R. and Indochina.  We have 
made considerable progress and have answered a number of questions 
through this joint effort, but a great deal of work lies before us.  
However, Ambassador Malcolm Toon, our distinguished chair of the Joint 
Commission, pointed out last week that while President Yeltsin and 
Ambassador Toon's counterpart on the com- mission, General Volkogonov, 
have been very forthcoming, others in the Russian Government have not 
cooperated fully with the commission's important work.  We, however, 
will continue to press the Russians for any information they might have 
on the fate of missing American servicemen.

Last October, President Yeltsin stated that no American POWs were being 
held in Russia today.  While our findings thus far support this 
assertion, of course, we will investigate any new live-sighting reports.

We have had good cooperation with China on POW/MIA matters this year.  
In January, a joint State-Defense delegation met with Chinese 
counterparts.  In March, a Chinese team of POW/MIA experts came to 
Hawaii for briefings.  They handed over photographs showing the bodies 
of two U.S. Navy pilots whose aircraft went down in Chinese territory 
while on a mission to Vietnam in 1967.  Thus, the fate of two of our 
missing pilots was confirmed.

Beijing is now considering our proposal to send an American team to 
China to survey four Vietnam-era crash sites.  Its findings could help 
us resolve eight cases of downed fliers.

Presidential Delegation to Vietnam
Now, let me review the July visit of the Presidential Delegation to 
Vietnam and its part in our policy.  We conveyed to the Vietnamese 
officials one central, fundamental message:  President Clinton is 
determined to achieve the fullest possible accounting for our missing 
men, and further steps in improving U.S.-Vietnamese relations would come 
only if there were new and tangible progress on the POW/MIA issue.

Our trip came in the wake of the President's July 2 decision to withdraw 
objections to other countries' efforts to clear Hanoi's debts in the 
IMF.  He took this step for two reasons:  to recognize what the 
Vietnamese had done thus far, and to accelerate the accounting for our 
POW/MIAs.  Our mission was to ensure that Hanoi's top leaders understood 
the President's message that further movement in bilateral relations 
required additional concrete results on the POW/MIA issue.  We 
accomplished that mission.

During our stay in Vietnam, we met with Party General Secretary Do Muoi, 
Minister of Defense Doan Khue, Acting Foreign Minister Tran Quan Co, 
Vice Foreign Minister Le Mai, and Minister of the Interior, Bui Thien 
Ngo.  Indeed, this was the first time an official U.S. delegation had 
met with the Vietnamese responsible for domestic security.  We also had 
a very productive veterans-to-veterans meeting.  On their side,  the 
chair was retired Gen. Tran Van Quang, who, you will recall, is 
purported to be the author of that much- publicized document unearthed 
from the Russian archives.  We continue to search for further 
information related to that document.

At each meeting, we stressed our core themes and the four areas in which 
progress was required:

--  The recovery and repatriation of American remains;
--  Continued resolution of the 92 discrepancy cases and continued live- 
sighting investigations;
--  Further assistance in implementing trilateral cooperation with the 
Lao investigations along the Vietnam-Lao border; and
--  Accelerated efforts to provide all POW/MIA-related documents that 
can shed light on individual cases.

Deputy Secretary Gober delivered this message.  He conveyed how high the 
President holds the views of millions of men and women who have served 
in our armed forces.

Lieutenant General Ryan delivered this message.  He spoke for all those 
on active duty in the accounting process--many of whom, like himself, 
had served in Vietnam.

I delivered this message.  I carried with my office the full weight of 
our diplomatic and foreign policy interests.  And each leader of the 
veterans' organizations delivered this message.  They personified the 
lasting bonds which bind soldier to soldier, living or dead, missing or 
lost.  They took part in all our strategy sessions.  They sat in on all 
our meetings.  They were encouraged to state the unvarnished views of 
their membership.  Throughout, John Sommers presented your viewpoints 
with eloquence and passion.  The American Legion can take immense pride 
in its representative.

How did the leaders of Vietnam respond?  To a man, they expressed 
appreciation for easing their access to international financial 
institutions.  They acknowledged the suitability of our four specific 
areas of concern.  They pledged their best efforts toward making more 
progress on POW/MIAs.  In the words of their most senior leader, Party 
Secretary Do Muoi, "President Clinton has demonstrated goodwill, and so 
will Vietnam."  In a letter we carried back to our President, the 
Vietnamese President, Le Duc Anh, reiterated this commitment.

In all candor, I must tell you that Hanoi's leaders, while pledging full 
cooperation, also cautioned our delegation that they did not expect 
break-throughs in discovering large numbers of new remains or documents.  
They believed advances will be incremental.

Our delegation also emphasized the importance our President and people 
attach to human rights.  Vietnamese officials indicated an open attitude 
to discussing this issue along with other subjects.  Our exchanges 
included our request for the release of all prisoners of conscience, as 
well as for access to Americans incarcerated in Vietnam.

During our visit to CINCPAC Headquarters in Hawaii, and in Vietnam, we 
met with the men and women of our Joint Task Force-Full Accounting under 
the overall command of Adm. Charles Larson and Maj. Gen. Tom Needham.  
We were profoundly impressed by their dedication and the difficult 
conditions under which they labor.  For the last 18 months, they have 
risked their health inching through dense jungles and mountain peaks in 
Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia gleaning for clues.

The Record
Let me add that this Joint Task Force exists today, in good measure, 
because of a patriot who has served three Presidents as the Special 
Emissary to Hanoi--the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 
Gen. John Vessey.  Entering the army as a private and rising to the 
highest position in our armed forces, he gave 46 years of outstanding 
service to the nation.  A grateful country could not have asked for 
more.  But General Vessey had more to give.  He dedicated himself to 
seeking the answers to the questions that plagued the families of those 
missing.  Accordingly, in 1987 he went on the first of six trips to 
Hanoi.  Accordingly, he helped establish the JTF 2 years ago.  Ever 
since, we have made significant progress.

--  Two years ago, there were no Americans assigned to search for our 
missing in Vietnam.  Now there is a POW/MIA investigative office in 
Hanoi with a permanent staff of 12, and every 2 months up to 80 
temporary personnel working on field investigations.

--  Two years ago, there was no way to check out reports of Americans 
who may still be held alive.  Now, a mechanism is in place to thoroughly 
probe every report of live sightings.  We have successfully investigated 
all of them to date.

--  Two years ago, there was little access to battlefields and crash 
sites.  When permitted, the explorations proceeded at a snail's pace.  
Now, Vietnam cooperates fully with the JTF comprehensive work plan for 
excavating crash sites and grave locations, and field operations are 
taking place every other month.

--  Two years ago, Vietnamese records which could aid our search were 
barred to us.  Now, we have a mechanism to examine pertinent material 
from Vietnam's military museums and archives for clues.  We also have a 
commitment from Vietnamese leaders to allow our researchers to see all 
of their records on POW/MIAs.

With the aid of a delegation to Hanoi this past May, which included 
members of the Senate and House as well as three veterans organizations, 
there is now a Joint Information Center in Hanoi.  Vietnam has pledged 
to place all their POW/MIA-related documents in this facility.

Now we also have established a system to conduct interviews with current 
and former Vietnamese military officials who might have information 
about our missing.  Cases requiring trilateral cooperation between Laos, 
Vietnam, and the United States will be investigated for the first time 
through simultaneous bilateral field activities inside Laos and Vietnam.  
This breakthrough was achieved at the August trilateral meetings in 

All these mechanisms will help President Clinton to fulfill his pledge 
to the families of the missing--that everything possible will be done to 
determine the fates of their missing fathers and sons, husbands and 

In many instances these answers will hurt.  Often, they will not be 
complete.  Our goal is to realize, as fully as humanly possible, whether 
American serviceman are alive or dead, the circumstances of those who 
made the ultimate sacrifice, and the recovery and repatriation of their 

We know that this will not always be feasible.  For example, more than 
400 individuals listed as MIAs were downed in air crashes over water.  
And we also know that it is no consolation that the victims of 
unknowable fates are not alone--they join tens of thousands of their 
comrades in arms who also served America valiantly in other times and 
other places.  But despite all obstacles, the activities I have 
described produce information vital to many families.

Now, let me address an issue of concern to many of you--the live 
prisoner question.  Since we began our POW/MIA accounting work, our 
foremost priority was to determine if any of our missing might still be 
alive and detained against their will.  That was the focus of our field 

We also established a mechanism for conducting live-sighting 
investigations.  This has enabled us to conduct, on the ground in 
Vietnam, 80 such investigations concerning reports that an American POW 
may have been alive after Operation Homecoming.  We have traveled across 
Vietnam searching for evidence in villages, in prisons, and in military 
facilities.  None of these investigations points to a living American 
POW.  The Senate Select Committee also concluded that there is "no 
compelling evidence that proves that any American remains alive in 
captivity in Southeast Asia."  But we have not given up.  We will 
continue to investigate all live-sighting reports through research and 
field work.  Should proof be found, we will act decisively.

We have also focused our efforts on the 196 individuals who might have 
survived the incident in which they were lost, and were thus classified 
as "discrepancy cases."  With Vietnam's cooperation, we have determined 
the fates of 104 such men.  A special pro-gram has intensified our 
pursuit for knowledge about the remaining 92.

Overall, we have made significant progress in the repatriation of 
remains.  We secured Hanoi's promise to offer amnesty to all Vietnamese 
who turn in the remains they may have hidden away.  This program is 
already increasing the rate of return.

Our research work has also produced results.  DoD employees working in 
Vietnam have already examined 25,000 POW/MIA-related items from Hanoi's 
military archives.  Their findings have added significantly to our 
knowledge of the missing.  The JTF has completed 24 joint field 
operations in Vietnam, and the 25th is now underway.  Since January 
1992, more than 800 investigations have uncovered new information and 
recovered remains.

I shall give you but one example of the unsung, heroic work underway.  
On one case, JTF personnel traveled to an extremely remote sector of 
northern Vietnam where local officials turned over eight sets of 
remains.  Our team then headed for the site of recovery, a 6-hour trek 
away.  They climbed hand over hand up jagged limestone.  They crossed 
acres of loose rubble.  They dug and dug.  For their energetic efforts, 
they came up with aircraft wreckage and life support equipment, a single 
bone, and bits of teeth.  It may not seem like much, but it may offer 
one family the keys to unlock the purgatory in which its members have 
lived for 2 decades.

We must always bear in mind that positive identification can be a most 
extended and exacting process.  Identifying even one individual can take 
months, if not years.  Just last month, a case begun 4 years ago was 
finally resolved.  And, despite the spectacular work done with DNA 
technology, some cases may prove impossible to solve.

Much of the progress made is difficult to perceive, so often is it 
veiled by abstractions.  But it has touched the lives of many families.  
Since the Joint Task Force was created, it has provided meaningful 
information to 870 families.  It has developed detailed, mostly first-
hand accounts about the likely fates of more than 280 men listed as 

The pace of progress has accelerated.  In the first 8 months of this 
Administration, 42 sets of remains have been repatriated, more than the 
32 recovered in all of 1992.  Four joint field operations have 
investigated more than 300 cases to produce detailed accounts about the 
fates of our missing.  Our researchers have examined 20,000 documents 
and artifacts.  And we have launched a special intensive program to 
reinvestigate the remaining discrepancy cases.

Since our delegation's trip in July, the Vietnamese efforts have further 
intensified.  A major factor was the unified message delivered in Hawaii  
by John Sommers and other veteran leaders who were our colleagues on the 
delegation.  In recent weeks, we have continued to make progress in the 
four areas of concern that we outlined.  

Looking Forward
We must recognize that, even with maximum cooperation from Vietnam, 
Laos, and Cambodia, this is a long and painstaking process that will 
stretch out for many years.  For the nature of this work--however 
tireless and dedicated and expert its personnel--inherently defies 
complete success.  But we will persevere in achieving the fullest 
possible accounting.  We will mine every source for any possible nuggets 
of news.  We will interview every witness with any possible connection.  
We will excavate every crash and grave site for any possible remains.  
We will examine every document containing any possible clues.

Our present policy should promote and enhance this process.  A decade 
and a half of nonengagement with Vietnam showed us that such an approach 
did not produce the tangible results we seek.  On the other hand, we 
have also rejected any great leaps forward in U.S.-Vietnamese relations, 
for that would squander our leverage.  Moving ahead step-by-step has 
proven to be the most effective route to reaching our goals.

America today is a great country because of the sacrifices of our 
veterans.  And America today will not abandon or forget our veterans who 
made the ultimate sacrifice.  Still, even with the best of wills and 
luck and the wisest of plans, there is no foretelling what discoveries 
may reveal or what mysteries may abide.

But we vow to ascertain answers to as many questions as are within our 
earthly reach:  whether or not a loved one lives; how he fared; what 
finally was his fate; where his remains lie.  For we fervently hope, and 
we feverishly work, to bring back the fates and the remains of the men 
who have answered America's call to where they belong--home.

For their families, their buddies, and their countrymen who are forever 
in their debt continue to wait anxiously.  All of them and all of us are 
linked inextricably by history.  Surely history, however rewritten, 
cannot be undone.  As surely, history endows the American people with a 
splendid legacy of principles and traditions to guide us in all seasons-
-when the skies are obscured with clouds, when the skies shine blue.  
The American way heals and renews.  You, by your steadfastness and 
patriotism, can help the healing.  Working together, we can foster 
renewal.  (###)


Focus on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
A Periodic Update

U.S. To Host APEC Ministerial In November
U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher will chair APEC's Fifth 
Ministerial meeting November 17-19, 1993, in Seattle, Washington.

APEC ministers will focus on trade and investment liberalization in the 
region at the request of ministers attending the fourth ministerial in 
Bangkok, Thailand, last year.  The United States, which currently chairs 
the forum, hopes to advance APEC's work in this area through adoption of 
a new trade and investment framework for market-oriented policies.  The 
U.S. delegation will also be seeking a greater role for the private 
sector within APEC. 

In addition to the trade and investment discussions, ministers will 
consider a greater role for the private sector within APEC, search for 
ways to strengthen APEC as an institution, and focus on expanding 
economic cooperation in the region.  Ministers will consider the action 
plans of APEC's 10 working groups and an ad hoc group on economic trends 
and issues.  A non-governmental "Eminent Person Group" will present its 
report on APEC's medium- and long-term role in enhancing trade and 
economic activity in the region.  

President Clinton has invited APEC-member leaders to join him for an 
informal meeting in Seattle on November 20 to discuss ways to reach 
these goals. 

What is APEC?
APEC is a forum of 15 member economies from the Asia-Pacific region (see 
box) designed to better manage the effects of growing interdependence in 
the Pacific region and sustain economic growth.  The organization was 
founded in 1989 in Canberra, Australia by six members of ASEAN 
(Association of Southeast Asian Nations--Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, 
Malaysia, the Republic of Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) and 
Australia, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, and the 
United States.  APEC welcomed three new members--China, Hong Kong, and 
Chinese Taipei--in 1991.

Annual ministerial meetings have since taken place in Singapore, Seoul, 
and Bangkok.  Together, these economies represent about half of the 
world's economic output as well as half of the world's population. 

At the 1992 ministerial meeting, a permanent APEC secretariat was 
established in Singapore and arrangements were made for financial 
contributions and an annual budget. 

America's Future in the Pacific
The Asia-Pacific region has great potential to serve as an important 
source of economic growth.  The region contains the world's fastest-
growing and most dynamic economies and is the world's largest consumer 
market and the biggest export market of the United States.  The region 
will be of increasing economic significance to America's future, since 
it is where the most growth in U.S. export markets will be found.

Over 40% of U.S. trade is now with Asia, including exports worth $120 
billion in 1992, accounting for more than 2.3 million American jobs.  
Only 25 years ago, total U.S. trade with all of East Asia was less than 
that with Latin America.  Last year, our trans-Pacific trade was $325 
billion--three times that with Latin America and almost 50% more than 
our trade with Western Europe.

President Clinton, in speeches in Japan and Korea in July, proposed to 
work with the nations of Asia to create a "New Pacific Community."  The 
President believes that APEC is the most promising forum today for 
achieving a more open regional economy, encouraging economic growth, and 
fostering prosperity and opportunity in the region.

The President's meeting with APEC leaders after the ministerial session 
will be a historic occasion--the first meeting in the United States of 
Asian leaders.  

The United States and APEC
One of the key pillars of U.S. foreign policy today is the promotion of 
American economic security, and no place in the world is more important 
to the economic health and well-being of the United States than the 
Asia-Pacific region.  As a whole, it is both the world's fastest-growing 
economy and the most dynamic regional economy, and will remain so well 
into the next century.  The Asia-Pacific region is the world's largest 
consumer market and the biggest customer for U.S. goods and services.

Because of its huge growth potential, the Asia-Pacific region will be of 
increasing economic significance to America's future, and one of the 
regions in which the U.S. will find the most room for export market 

United States support for and participation in the APEC forum 
demonstrates U.S. determination to transform the region's vast potential 
for economic growth into concrete business opportunities and jobs for 
Americans.  As Secretary Christopher has said, "Our goal is simple:  to 
open markets, not close them; to create more trade and jobs, not less."  
Over the past 4 years, the evolution of APEC has provided a notable 
bright spot on the global trade front and has become the centerpiece of 
the U.S. Asian-Pacific economic strategy.

Initial Goals
Since the first meeting of APEC in 1989, the first priority of the 
member economies has been the successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round 
of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).  APEC members were 
cautious in pursuing regional trade liberalization for fear of 
jeopardizing the chances for a successful global agreement.  Initially, 
APEC activity focused only on attempts to support the Uruguay Round and 
general discussions on the proliferation of regional trade agreements.

But since the Bangkok ministerial meeting last year, work has expanded 
significantly to address practical means to reduce transactional costs 
in the flow of goods and services within the region and lay the 
groundwork for future policy decisions.

Next Steps   
Many members--including the United States--favor plans to accelerate 
work on trade and investment.  The United States has proposed that APEC 
adopt a more structured Trade and Investment Instrument to provide a 
clear statement of APEC's guiding principles, and its role in trade and 
investment and to establish a mechanism for advancing a formal trade 
agenda for APEC.  The United States and other members also hope to 
provide a greater role for the private sector and strengthen APEC as an 

APEC is the most promising forum  for regional economic cooperation--to 
advance regional trade liberalization, to open investment regimes, and 
to anchor the United States firmly in the world's most dynamic region.  
This year, as APEC chair, the United States has had the opportunity to 
strengthen the organization and to work with its APEC colleagues toward 
a more open and collaborative Asia-Pacific economic community.  

Building Regional Economic Cooperation
Winston Lord, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific 
Affairs, is one of the Clinton Administration's key visionaries of U.S.-
Asian relations.  In a press briefing on August 31, he sketched the 
importance of U.S.-Asian relations and outlined the "New Pacific 
Community."  [Excerpts from opening remarks.]

From the outset, the President and Secretary Christopher have seen the 
Asia-Pacific region as the most promising and dynamic area for American 
foreign policy. . . .  I think there are three reasons for this emphasis 
that you are going to be seeing on the Asia-Pacific region.

First, in that area, you can look toward the future, and this is the 
President's vision of a New Pacific Community.  There are problems of 
security; but essentially, again compared to other regions, it is a 
fairly stable area.  It's got the most dynamic and fastest-growing 
economies.  There are certainly many repressive states still out there, 
but democracy in many areas is on the move, not only in recent years--
like South Korea, Taiwan, and the Philippines and in Thailand--but even 
now, whether you range from Mongolia to Cambodia.  Some of this is 
fragile, but the trend is promising.  There are some promising regional 
structures both in the economic and security side, and then there is the 
emerging integration of this vast region through trade, investment, and 

A second reason for emphasis is that the Asia-Pacific region is the most 
relevant to the President's highest priority--namely his domestic 
agenda: the renewal of the American economy, getting the deficit down, 
getting more competitive, promoting jobs and exports.  This region is 
the most lucrative terrain for American jobs and exports because of its 
rapid growth.  I think you are familiar with the figures.  It contains 
almost one-half the world's GNP, $120-billion of U.S. exports, 2.3 
million jobs, three times our trade with Latin America, and almost 50% 
more trade than we have with Western Europe.

And finally, another reason and opportunity for emphasis in our policy 
toward this region is that there are several key events on the calendar 
this year--the first year of the Administration--which is enabling the 
President and Secretary to lay out a vision for this area and begin to 
implement it.

. . . in the first 6 months, not only has the President been out to the 
Asia-Pacific region, Secretary Christopher has been there three times, 
the three top Defense officials have been there, Deputy Secretary 
Wharton, four Under Secretaries of States, and I've been there four 
times. . . . 

Now, in the next 31/2--perhaps 71/2--years, we plan to flesh out this 
Pacific Community.  I want to emphasize from the beginning, this is not 
an American blueprint.  We will develop this concert with our Asia-
Pacific partners.  We will show leadership, of course, but we also will 
be attentive in our style. . . .

So we want to consult with others as we shape this vision, and so we are 
going to strike a balance between--as I say--leadership and listening to 
our friends.  And we are hard at work within the State Department and 
with other agencies in implementing this vision and talking to other 
countries. . . .

We are addressing the economic challenges in Asia on three levels.  

--  The global approach is still our highest priority; namely, the 
Uruguay Round and the GATT.  We are not interested in regional trade 
blocs;  we want to head them off.  And the market access agreement in 
Tokyo was a significant step forward.

--  On the regional level, APEC-- which I have mentioned--we see as the 
cornerstone of a possible regional cooperation on economics.  I might 
add that in October, there will be the first Joint Commercial Commission 
meeting of all the leaders of the Pacific states.

--  On the bilateral level, you have the U.S.-Japan framework talks, 
with a major agreement with former Prime Minister Miyazawa in July.  
Just next week, a U.S.-Korean dialogue for economic cooperation will be 
launched.  This, again, was agreed upon by Presidents Kim and Clinton in 
Korea.  On China, we set forth our basic policy with respect to 
economics and other issues, on MFN, and many other important bilateral 
economic dimensions.

We will work very closely with the private sector in developing this 
area of our relationships.  For example, we have  advisory councils on 
ASEAN and APEC. . . .

Finally, democracy is key to both the economic and security realms.  On 
the economic side, in an age of information and technology, we believe 
you can't have open economics and closed politics.  You need to have 
access to information to develop and modernize.  We are talking about 
modernization now, not Westernization. . . .

So this is not a matter of values being replicated and projected by us; 
it's a matter of our own concrete, national self-interest. . . .

In conclusion, and in short, we are seeking to build, with others--
again, we do not have all the answers; we are going to shape this with 
the cooperation of our friends--and we are seeking to build a Pacific 
Community.  This will take many years, if not decades.  And  it is one 
of prosperity based on free markets; regional security based on 
preventive diplomacy and the control of dangerous weapons, and of free 
and humane societies addressing global issues. . . . 

Participating Economies
Hong Kong
South Korea
New Zealand
Chinese Taipei
United States  

For additional information on APEC, write or call:

   Office of Public Information 
   U.S. Department of State 
   2201 C. St., NW 
   Washington, DC 20520
   Tel:  (202) 647-6575

Titles of interest include:

--   "Building a New Pacific Community," President Clinton's speech at 
Waseda University (Japan), July 7, 1993;

--  "Fundamentals of Security for a New Pacific Community," President 
Clinton's speech before the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, 
July 10, 1993;

--  "The United States:  A Full Partner in a New Pacific Community," 
Secretary Christopher's statement before an ASEAN conference in 
Singapore, July 26, 1993; and

--  "A New Pacific Community:  Ten Goals for American Policy," Assistant 
Secretary Winston Lord's Confirmation Hearing Statement before Congress, 
March 31, 1993.  (###)


U.S. Policy Toward the Embargo Against Vietnam
Statement released by the White House, Office of the Press Secretary, 
Washington, DC, September 13, 1993.

In order to maintain the embargo against Vietnam and other countries, 
the President today signed a determination which renews his authorities 
under the Trading with the Enemy Act (TWEA).  This action extends the 
President's authority to impose and maintain certain trade, asset, and 
fund controls variously affecting Cuba, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, 
and the Baltic nations.  It does not alter the specific controls on the 
countries involved.

The President strongly supports the embargo against Cuba, where the 
people continue to suffer Castro's unrelenting dictatorship.  The 
embargo must also be maintained against North Korea, which continues to 
pose a threat to peace in Asia.  We continue to hold certain assets 
frozen involving Cambodia and the Baltic states pending a resolution of 

With respect to Vietnam, the President will maintain the embargo with an 
adjustment relating to international financial institution lending.  The 
President is committed to achieving the fullest possible accounting of 
our POW/MIAs from the Vietnam war.  Today's action will advance that 

First, to recognize the recent steps taken by the Vietnamese Government 
and, most importantly, to encourage further progress, the President has 
decided to permit American companies to participate in development 
projects in Vietnam funded by international financial institutions.

Second, to make clear to the Vietnamese that more needs to be done, he 
will otherwise maintain the trade embargo pending further progress on 
POW/MIA accounting.

To advance the objective of achieving the fullest possible accounting 
for our POW/MIAs, the President in July set forth four areas upon which 
further steps in relations between our two nations depend:  obtaining 
additional remains, resolution of discrepancy cases, trilateral 
investigation with the Lao, and access to POW/MIA-related documents.  
Some progress in each of these areas has been made in recent months.

The United States has recovered a large number of remains from Vietnam 
which await identification by our forensics specialists.  Together with 
remains already received this year, this represents the third-highest 
number of remains returned since 1973.  Recent increased efforts to 
resolve discrepancy cases are generating important information which 
could lead to resolution of a significant portion of the remaining 
discrepancy cases.  For the first time, Vietnam and Laos have agreed to 
conduct border area investigations with our teams, cooperating 
bilaterally and trilaterally with the United States.  And, the 
Vietnamese Government has located and provided us access to key POW/MIA-
related documents that we have sought since the end of the war.  Further 
details on these steps are in the next section.

While these efforts by the Vietnamese are welcome, the results are not 
yet sufficient.  To ensure that further progress is achieved, our 
military personnel in Vietnam involved in the POW/MIA mission will 
continue to travel throughout the country to investigate leads on live 
sightings and locations of remains, to interview Vietnamese witnesses, 
and to excavate possible crash sites and burial locations.  We will 
continue to press Vietnam to recover and return remains and for more 
information that could lead to a resolution of cases, especially those 
in which we have reason to believe the Vietnamese at one point recovered 

In addition, the Administration is actively investigating the latest 
document turned over to Ambassador Malcolm Toon, Co-Chairman of the 
U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIA Affairs, alleging that the 
Vietnamese may have held larger numbers of American POWs than known at 
the time.  The President is committed to pressing the Vietnamese and 
Russian Governments for further information.  The Administration will 
leave no stone unturned in the effort to determine the fate of those who 
served our nation.

The issue of whether the Vietnamese have made sufficient progress in 
POW/MIA accounting will remain under constant review.  In evaluating how 
best to achieve the fullest possible accounting, the President looks 
forward to the continued counsel and advice from the families whose 
loved ones are missing and the veterans whose fellow soldiers did not 
come home.  The President shares with them a deep commitment to 
obtaining answers and to ensuring our POW/MIAs the honor of being 
returned to the country for which they fought.  The President believes 
firmly that the decisions announced today will serve that vital national 

Progress to Date in Meeting The Four Areas in POW/MIA Accounting

On July 2, 1993, the President announced four key areas in which he 
sought further progress by the Vietnamese in POW/MIA accounting:

--  Remains--Concrete results from efforts by Vietnam to recover remains 
and repatriate American remains;

--  Discrepancy cases--Continued resolution of 92 discrepancy cases, 
live sightings, and field activities;

--  Laos--Further assistance in implementing trilateral investigations 
with the Lao; and

--  Archives--Accelerated efforts to provide all POW/MIA-related 
documents that will help lead to genuine answers.

To help achieve progress in these areas, the President sent a high-level 
delegation to Vietnam in July to press for further progress and 
achievements in these key areas; a delegation met in August with the 
Vietnamese and the Lao to work toward more results.  Since the 
President's announcement last July, the Government of Vietnam has 
increased its efforts in each of the four areas.  Below is a summary of 
the progress since July 2.

1.  More concrete results to recover and repatriate American remains.

--  Since July, remains of 22 individuals were turned over, added to 28 
remains returned earlier in the year.  Thus, 1993 has already produced 
the third-highest number of remains returned since 1973.

--  On September 6, Hanoi turned over further reports on investigations 
with respect to specific cases.

--  In August, Hanoi boosted publicity of its amnesty program over radio 
and in the print media to encourage citizens to locate and turn over 
remains, with a pledge to reimburse expenses incurred in recovering any 
remains which proved to be American.

--  At the request of the July delegation, Hanoi set up a permanent 
office in Ho Chi Minh City dedicated to POW/MIA work; its current 
priority is to recover the remains of some POWs known to have died in 

2.  Resolution of 92 discrepancy cases and investigation of live 

--  As of August 30, all necessary field investigation in Vietnam of 
live sighting reports had been completed with assistance from the 

--  In July and August, 25 of the 92 priority cases were reinvestigated; 
as a result, determination of fate has been made on an additional 12 
cases, removing them from the priority last-known-alive discrepancy 
list.  Such cases originally numbered 196.

3.  Assistance in arranging trilateral border cooperation with Laos.

--  In August, Vietnam's ministries of defense and interior for the 
first time pledged to cooperate on border cases (mainly along the Ho Chi 
Minh trail).  Discussions with Vietnamese and Lao authorities led to a 
trilateral agreement to collaborate on investigations along the border 
where there are scores of aircraft crash sites and other locations where 
remains are likely to be found.

4.  Accelerated efforts to provide documents on POW/MIAs.

--  On August 30, Vietnam provided us access to wartime aircraft shoot-
down records which may be related to 14 individuals heretofore 
unaccounted for. 

--  On September 1, we gained access to perhaps the largest compilation 
of POW/MIA-related documents we have ever received from the Vietnamese:  
a 46-page document on shootdowns of 2,466 aircraft, which could lead to 
determination of the fates of many unresolved cases, and long-requested 
military political unit documents on POWs, which could prove very useful 
in locating aircraft crash sites inside Laos and in verifying numbers 
and other facts about our POWs during the war. (###)


Humanitarian Programs For Vietnam

Statement by Department Spokesman Michael McCurry, Washington, DC, 
September 13, 1993.

The United States is announcing today that USAID funding in the amount 
of $3.5 million has been approved to extend and continue two 
humanitarian programs in Vietnam; namely, the War Victims Fund 
established in 1991 and the Displaced Children and Orphans Fund 
established in 1992.

The War Victims Fund, established by the Congress, provides assistance 
to civilians who suffered disabling injuries from civil strife or 
warfare.  Monies provided to this program enable those from both north 
and south--estimated at more than 60,000--to be supplied with 

The Displaced Children and Orphans Fund supports children's activities, 
including rehabilitation centers for malnourished orphans, vocational 
training, employment generation activities, and basic services for 
displaced children.  Plans are underway to develop a national pediatric 
burn center.  

All of the funds go to American non-governmental organizations operating 
in Vietnam.  (###)


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