US DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
VOLUME 6, NUMBER 31, JULY 31, 1995 
PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS 
 
ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE: 
 
1. America's Strategy for a Peaceful and Prosperous Asia-Pacific -- 
Secretary Christopher 
2. Fact Sheet: Association of Southeast Asian Nations 
3. Fact Sheet: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 
4. Fact Sheet: U.S. Economic Relations With East Asia and the Pacific 
5. Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees -- Phyllis E. 
Oakley 
6. Assessment of U.S.-Nigeria Relations -- George E. Moose 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 1: 
 
America's Strategy for a Peaceful and Prosperous Asia-Pacific 
Secretary Christopher 
Address to the National Press Club, Washington, DC, July 28, 1995 
 
Tomorrow, I depart on my sixth trip to Asia as Secretary of State. 
First, I will go to Brunei for our annual meetings with the Association 
of Southeast Asian Nations--ASEAN. I will visit Malaysia to strengthen 
ties with that increasingly important regional partner. In Cambodia, 
where I will be the first Secretary of State to visit since John Foster 
Dulles in 1955, I will reaffirm our support for the efforts of its 
people to overcome their tragic past. In Vietnam, where I will be the 
first Secretary of State to visit since William Rogers in 1970, I will 
carry out President Clinton's far-sighted decision to normalize 
relations and continue to pursue progress on the fullest possible 
accounting for our POWs and MIAs.  
 
Over the past half-century, I have personally witnessed many of the 
historic changes that have swept the Pacific. As a teenager, I moved to 
Los Angeles and watched California build new links between the far west 
and the Far East. As a young ensign in the U.S. Navy, I saw an Asia-
Pacific region devastated by four years of war. As a young negotiator in 
textile talks with Japan in the early 1960s, I saw a region poised for 
rapid economic growth. Now, as a still young Secretary of State, I see a 
region with extraordinary potential for stability, prosperity, and 
democracy. 
 
This hopeful turn of events would not have come to pass without the 
indispensable role of the United States. After the Second World War, 
America's leaders understood that a secure and prosperous Asia was vital 
to our national interest. Our military presence promoted stability and 
gave nations in the region the chance to build thriving economies for 
the benefit of all.  
 
The transformation of the Asia-Pacific region is truly breathtaking. In 
the space of half a century, nations that were among the oldest outposts 
of colonialism are now on the newest frontiers of capitalism. 
Underdeveloped, largely rural societies are giving way to dynamic modern 
economies offering broad opportunities to their people. These economic 
miracles are increasingly associated with the spread of political 
freedoms and vibrant civil societies. As a result, we are turning the 
seas and skies that once divided us into channels for communication and 
cooperation.  
 
The trade and investment dollars that stream between America and Asia 
create jobs and propel economic growth. Our nation has also been 
enriched by millions of Asian-Americans imbued with the values of 
education, hard work, and family--values as American as they are Asian. 
 
On the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, American 
leadership in Asia remains as essential to our security and prosperity 
as ever before. With the end of the Cold War, the political landscape in 
Asia is undergoing profound changes. Nowhere is this more apparent than 
in Asia's largest powers--Russia, China, and Japan. In this time of 
uncertainty, a stable U.S. presence is especially important. That is why 
President Clinton has renewed and reinforced our commitment to remain a 
Pacific power.  
 
Our strategy in the region recognizes the new opportunities and 
challenges posed by the post-Cold War world. The region is now 
remarkably free of conflict. But while no major power views any other as 
an immediate military threat, there is a danger that age-old rivalries 
could be rekindled. Dynamic economic growth is spurring integration, yet 
competition for resources and markets is creating new tensions. And with 
that growth and new technology have come the spread of weapons of mass 
destruction, the emergence of narcotics networks, and severe pressures 
on the environment. 
 
No nation in the Asia-Pacific can confront these complex challenges on 
its own. They can only be met by a community of nations acting together-
-a diverse community, to be sure, but one linked increasingly by shared 
interests and values. The leadership of the United States will be 
essential to bring that community to life. 
 
To ensure a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific for the 21st century, 
we have adopted a four-part strategy. First, we will maintain and 
invigorate our core alliances with Japan, Korea, Australia, the 
Philippines, and Thailand. Second, we are pursuing a policy of 
engagement with the other leading countries in the region, including 
former Cold War adversaries. Third, we are building a regional 
architecture that will sustain economic growth, promote integration, and 
assure stability over the long term. And fourth, we are supporting 
democracy and human rights which serve our ideals as well as our 
interests.  
 
Our strategy starts with our core alliances because we understand that 
security must always come first. Our military presence remains the 
foundation for stability and prosperity in a region where the interests 
of four major powers intersect. That presence is our first line of 
defense. It safeguards our allies. It protects our economic interests. 
And it reassures a region still troubled by historical antagonisms. That 
is why our security presence in the Asia-Pacific is broadly welcomed. 
 
The Clinton Administration's Bottom Up review of U.S. defense policy in 
1993 confirmed the continuing need for our forward-deployed military 
presence. Hence, the United States is committed to maintaining 
approximately 100,000 troops in the Pacific-- roughly equivalent to the 
level in Europe. 
 
American policy in Asia begins with Japan. The U.S.-Japan partnership is 
the cornerstone of our engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. Fifty 
years ago, the United States made a strategic choice to help Japan 
rebuild. Today, our alliance with a democratic and prosperous Japan is 
one of the great successes of the post-war era. Our challenge is to 
ensure that the next five decades of the alliance are as successful as 
the last have been.  
 
I am struck by how few Americans know that we maintain 47,000 U.S. 
troops in Japan--in addition to the men and women of the Seventh Fleet. 
Their presence is no "Cold War anachronism" as some commentators have 
claimed. These American troops stationed in Japan are a wise investment 
in future security for the entire region. They provide a stabilizing 
presence for all the nations of Asia. 
 
Last November, the United States and Japan launched a dialogue to renew 
and enhance our security ties. The defense and foreign ministers of our 
two countries are examining issues such as improving the 
interoperability of our forces, which is facilitated by Japan's purchase 
of U.S. weapons systems. We are cooperating on Host Nation Support, 
under which Japan provides 70% of the cost of the U.S. military 
presence. And we are deepening our global cooperation, which has grown 
with Japan's valuable peacekeeping role in Cambodia, Mozambique, and 
Rwanda. 
 
In the post-Cold War world, Japan is in a position to take on even 
greater responsibilities. That is why we sup- port Japan's bid to become 
a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Together we are already 
supporting reform in Russia, peace in the Middle East, and stability in 
Haiti. And together we are addressing complex global issues such as 
unsustainable population growth, AIDS, and pollution through our 
ambitious Common Agenda.  
 
As the world's two largest economies, America and Japan also share a 
responsibility to uphold the goal of open trade and to support the 
international financial system. The Clinton Administration has 
consistently sought to open Japanese markets, which will benefit 
American business and American workers, Japanese consumers, and the rest 
of the world. Under the U.S.-Japan Economic Framework, we have reached 
16 agreements that expand access to Japan's markets. Last month, we 
concluded an important agreement with Japan that will widen access to 
Japan's market for autos and auto parts. Last week, we resolved a 
dispute over air cargo. While these agreements are an important 
accomplishment, we must work together to ensure that they are 
implemented. 
 
Ours is a rich, multifaceted partnership. It will achieve its broadest 
potential when all of its elements are strong--strategic and military, 
diplomatic and economic. 
 
It is a tribute to the Republic of Korea's remarkable achievements that 
our long-standing security alliance is fast becoming a mature and 
complete partnership. Yesterday, President Clinton and President Kim 
Young Sam unveiled a Korean War Memorial that pays tribute to the shared 
sacrifice that sealed our alliance more than 40 years ago. Now that 
South Korea is a vibrant democracy, a valued trading partner, and a 
trusted comrade-in-arms, our relationship is stronger than ever. 
 
The U.S. security commitment to South Korea, demonstrated by the 37,000 
American troops stationed there, remains unshakable. Over the last two 
years, our determined diplomacy has put the North Korean nuclear issue 
on the road to resolution. The Agreed Framework has already frozen North 
Korea's nuclear program. When fully implemented, the Framework will 
eliminate it entirely.  
 
As North Korea carries out its obligations under the Framework, it can 
begin to develop more normal relations with the United States and other 
nations in the region. But any major improvement in our relations with 
the North can only come with progress in relations between the two 
Koreas. In this context, recent North-South talks on supplying needed 
rice to Pyongyang are a hopeful development. The resumption of a broader 
dialogue between North and South--especially on the issue of a nuclear-
free peninsula--offers the only meaningful hope for reduced tensions and 
ultimate reconciliation.  
 
The second element of our Pacific strategy is our policy of engagement 
with the other leading powers in the region, including former Cold War 
adversaries.  
 
Few nations are poised to play as large a role in shaping the future of 
Asia than China. With its vast population, its geographic reach, its 
rich history of cultural influence across Asia, its growing military 
power, and its new economic dynamism, China is unique. As the United 
States shapes its policy and conducts its diplomacy with China, we must 
not allow short-term calculations to divert us from pursuing our long-
term interests. 
 
I need not tell this audience that we are now experiencing a period of 
difficulty in this important relationship. One immediate cause is 
China's concern that the recent private visit of Taiwan's leader Lee 
Teng-hui to his alma mater Cornell University represents a shift in our 
approach to China. This concern is unwarranted. The private visit by Lee 
Teng-hui was a special situation and a courtesy, consistent with 
American values and opinion. It did not constitute a shift in our policy 
toward Taiwan and China. 
 
The United States has not and does not intend to change its long-
standing one-China policy. In this period of difficulty, it is more 
important than ever for China, for Taiwan, and for the United States to 
focus and reflect on the shared interest we have in maintaining the 
continuity of this policy. It is a policy that is emphatically in the 
overwhelming interest of all of us. 
 
Over 20 years ago, the United States and China made the strategic 
decision to end more than two decades of confrontation. Since then, six 
American presidents, Democrat and Republican alike, have pursued a 
policy of engagement with China that has served the enduring interests 
of the United States and everyone in the region. That policy of 
engagement reflects the fundamental understanding that our ability to 
pursue significant common interests and to manage significant 
differences would not be served by a policy of isolation or containment.  
 
The wisdom of that historic judgment two decades ago has been 
demonstrated time and again by our ability to work together on key 
challenges of regional and global importance, including China's recent 
support on the North Korea nuclear issue and on the indefinite extension 
of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. And it has been demonstrated by 
the benefits of our success in Cambodia and the launching of new 
regional security dialogues. 
 
Since 1972, the basis for our engagement has been our one-China policy. 
We have consistently followed basic principles developed in the Shanghai 
Communique of 1972, the 1979 communique establishing diplomatic 
relations, and the 1982 U.S.-P.R.C. Communique on arms sales: Pursuant 
to these documents, we recognize the Government of the P.R.C. as the 
sole legal government of China. We acknowledge the Chinese position that 
there is but one China and that Taiwan is part of China. We reaffirm 
that we have no intention of advocating or supporting a policy of "two 
Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan." 
 
This policy has produced enormous benefits for the United States, as 
well as for China and Taiwan. It has helped keep the peace and fuel 
prosperity on both sides of the Strait--and it has helped propel 
Taiwan's flourishing democracy. And just as we look to the continued 
strengthening of U.S.-China relations, we expect that the unofficial 
ties between Americans and the people of Taiwan, pursuant to the Taiwan 
Relations Act of 1979, will also thrive. The United States, China, and 
Taiwan share the responsibility to pursue policies that foster continued 
stability in the region.  
 
Managing our differences with China on Taiwan and other issues does not 
mean downplaying their importance. On human rights, for example, we 
still have profound disagreements. We will continue to promote 
universally recognized human rights in China, as elsewhere. 
 
We have serious concerns with respect to the proliferation of weapons of 
mass destruction. Today, such weapons and their delivery systems pose 
the greatest threat to global security. As a nuclear power, China--just 
as the United States does--has special responsibilities in this regard. 
Since the outset of this Administration, we have made the case to China 
that curbing proliferation is in our overriding mutual interest. We are 
especially concerned about arms transfers to volatile regions like South 
Asia and to rogue regimes such as Iran. The best way to resolve these 
concerns is through dialogue, which is why I urge China to resume our 
discussions on non-proliferation. 
 
Just as we have a mutual interest in halting the spread of weapons of 
mass destruction, we share an interest in assuring regional stability. 
As China seeks to modernize its military forces, greater transparency 
about its military capabilities and intentions could do much to reassure 
its neighbors. 
 
Our differences with China are an argument for engagement, not for 
containment or isolation. Neither the United States nor China can afford 
the luxury of walking away from our responsibility to manage our 
differences. China has as much interest in maintaining constructive 
relations as we do. China can take an immediate step to help restore a 
more positive atmosphere with the immediate release of American citizen 
Harry Wu.  
 
I look forward to my meeting with Foreign Minister Qian in Brunei on 
August 1. I intend to discuss with him the fundamentals of the U.S.-
China relationship, to reiterate the continuity of our policy, to 
address candidly our areas of agreement and disagreement, and to seek to 
restore the positive momentum in our relations. A strong, stable, open, 
and prosperous China can be a valuable partner for the United States and 
a responsible leader of the international community. 
 
A week from tomorrow, I will arrive in Hanoi. Since taking office, the 
President has made his top priority with respect to Vietnam the fullest 
possible accounting of our prisoners of war and missing in action. We 
have been encouraged by the results of Hanoi's cooperation. We are 
convinced that normalizing relations is the best way to keep up the 
momentum and achieve further results. That is why, after a decade of war 
and two decades of estrangement, President Clinton made the courageous 
decision to establish diplomatic relations between our two countries. 
Let me add that I have been inspired by working with elected leaders of 
both parties, including Senator John McCain, Senator John Kerry, Senator 
Robert Kerrey, and Representative Pete Peterson to help close a bitter 
chapter in our nation's history. 
 
Closer engagement with Vietnam is in America's interest. We can work 
together to promote economic reform; to focus on the rule of law, human 
rights, regional peace, and stability; and to pursue areas of common 
interest like the fight against narcotics trafficking.  
 
Similarly, engagement with the other leading nations of Asia is crucial 
to our interests. Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore are examples of 
dynamic economic partners which can also make important contributions to 
regional stability. 
 
In the long run, we need to build mechanisms of cooperation to assure 
that the current favorable environment will endure. Thus, the third 
element of our strategy is to build a sound architecture for regional 
cooperation. The creation of the ASEAN Regional Forum is an important 
initial step in this process. The Forum reflects what might be called 
the ASEAN way: consultation, consensus, and cooperation. We see the 
Forum and the emerging security dialogue in Northeast Asia as crucial 
supplements to our alliances and forward military presence. 
 
Next week in Brunei, I will join my colleagues from 16 Asia-Pacific 
nations and the European Union for the second meeting of the ASEAN 
Regional Forum. We will discuss security challenges such as the North 
Korean nuclear issue and freedom of navigation. We have consistently 
urged claimants to the resources of the Spratly Islands in the South 
China Sea to solve their differences through dialogue, not military 
confrontation. 
 
These nascent efforts to build mechanisms for security cooperation 
complement the remarkable economic integration our nations are achieving 
through APEC. These significant accomplishments are attributable in no 
small part to President Clinton's vision and leadership in convening the 
first-ever APEC Leaders' Meeting two years ago in Seattle. Last year in 
Bogor, Indonesia, the leaders committed to achieve free trade in the 
region by 2020. This year in Osaka, APEC leaders will turn their 
historic vision into a blueprint for action. That blueprint should set 
forth shared principles, specific goals, and a process for achieving 
them. 
 
The fourth and final element of our strategy is our steadfast support 
for human rights and democracy. Just as open markets and open sea lanes 
promote prosperity and security in the Pacific, so do open societies. 
Business people in Shanghai and San Francisco may speak different 
languages, but they agree that enterprise thrives when ideas and 
information are exchanged freely. The experiences of the many 
democracies across the region tell us that accountable government and 
the rule of law are the bedrock of stability and prosperity. The 
experiences of countries like Burma and North Korea tell us that 
repression entrenches poverty.  
 
Open societies also make better neighbors. History shows that the 
greatest threats to security in the  Asia-Pacific region have come from 
governments that flout the rule of law at home and reject it abroad. 
 
 Each nation will find its own way consistent with its history and 
culture. But all have a responsibility to meet international obligations 
and to respect the standards of the Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights. America will continue to champion human rights and the movement 
toward more open societies. We will do so without arrogance, but also 
without apology. And we will continue to assist countries that are 
embracing democracy, such as Cambodia and Mongolia, by encouraging the 
development of political parties and political institutions.  
 
In Burma, the efforts of the United States and the international 
community helped lead to the recent release of imprisoned opposition 
leader and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. We welcome this step, 
but believe its true significance depends on whether it represents real 
movement toward the restoration of democratic government. We have a 
particular interest in encouraging accountable government in a country 
that is the world's largest supplier of heroin.  
 
In sum, my trip to the region will advance the four key elements of our 
Asia-Pacific strategy--reaffirmation of our alliances, engagement with 
Asia's leading powers, the construction of enduring mechanisms for 
regional cooperation, and support for human rights and democracy. Taken 
together, these elements will advance our broad-ranging interests in a 
region that remains essential to our security and prosperity. 
 
Together we have traveled an enormous distance since the end of the war 
in the Pacific half a century ago. American leadership and engagement 
were essential on that great journey. They will be no less so as we seek 
to shrink the distances that separate us, and to create a promising 
Pacific future that all of us can share. 
 
Thank you very much. (###) 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 2 
 
Fact Sheet: Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Background 
 
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was formed in 1967 by 
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand to promote 
political and economic cooperation. The Bali Treaty, signed in 1976 by 
ASEAN heads of state in Bali, Indonesia, formalized the principles of 
peace and cooperation to which ASEAN is dedicated and is considered 
ASEAN's foundation document. Brunei joined in 1984, shortly after its 
independence from the United Kingdom. Vietnam formally joined ASEAN as 
its seventh state on July 28, 1995. 
 
The Association commands far greater influence on Asia-Pacific trade and 
political and security issues than its members could achieve 
individually. ASEAN's success has been based largely on its use of 
consultation, consensus, and cooperation. Its role in organizing 
international efforts to end conflict in Cambodia in 1978 led eventually 
to the 1993 democratic elections in Cambodia. In January 1993, ASEAN 
established the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) to eliminate most tariffs 
on manufactured goods between the member countries over the next 15 
years. 
 
Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMC) 
 
Since 1977, ASEAN has established dialogue partner relationships with 
the United States, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, 
and the European Union. It also maintains structured relationships of 
varied degrees with China, Russia, and other countries. The foreign 
ministers of the dialogue partners meet with ASEAN foreign ministers at 
the annual post-ministerial conferences (PMC), held immediately 
following the annual ASEAN ministerial meeting (AMM) and the ASEAN 
Regional Forum (ARF) ministerial meeting, which are usually held in 
July. This year's AMM was held on July 29-30; the ARF will be held on 
August 1, and the PMC on August 2-3. All will be held in Brunei. 
Initially, the PMC agenda focused on economic issues but has gradually 
expanded to include political and security topics. U.S. Secretaries of 
State regularly have attended PMC meetings since 1979. Secretary 
Christopher will lead the U.S. delegation to this year's PMC. The annual 
PMC meetings permit a regular and comprehensive review of matters of 
interest to the United States and ASEAN countries and underscore the 
importance of the region to U.S. foreign policy. 
 
In addition, ASEAN holds regular bilateral meetings with each of its 
dialogue partners as well as more than 100 other sub-dialogue and 
committee meetings. It maintains a small secretariat located in Jakarta, 
Indonesia. 
 
Economics and Trade 
 
The ASEAN countries have a total population of more than 400 million. 
Covering more than 1.4 million square miles, these countries straddle 
strategic sea routes linking the Pacific Ocean with the Middle East, 
Africa, and Europe. Rich in natural resources and with skilled work 
forces and market-oriented development policies, the ASEAN countries' 
economies grew rapidly in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1994, the combined GDP 
of the then-six ASEAN countries grew nearly 5%, ranking ASEAN among the 
fastest-growing markets in the world. With the entry of Vietnam into 
ASEAN, it will become a larger and more attractive market. 
 
U.S.-ASEAN  Trade 
 
U.S.-ASEAN trade reached $84 billion in 1994, making it the United 
States' fourth-largest export market and its third-largest source of 
imports. Leading U.S. imports include data processing equipment, 
electronic components, parts for office machinery, and telephone 
headsets. American companies manufacture increasingly higher technology 
products, particularly electronics, in ASEAN countries for re-export to 
the U.S. and to third-country markets. 
 
U.S. investments in ASEAN grew to $20.4 billion in 1993. ASEAN ranks 
second in Asia as a destination for U.S. investment stock, behind Japan 
($26.6 billion). 
 
ASEAN and the U.S. have established several consultative groups to 
increase cooperation as economic integration increases. Regular meetings 
include the U.S.-ASEAN Dialogue, the U.S. Trade Representative-ASEAN 
economic ministers meeting, the annual Trade Investment Coordinating 
Committee (TICC), and monthly Economic Cooperation Committee (ECC) 
meetings in Washington, DC. 
 
Security Issues: ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) 
 
In 1993, ASEAN took the lead in proposing the formation of the ASEAN 
Regional Forum (ARF). The inaugural ARF ministerial meeting, which was 
held July 25, 1994, in Bangkok, Thailand, successfully brought together 
18 foreign ministers from the European Union (EU) and 17 Asia-Pacific 
countries, including ASEAN, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Laos, New 
Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, South Korea, the United States, and 
Vietnam to discuss regional security concerns. 
 
The Bangkok meeting established the ARF as the first regionwide 
multilateral forum for consultations on Asia-Pacific security issues at 
the government level. The Chairman's Statement, issued by consensus 
following the meeting, described the ARF as  a useful instrument for 
contributing to regional security by easing tensions, reducing 
suspicions, and cultivating consultation habits.  
A modest work program was adopted that included proposals for further 
study in the areas of confidence-building measures, nuclear non- 
proliferation, peacekeeping cooperation, exchanges of unclassified 
military information, maritime security issues, and preventive 
diplomacy.  
 
ARF Future Work. Brunei, the incoming ARF chair, has worked informally 
with ARF participants to study proposals for discussion made at the May 
22-24, 1995, second ARF senior officials' meeting. Since the Bangkok 
meeting, the United States has encouraged an active ARF work program, 
focusing on confidence-building measures, defense transparency, and 
peacekeeping cooperation. The U.S. sees the ARF as a useful forum for 
developing habits of consultation and dialogue to prevent future 
conflicts in the Asia-Pacific. The ARF and other regional security 
dialogues supplement, not supplant, U.S. bilateral alliances as the 
foundation of U.S. security policy in the Asia-Pacific. 
 
An Australia-hosted, ARF-related seminar on confidence-building measures 
in Canberra last November helped advance ARF discussions on this subject 
by building broad support for several ideas, including a workshop to 
exchange views on perceptions of regional security and set the precedent 
for ARF inter-sessional activities. Canada co-hosted another ARF-
sponsored seminar on peacekeeping experiences in March 1995, in Brunei, 
at which the U.S. presented a paper on peacekeeping training. South 
Korea hosted a seminar on preventive diplomacy in Seoul on May 8-10, 
1995. 
 
The second ARF senior officials' meeting laid the groundwork for the 
second ARF ministerial meeting, to be held August 1, 1995, in Brunei. 
This meeting agreed on recommendations to ministers for an active 
government-level work program for 1996, including a U.S. initiative to 
host an ARF search-and-rescue meeting in Hawaii early next year. At the 
August ARF meeting, ministers are expected to endorse the work program 
recommended by the senior officials' meeting. They also will discuss 
regional security issues such as Korea and the Spratlys/South China Sea 
and attempt to reflect a consensus in the Chairman's Statement. In 1995, 
Cambodia became an observer in ASEAN and the 19th member of the ARF. 
Indonesia will chair the 1996 ARF. 
 
U.S. and the ARF. The United States is fully committed to remaining 
engaged in the Asia-Pacific politically, economically, and 
strategically. The bedrock of U.S. engagement will continue to be its 
bilateral alliances and network of defense relationships and access 
arrangements. The U.S. seeks to complement its bilateral security ties 
and active engagement in resolving real threats through support for 
enhanced regional security dialogues. The ARF is the principle 
multilateral regional security dialogue, and the U.S. views it as 
complementary to U.S. bilateral ties. (###) 
 
[BEGIN BOX] 
ASEAN Members 
Brunei 
Indonesia 
Malaysia 
Philippines 
Singapore 
Thailand 
Vietnam 

[END BOX] 
 
[BEGIN BOX] 
 
ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Members 
--  The seven ASEAN countries--Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, 
Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam; 
--  The seven ASEAN dialogue partners--Australia, Canada, Japan, South 
Korea, New Zealand, the United States, and the European Union; and 
--  China, Cambodia, Laos, Papua New Guinea, and Russia 
 
[END BOX] 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 3 
 
Fact Sheet: Asia-Pacific EconomicCooperation 
 
Background 
 
The Asia-Pacific region, comprising some of the most dynamic economies 
in the world, has experienced unprecedented growth in the last two 
decades. Economic relations among economies of the region also have 
increased dramatically, fueled by growing trade and financial flows.  
 
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in 1989 to 
better manage the effects of growing interdependence in the Pacific 
region and sustain economic growth. Originally, APEC was an informal 
group of 12 Asia-Pacific economies. In November 1991, APEC admitted 
China, Hong Kong, and Chinese Taipei. In November 1993, Mexico and Papua 
New Guinea joined. Chile joined in November 1994, bringing membership to 
18. 
 
APEC provides a forum for discussing a broad range of important regional 
economic issues. The APEC chair rotates annually among members and is 
responsible for hosting the annual ministerial meeting. Foreign and 
economic ministers from the members first met in Canberra, Australia, in 
November 1989. Since then, annual ministerial meetings have been held in 
Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok, Seattle, and Jakarta. Upcoming ministerial 
meetings will be held in Japan in November 1995, Philippines (1996),  
Canada (1997), and Malaysia (1998). Japan hosted periodic lower-level 
meetings throughout 1995 to lay the groundwork for the ministerial 
meeting.  
 
U.S.-APEC Relations 
 
The United States works closely with members of APEC, which is an 
important part of U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. President 
Clinton has underscored that the United States is "committed to making 
[APEC] a vehicle for liberalization in the region." 
 
In 1994, U.S. trade with Asia and the Pacific was more than $424 
billion, 70% more than trade with Western Europe. U.S. foreign direct 
investment in APEC member economies was more than $200 billion in 1994, 
about 33% of total U.S. foreign direct investment. 
 
APEC Progress 
 
APEC has grown from an informal dialogue group to a more formalized 
institution that involves all major economies of the region:  China, 
Hong Kong, and Chinese Taipei joined APEC in 1991; APEC established a 
permanent secretariat in Singapore in September 1992;  and, at the 
November 17-19, 1993, ministerial meeting in Seattle, Mexico and Papua 
New Guinea joined APEC. In Seattle, ministers also agreed to the 
Declaration on an APEC Trade and Investment Framework and action plan, 
set up the Committee on Trade and Investment, and extended the non-
governmental Eminent Persons Group's mandate to develop proposals to 
effect its long-term recommendations and vision for Asia-Pacific 
regional economic cooperation. 
 
APEC economic leaders, meeting on Blake Island near Seattle on November 
20, 1993, set forth a vision which recognizes that in the post-Cold War 
era: 
 
We have an opportunity to build a new economic foundation for the Asia 
Pacific that harnesses the energy of our diverse economies, strengthens 
cooperation and promotes prosperity.  
 
The leaders also: 
 
--  Called for a successful conclusion to the Uruguay Round of the 
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade; 
 
--  Called on APEC to expand its economic dialogue and advance its work 
program; 
 
--  Agreed to convene a meeting of APEC finance ministers; 
 
--  Asked business leaders to establish a Pacific Business Forum; 
 
--  Asked APEC to strengthen its policy dialogue on small and medium-
sized business enterprises; and 
 
--  Agreed to establish an APEC Education Program and a Business 
Volunteer Program.  
 
In Bogor, Jakarta, in November 1994, APEC economic leaders reached 
agreement on strengthening economic cooperation within the region for 
the purpose of strengthening the open multilateral trading system, 
enhancing trade and investment liberalization in the Asia-Pacific 
region, and intensifying Asia-Pacific development cooperation. Leaders 
also announced their commitment to achieve "free and open trade and 
investment in the Asia-Pacific." All barriers to trade and investment 
are to be dismantled before 2010 or 2020 by developed and developing 
participants, respectively. 
 
APEC's priority is to encourage market-oriented solutions to the 
adjustment problems associated with quickly growing economies. APEC made 
significant contributions to negotiations during the Uruguay Round and 
is considering moves toward regional trade liberalization. 
 
APEC Groups 
 
APEC senior officials oversee the 10 following working groups, covering 
broad areas of economic, educational, and environmental cooperation. In 
addition, APEC has a Committee on Trade and Investment with customs and 
standards and conformance subcommittees, and an Economic Committee. 
 
Trade and Investment Data. Develops consistent and reliable data in 
merchandise trade, trade in services, and investment. 
 
Trade Promotion. Develops proposals to exchange trade and industrial 
information and to promote economic and trade missions among economies 
of the region. Organizes international seminars and meetings to promote 
trade, an Asia-Pacific trade fair, and a training course on trade 
promotion. 
 
Industrial Science and Technology. Promotes economic growth by expanding 
technology flows and focusing on science and technology issues that 
network potential partners together in the Asia-Pacific region. 
 
Human Resource Development. Seeks ways to exchange information among 
Asia-Pacific economies in such areas as business administration, 
industrial training and innovation, project management, and development 
planning. In this working group, the United States hosted an APEC 
education ministerial in Washington, DC, in August 1992 and sponsors the 
APEC Partnership for Education Program, which promotes university 
partnerships among U.S. and Asian/South Pacific universities, outreach 
and cooperative education activities, and private sector training. 
 
Energy Cooperation. Develops cooperative projects, such as a regional 
database on energy supply and demand, and exchanges views on, among 
other things, coal utilization, technology transfer, and resource 
exploration and development. 
 
Marine Resource Conservation. Exchanges information on policy and 
technical aspects of marine pollution and advancement of integrated 
coastal zone planning. Exchanges information on and develops 
recommendations for dealing with red tide/toxic algae pollution 
problems.  
 
Telecommunications. Compiles annual survey on APEC telecommunications 
development activities, including a description of each member country's 
telecommunications environment. Explores ways to establish and develop 
regional networks, initially by encouraging electronic data interchange. 
Exchanges information on policy and regulatory developments in each 
member's telecommunications sector. Disseminates a manual on how to 
approach training in a telecommunications organization, followed by a 
pilot project reviewing needs and recommending solutions in a selected 
organization.  
 
Transportation. Studies and recommends ways to improve infrastructure, 
facilitate movement of passengers and freight, collect and exchange 
data, and enhance transportation safety and security. This U.S.-led 
working group is one of three added in March 1991. The United States 
proposed it because of the importance of improved transportation links 
to continued economic growth in the region. In June 1995, the United 
States hosted an APEC transportation ministerial. 
 
Tourism. Studies one of the region's most important industries, focusing 
on tourism data exchange, barriers to expansion, training programs, and 
current projects in APEC member economies. 
 
Fisheries. Surveys the pattern of APEC fisheries cooperation to develop 
fisheries resources. Reports on the role of APEC in coordinating and 
complementing the work of existing organizations and promoting 
cooperative relations among APEC participants. (###) 
 
 
[BEGIN BOX] 
 
Participating Economies 
Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, 
South Korea, Malaysia, 
Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Chinese 
Taipei, Thailand, 
United States 
 
[END BOX] 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 4 
 
Fact Sheet: U.S. Economic Relations With East Asia and the Pacific 
 
Background 
 
The East Asian and Pacific region is the world's most economically 
dynamic area. Japan has become the second-largest economy and, with the 
United States, one of  the world's leading aid donors. The region's 
newly industrialized economies (NIEs)--Hong Kong, Singapore, South 
Korea, and Taiwan--have maintained high economic growth rates over the 
last two decades. In the process, they have achieved "middle-income" 
levels of per capita GNP and have become major participants in 
international trade and investment. Thailand and Malaysia are fast 
approaching development levels close to those of the NIEs. 
 
Over the last decade, the East Asian and Pacific region has surpassed 
Western Europe to become the largest regional trading partner of the 
United States, both as a supplier of U.S. imports and as a customer for 
its exports. In 1994, U.S. trade with the Pacific Rim countries was more 
than $424 billion, 70% more than trade with Western Europe. American 
direct investment in the region reached $108.4 billion in 1994, 18% of 
total U.S. overseas investment. 
 
The members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)--
Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and 
Vietnam (Vietnam joined in July 1995)--combined are America's third-
largest source of imports and its fourth-largest export market. In 1994, 
U.S. trade with ASEAN was $83.8 billion. In the preceding decade, total 
U.S. trade with the ASEAN countries grew at an average annual rate of 
13%. The United States is the leading export market for the Philippines, 
Singapore, and Thailand and is the second-largest export market for 
Malaysia. U.S. direct investment in ASEAN grew to $24.5 billion in 1994, 
up 20% since 1993. 
 
Transportation also links the United States more closely to East Asia 
and the Pacific. In 1993, air traffic on Pacific routes overtook 
Atlantic traffic on a passenger-mile basis. By the year 2000, the 
Pacific market is projected to account for almost half of total 
international traffic.  
 
U.S. Support for Economic Reforms 
 
The achievements of the successful Asian economies can be attributed 
largely to market-oriented, outward-looking strategies of growth, 
together with the high value that these societies traditionally have 
placed on education, discipline, and hard work. The United States 
contributes to this success and supports economic reforms by providing: 
 
--  The principal market for the region's exports; 
 
--  Leadership in promoting an open international trade and financial 
system; 
 
--  Economic assistance to the region's developing nations; and 
 
--  A military security umbrella. 
 
The Philippines and Indonesia have economic reforms underway that, if 
sustained, will enable them to capitalize on their impressive potential. 
Australia and New Zealand also are engaged in difficult economic 
restructuring and trade liberalization efforts. Some Pacific island 
nations are not yet fully participating in the region's economic 
success. Implementation of market-oriented reforms has boosted the 
economies of Laos and, to a lesser extent, Vietnam, but both countries 
remain poor. 
 
China experienced rapid economic growth during most of the 1980s and 
1990s as it moved toward a more market-oriented system.  
 
Trade Success and Imbalances 
 
More than 36% of U.S. total trade is now conducted with the East Asian 
and Pacific region. However, this dramatic expansion has been 
accompanied by the development of large, recurring trade deficits with 
some U.S. trade partners. In 1994, the United States had trade deficits 
with Japan ($65.7 billion), China ($29.5 billion), Taiwan ($9.6 
billion), and South Korea ($1.6 billion). The overall U.S. trade deficit 
with the East Asian and Pacific region increased from about $103 billion 
in 1993 to $119 billion in 1994. On the other hand, the United States 
had a $6.6-billion trade surplus with Australia in 1994.  
 
There is particular concern about the size of Japan's trade surplus. The 
"Framework for a New Economic Partnership," concluded in 1993, has as 
its goal a significant reduction in both countries' external balances. 
In addition, the NIEs, particularly South Korea and Taiwan, also have 
reduced import barriers to a limited extent. East Asian and Pacific 
countries recognize that their growth and export successes require them 
to bear a much larger burden for the health of the world economy. 
Consequently, they are undertaking appropriate adjustments to help 
correct international imbalances by: 
 
--  Ensuring realistic exchange rates; 
 
--  Lowering barriers to imported goods, services, and investment; and 
 
--  Adopting macroeconomic and structural policies that encourage growth 
through increased domestic demand as well as exports. 
 
The United States, in turn, must maintain its efforts to reduce domestic 
fiscal imbalances and to keep its import markets open. 
 
On the positive side of the ledger, Japan is the largest market for U.S. 
agricultural products, with $11.9  billion in 1993 in farm and forestry 
products imports. Japan and South Korea are now taking steps to open 
their rice markets. But these are only partial indications of the 
realignment of traditional trading relationships that is taking place. 
Services markets in Asia are expanding as regional economies reach new 
levels of development, providing opportunities for U.S. firms. U.S. 
sales to ASEAN grew 18% from 1992 to 1993 alone. In 1994, the United 
States exported more to Singapore than it did to Saudi Arabia. More 
American goods and services went to Malaysia than to Brazil that year. 
Also, in 1994, U.S. exports to South Korea outstripped U.S. exports to 
France. Finally, the Japanese economy has started a process of recovery 
that should provide new momentum for the entire region. 
 
Increasing Regional Cooperation 
 
The United States has been working with East Asian and Pacific economies 
for several years to strengthen regional economic cooperation. U.S. 
officials have had extensive consultation with ASEAN, the Asian 
Development Bank, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the 
Pacific, the South Pacific Council, the South Pacific Forum, and the 
Pacific Economic Cooperation Council. Many of the region's leaders 
recently have called for more intensive consultation among the market-
oriented economies of the East Asian and Pacific region on macro-
economic issues, structural reform, and the health of the world trading 
system. The U.S. played a key role in the formation of Asia-Pacific 
Economic Cooperation (APEC), a regional forum based on those principles. 
 
The United States works actively with its East Asian and Pacific 
partners to promote APEC as a vehicle for regional economic cooperation. 
At the invitation of then-Australian Prime Minister Hawke, the first 
APEC ministerial conference convened in Canberra in November 1989. A 
second ministerial meeting took place in Singapore in July 1990, leading 
to the creation of work projects in  various areas of interest to the 
original APEC members. Since then, annual ministerial meetings have been 
held in Seoul, South Korea;  Bangkok, Thailand; Seattle, Washington; and 
Jakarta, Indonesia. The next ministerial will be held in Osaka, Japan, 
in November 1995. Subsequent ministerials will be in the Philippines 
(1996), Canada (1997), and Malaysia (1998). (###) 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 5 
 
Comprehensive Plan of Action for Indochinese Refugees 
Phyllis E. Oakley, Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, 
Refugees, and Migration 
Statement before the Subcommittees on Asia and the Pacific and 
International Operations and Human Rights of the House International 
Relations Committee, Washington, DC, July 25, 1995 
 
Mr. Bereuter, Mr. Smith, and members of the committee: I welcome this 
opportunity to be here this afternoon to discuss with you where we stand 
and the concerns we face with regard to the Comprehensive Plan of Action 
for Indochinese Refugees--CPA. I look forward to your questions because 
I believe it is only when all our concerns are on the table that we can 
most effectively move forward together. 
 
The CPA and the Vietnamese 
 
Since it has been the object of some attention and criticism in recent 
weeks, if you will permit me, I would like to review how the CPA came 
about and what has happened over the last six years. As you will recall, 
in the late 1980s, large numbers of boat people continued to leave 
Vietnam and land on the beaches of first-asylum countries in Southeast 
Asia and Hong Kong. That is--the lucky ones arrived on the beaches. We 
know that thousands of others suffered indescribably at the hands of 
pirates or drowned and starved en route. The flow of people was such 
that some first-asylum countries were stopping the boat people from 
landing, leading to further tragedies. 
 
It was in this situation that the international community agreed that 
something had to be done to save lives and stem the flow of people from 
Vietnam. That something was the CPA which was agreed upon in 1989. As a 
result of the CPA, first-asylum countries of Thailand, Malaysia, 
Indonesia, the Philippines, and Hong Kong agreed to allow the boat 
people to land and, in turn, the international community agreed to the 
institution of a screening process to try to determine who were true 
refugees fleeing persecution and who were not. 
 
Another aspect of the CPA, which we often forget, was the great 
expansion of the Orderly Departure Program--ODP--from Vietnam, which 
provided a safe alternative to flight by sea for those who were eligible 
for refugee status or some other form of legal emigration. Pursuant to 
the CPA, the United States negotiated a bilateral agreement with Vietnam 
to provide for the safe emigration from Vietnam, through ODP, of the 
tens of thousands of Vietnamese who had been released from re-education 
camps, in addition to Amerasian and family reunion cases. Since its 
inception, more than 400,000 Vietnamese have been resettled in the U.S. 
under the ODP. 
 
The CPA has generally worked. Most first-asylum governments that were 
parties to the CPA sustained their commitments to permit boat people to 
land. Since the beginning of screening under the CPA, more than 120,000 
Vietnamese have been screened, of whom 33,000 people have been found to 
be true refugees and resettled. The United States alone has resettled 
almost 13,000 of this number. During the same period, more than 72,000 
persons have returned voluntarily to Vietnam. (Since 1975, the United 
States has resettled almost 1 million Vietnamese.) Resettlement in the 
U.S. is the end of a process for each asylum-seeker who must first be 
screened in by the first-asylum screening team and then pass an 
individual interview with an officer of the U.S. Immigration and 
Naturalization Service as required by U.S. law. 
 
The combination of the orderly departure program from Vietnam and the 
screening process in first-asylum countries has led, during the last 
several years, to a virtual end of flight by sea from Vietnam. Thousands 
of people are alive today because of the CPA. Tens of thousands of 
others are now resettled in the U.S. and other countries because of the 
CPA. 
 
The screening process has been completed. About 40,000 Vietnamese remain 
in first-asylum camps in the region, more than half of them in Hong 
Kong. Most of the 40,000 have been found ineligible for refugee status 
and, under the terms of the CPA, must return to Vietnam. Has the 
screening process been perfect? No. Has it generally been fair and in 
accordance with internationally recognized standards? Yes. We believe it 
has been. What is the fate awaiting those who return? The experience of 
the 72,000 who have already returned indicates that returnees will not 
be persecuted, but they will face the same challenges, chances, and 
difficulties faced by millions of their fellow citizens. 
 
Who has done the screening? Under the CPA, screening is, first and 
foremost, the responsibility of the first-asylum countries. This fact 
should not be forgotten as we discuss the screening process. UNHCR had 
the responsibility to advise and assist host-government screening teams 
and to try to establish, as much as possible, uniform screening 
criteria. 
 
The Government of Vietnam has made a commitment to the international 
community under the CPA that there will be no reprisals against the 
returnees. For six years now it has kept to that commitment. 
 
Those who return are monitored by eight Vietnamese-speaking expatriate 
employees of UNHCR who visit returnees throughout the country. They are 
also monitored by others, such as representatives of the British 
Embassy. They receive $290 to help them start their lives again. The 
United States has provided, over the last three years, more than $8 
million in assistance to returnees through four U.S. non-governmental 
organizations--NGOs. These NGOs have American staff dealing with and 
visiting returnees all over Vietnam. All of these present and probing 
eyes have not detected any pattern or practice of persecution of those 
who have returned. 
 
At a time when Vietnam is becoming a full member of ASEAN, when it is 
aggressively seeking foreign investment, and when it is preparing to 
begin a new and positive relationship with the U.S. in the wake of the 
recent establishment of full diplomatic relations, we firmly believe 
that Vietnam has a compelling interest in keeping its word on the 
treatment of returnees. 
 
The CPA, then, has been a success in many ways--in saving lives and in 
serving as a model of international humanitarian cooperation. The Sixth 
CPA Steering committee in March this year agreed that the end of 1995 
would be a target for completion of work under the CPA in first-asylum 
countries. Rapidly declining voluntary repatriation rates, which may, in 
part, be due to hopes of direct U.S. resettlement from the camps as 
suggested in CPA-related provisions of the House foreign affairs 
authorization bill, have made it increasingly unlikely this target can 
be achieved. 
 
Voluntary repatriation of the screened-out always has been the goal of 
the CPA. Now hundreds of people who had signed up to return voluntarily 
to Vietnam have withdrawn their applications, and new voluntary 
repatriation registrations have virtually ended. We are deeply concerned 
about unrealistic expectations of direct resettlement from first-asylum 
camps for those who have been deemed not to be refugees. We believe that 
such expectations threaten to condemn those in the camps to a further 
period of suffering in lives that have already been put on hold for too 
long. 
 
The expectations are unrealistic, we believe, because the first-asylum 
countries have said they are committed to the implementation of the CPA 
and will not allow a rescreening in the camps. From their perspective, 
the CPA has been the answer to a major humanitarian and political 
challenge. The expectations are also unrealistic because in the best of 
circumstances, only a limited number of those in the camps would likely 
be encompassed within the CPA legislation that is part of the House 
bill. In the end, we would likely be back to where we were before the 
introduction of the legislation. 
 
Finally, we are concerned about the effect upon Vietnamese in Vietnam of 
direct resettlement from first-asylum countries of those deemed not to 
be refugees. Just as refugee screening and return on non-refugees has 
resulted in great reductions in boat flows, the abandonment of this 
principle could conceivably invite a new and dangerous exodus. 
 
Given all this, where do we go from here? First of all, I believe that 
all of us, those who support the proposed legislation affecting the CPA 
and those who oppose it, want to do what is best for those in the camps. 
We respect the interest and the humanitarian commitments of the 
chairpersons and ranking minority members of both these subcommittees 
and your views have certainly informed our deliberations. Like you, we 
want the CPA to end in the most humane and fairest way possible and 
always have. We do not put a deadline on the pursuit of fairness and 
justice. The CPA still permits review of cases where additional 
information may indicate that an initial screening decision was wrong. 
UNHCR has looked into allegations that corruption and impropriety might 
have been involved in a small number of screening decisions and, we 
understand, the results of this review has been given to the committees. 
 
The United States is firmly committed to the integrity of the CPA and to 
the principle that there can be no resettlement of non-refugees directly 
from first-asylum camps. Our policy has been and continues to be clear: 
Those who have been deemed not to be refugees pursuant to CPA procedures 
would return home to Vietnam. 
 
At the same time, we are prepared to address concerns about those in the 
camps who, while they were not deemed to be refugees, might nonetheless 
be of special humanitarian interest to the U.S. As we consider this 
issue, we are also eager to find creative means to further encourage the 
voluntary return process. 
 
For each of these reasons, we are discussing with our CPA partners, and 
would be prepared to support, a proposal to provide opportunities for 
resettlement interviews upon return to those now in the camps who agree 
to return to their homes voluntarily. The exact details of this proposal 
would be determined, in part, as a result of consultations with those 
governments whose cooperation would be required for its successful 
implementation. Let me stress again that any such program would have to 
be consistent with CPA principles and would thus require that the 
applicant first return home. 
 
We plan to do all we can, with the support of our international 
partners, to bring the CPA to a just conclusion. We believe that the 
best way to do this is to support the unanimous agreement of the Sixth 
CPA Steering Committee to move forward in support of voluntary 
repatriation as the preferred method of return for the screened-out. It 
is only with this clear message that we can hope to end the confusion 
and uncertainty in the camps and allow people to act on self-interest 
rather than false hope. 
 
The Lao/Hmong in Thailand 
 
I would now like to address the question of the Lao/Hmong refugees in 
Thailand, the other group of people covered under the CPA for whom we 
have an equally important responsibility. While the Hmong are part of 
the CPA, there is a distinct difference between the situation of the 
Hmong and the Vietnamese. The Hmong now in Thailand are, in the main, 
people who are recognized as refugees by virtue of the fact that they 
fled their country and arrived in Thailand before Thailand began basing 
refugee status on individual interviews in 1985. The majority of 
Vietnamese, on the other hand, have been determined through a 
comprehensive screening process not to be refugees. 
 
The United States has admitted some 126,000 Hmong and other Lao 
Highlanders to the United States since 1975. There remain approximately 
7,000 Hmong refugees in camps in Thailand, and the United States is 
prepared to accept for resettlement as many as are eligible under our 
law. The complicating factor with regard to the Hmong is that many 
originally indicated to Thai authorities that they wished to return to 
Laos and this decision was considered firm at the time. In fact, more 
than 22,000 have returned from Thailand and others continue to do so, 
starting new lives with the assistance of UNHCR and programs the U.S. 
supports both bilaterally and through UNHCR. 
 
In view of the end-of-1995 target date for ending the CPA established by 
the Steering Committee, and considering the fact that this reality may 
have caused some Hmong refugees to change their minds about return to 
Laos, we are involved in ongoing discussions with the Royal Thai 
Government about the possibility of allowing Hmong refugees access one 
last time to resettlement in the U.S. While the timing of such access, 
which we support, remains the prerogative of the Thai Government, and 
the current Thai policy of promoting voluntary repatriation is 
consistent with international refugee standards and principles, we 
expect the issue will remain the subject of our constructive dialogue 
with the Thai on refugee issues. 
 
Conclusion 
 
I would like to conclude by noting again that we fully support the CPA 
as it affects both the Vietnamese and Lao/Hmong. We believe the CPA has 
accomplished a great deal that is good, and has been a humane and 
effective channel through which the United States and the international 
community, with the vital assistance of UNHCR, has sought to resolve the 
final tragic legacies of the war in Indochina.  (###) 
 
 
 
ARTICLE 6 
 
Assessment of U.S.-Nigeria Relations 
George E. Moose, Assistant Secretary for African Affairs 
Statement before the Subcommittee on African Affairs of the Senate 
Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, DC, July 20, 1995 
 
Good afternoon. I welcome the opportunity to appear before the 
subcommittee to discuss our policy objectives toward Nigeria. I will be 
brief and would like my remarks to be entered into the record. 
 
We face a number of complex issues in Nigeria that do not lend 
themselves to easy solutions. But one thing is clear: Nigeria is too 
important to ignore. It has Africa's largest population, and it has vast 
natural resources and economic potential. And, for better or worse, its 
capacity to influence is significant. Social decay and government 
malaise could, if unchecked, lead to a collapse of civil and social 
structures in the long term and harm the interests of the United States 
and U.S. business, as well as those of the entire West African region. 
Nigeria's significant involvement in drug trafficking and business fraud 
poses security risks for Americans both at home and abroad. 
 
U.S. Interests 
 
In light of Nigeria's size and importance, it is understandable that 
U.S. interests are multiple and diverse. 
 
--  Our principal interest is to have a stable, democratic Nigeria with 
which the U.S. can pursue productive, cooperative relations. We do not 
wish to see Nigeria become a pariah state that might use its influence 
and resources recklessly and irresponsibly. 
 
--  The U.S. has significant economic interests in Nigeria, with $3.9 
billion invested mainly in the petroleum sector. 
 
--  We have a specific interest in curbing narcotics trafficking and 
other criminal activity centered in Nigeria. 
 
--  We also have an interest in enlisting Nigeria's cooperation on a 
range of regional and international issues. 
 
--  Of central importance to all these goals, however, is our interest 
in seeing Nigeria establish an open, democratic system. It is our firm 
belief that a democratic Nigeria that respects human rights and resolves 
issues of governance through the democratic process will create a 
context within which our other interests can best be pursued. 
 
Historical Review Through November 1993 
 
It may be useful to recall, as background for our discussions today, 
some of Nigeria's recent, turbulent history. Nigeria's ethnic and 
religious diversity has made governance a daunting challenge. Nigeria's 
oil-dependent economy has become a continual focus of political 
competition. The disarray of civilian politicians has been the pretext 
for repeated military interventions in political affairs. Recurring 
political turmoil has, in turn, contributed to a substantial erosion of 
economic and social conditions; despite the country's significant oil 
wealth, most Nigerians have suffered a steady decline in their standard 
of living. 
 
Nigeria has been under military rule for all but 10 years of its 
independence from Great Britain in 1960. There have been several coups 
and frustrated attempts to return to democracy. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo 
was the only military leader to return power to a civilian authority, 
when he handed over power to a new government under President Shehu 
Shagari in 1979. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari engineered a coup against Shagari 
on December 31, 1983, after falling oil prices, an economic decline, and 
widespread corruption undermined confidence in the Shagari government. 
The continuing economic crisis, Buhari's campaign against corruption, 
and civilian criticism of the military undermined Buhari's position, 
and, in August 1985, a group of officers led by Maj. Gen. Ibrahim 
Babangida removed Buhari from power. In a striking parallel to the 
current situation, General Babangida centralized power in an armed 
forces ruling council--a 19-member body composed of key military 
officers and the Inspector General of Police. 
 
In March 1987, the military government announced a program for Nigeria's 
transition back to civilian rule--to be completed by 1990. The date was 
later changed to 1992. The new civilian government was to be based on 
the 1979 constitution, with some modifications, such as the limitation 
to two political parties--the Social Democratic Party and the National 
Republican Convention. Local government elections were first held in 
December 1987. Political parties were not allowed to compete. In many 
districts the results were overturned. New local elections were held in 
December 1990. State elections planned for 1990 were delayed until 1991. 
A national census was held in 1991 in preparation for national elections 
that were scheduled for 1992 but later rescheduled for June 1993. 
 
Throughout this lengthy process, the United States sought to be 
supportive of Nigeria's planned return to democracy--economically 
through our support of World Bank loans and politically through active 
diplomacy. This tightly controlled transition to civilian, democratic 
rule was supposed to end on August 27, 1993, with the inauguration of a 
democratically elected, civilian president. From February to April, 
Nigeria's two authorized political parties held nominating conventions. 
Chief M.K.O. Abiola was chosen to represent the Social Democrats, and 
Bashir Tofa, the National Republicans. Despite numerous flaws in the 
process leading up to the elections of June 12, 1993, many observers 
felt that they provided Nigerians with a fair opportunity to register 
their views on Nigeria's political future. However, before formal 
results were announced, Head of State Babangida annulled the election, 
alleging massive electoral fraud. From early unofficial returns, it 
appeared that Abiola had won the election. 
 
Amid controversy arising from his annulment of the June 12 presidential 
election, Head of State Babangida resigned as president and commander-
in-chief on August 26, installing an interim national government headed 
by businessman Ernest Shonekan. On   November 17, the military forced 
Shonekan to resign. Gen. Sani Abacha assumed the titles of head of state 
and commander-in-chief. General Abacha established a military-dominated 
provisional ruling council on November 23, 1993. 
 
U.S. Response to the Reversal  
Of Democracy 
 
In response to the reversal of democracy occasioned by the annulment of 
the June 12 elections, the United States took a number of immediate 
steps to register its concern and displeasure. 
 
--  The Administration immediately canceled $11 million in assistance 
that had been intended as budgetary support to Nigeria's Ministry of 
Health. 
 
--  The U.S. terminated all other   development assistance, except 
humanitarian aid channeled through non-governmental organizations. 
 
--  All government-to-government military assistance and training--
except for counternarcotics-related training--was ended. 
 
--  A policy of case-by-case review was instituted--with a presumption 
of denial--for all new license applications for commercial export of 
defense articles and services to Nigeria. 
 
--  The withdrawal of the Nigerian military attache from the U.S. was 
requested, the U.S. security assistance officer was withdrawn, and 
travel to Nigeria by our newly named defense attache was suspended. 
 
In December 1993, after the assumption of power by General Abacha, 
President Clinton issued a proclamation under Section 212-(f) of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act which restricts the entry into the 
United States of Nigerians who formulate, implement, or benefit from 
policies which hinder Nigeria's transition to  democracy, as well as 
members of their immediate families. 
 
Review of Recent Developments 
 
When General Abacha took power in November 1993, he made a number of 
declarations regarding the regime's intentions. He promised an early 
return to civilian rule, improved economic performance, and curbs on 
narcotics and crime syndicates centered in Nigeria. 
 
Over the past 18 months, Nigeria has had a mixed economic record. 
Recently, there has been encouraging progress on economic matters, 
primarily attributable to a new budget announced in early 1995. 
Revenues, bolstered by oil prices, Central Bank intervention in the 
foreign exchange market, and reduced government expenditures gave rise 
to a reported $100-million surplus in the first quarter, according to 
the Financial Times, but we remain skeptical about accurate accounting 
of revenue and outflows. 
 
Recently, there have been signs of the Government of Nigeria's 
responsiveness to concerns regarding crime and narcotics. The government 
signed a drug-control strategy last month, promulgated a new money-
laundering decree, began to take action against drug money-laundering 
car dealerships in Lagos, and rendered two fugitives wanted by the U.S. 
 
The U.S. continues to pursue more effective cooperation on counter-
narcotics matters. Work has begun with the Nigerian Government to train 
elements of Nigerian law enforcement involved in counternarcotics 
efforts. My colleague, Assistant Secretary Gelbard, will provide more 
details. 
 
Much more troubling, however, have been developments on the political 
front. 
 
--  In March 1994, Ogoni activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, whose case has received 
much interest here in the U.S., was arrested for murder. He remains in 
custody while his trial proceeds by fits and starts. 
 
--  In June 1994, on the first anniversary of the annulled elections, 
Chief M.K.O. Abiola was arrested and charged with treason for declaring 
himself president. Despite repeated appeals for his release, Abiola 
remains in custody, and the legal challenge to his continued detention 
is indefinitely suspended. 
 
--  In June of last year, the government detained hundreds of human 
rights activists, including several former senators, and, under Decree 
14, effectively suspended the right of habeas corpus. Since then, 
several prominent rights activists have been repeatedly arrested and 
released without charge. 
 
--  In July and August 1994, the labor movement, led by the National 
Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, mounted a strike action to 
protest Chief Abiola's arrest. The ensuing strikes brought economic life 
in Lagos and much of the southwest to a standstill for almost eight 
weeks. The government broke the strike in late August by dismissing 
union executives and imposing government leadership. The labor movement 
remains under firm government control. 
 
--  In August, the government proscribed three well-known publishing 
houses and summarily deported foreign journalists, including two 
correspondents of Cable News Network. 
 
After considerable delay, the National Constitutional Conference, which 
began in June of last year, presented its report on June 27. In 
response, General Abacha said he would announce a timetable for return 
to civilian government on October 1. He lifted the ban on political 
activities--with certain exceptions--and announced restoration of the 
Federal Electoral Commission. The Guardian newspaper group recently was 
unbanned, and several political detainees were released. While these are 
steps in the right direction, we are nevertheless troubled by the length 
of time it has taken for Nigeria to get back on the path to civilian 
democracy in the wake of the annulled 1993 presidential elections. 
 
U.S. Actions to Return Nigeria to Building Democratic Civilian Rule  
 
Meanwhile, the issue of most immediate concern has been the trials of a 
number of Nigerians accused of coup plotting. These accusations resulted 
in the arrest, in early March, of dozens of active and retired military 
officers. The disposition of 51 cases was announced last Friday: Only 
seven were set free, while 40, including former Head of State Obasanjo, 
were convicted, with their proposed sentences sent to the Provisional 
Ruling Council for review. 
 
We do not know when the Provisional Ruling Council will make its 
decision or what the proposed sentences are. We issued a strongly worded 
statement on Monday, urging clemency for all who may have received a 
proposed death sentence. We continue to press for the release of the 
detainees and for them to receive open and fair trials. Our ambassador 
meets with Obasanjo's wife and with human rights and pro-democracy 
groups frequently. 
 
We actively support a visit to Nigeria by the UN Human Rights 
Commission's Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. We understand the 
Government of Nigeria has been formally approached for such a visit. 
 
At the recent ILO conference, the United States joined two African 
nations--South Africa and Senegal--to condemn Nigeria's violations of 
international labor conventions that guarantee freedom of association. 
The censure action was adopted readily by the full conference session. 
 
The U.S. continues to consult with close allies to review additional 
actions that might be taken. We believe that frequent consultations 
provide an effective means to coordinate efforts and maximize impact. 
 
At the same time, we continue to seek a high-level dialogue with 
Nigeria. We have pressed this dialogue both privately and publicly. We 
believe that frank exchange of views can only increase understanding and 
may advance positive change. 
 
Conclusion 
 
In conclusion, Madame Chairman, we all share the goal of a prosperous, 
democratic Nigeria with which we can have productive relations. Our 
policy to achieve that goal is based on maximizing the levers available 
to us. While we will maintain the current sanctions, we are prepared to 
offer incentives to the Government of Nigeria if we see real movement 
toward democratization. But we are prepared to impose additional 
measures if there is retrogression. 
 
I would like to take this opportunity to urge the Government of Nigeria 
once again to respect international norms relating to human rights, 
including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and to respect its 
obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political 
Rights. Specifically, we urge General Abacha and the Provisional Ruling 
Council to exercise clemency by commuting any death sentences that may 
have been proposed. Civilians such as Generals Obasanjo and Yar 'Adua 
should be allowed to appeal their sentences to established civilian 
courts. Current military officers also should have the right to an open 
appeals process. Sparing the lives of the accused and allowing an open 
appeal process would be consistent with the Nigerian Government's 
professed commitment to due process and with its stated goal of 
restoring Nigeria to democratic civilian rule. 
 
I believe General Abacha and the Provisional Ruling Council have a 
historic opportunity to demonstrate leadership toward reconciliation. 
Nigerians must find their own path to enduring, elected, democratic, 
civilian rule. A process of national reconciliation that includes a free 
atmosphere for political discourse will facilitate that search. 
 
I thank the committee and the Congress for their continued interest and 
support.  (###) 
 
 
[END OF DISPATCH VOL 6, NO 31] 
 
(###)

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