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U.S. Department of State
93/11/17 Speech at University of Washington
Office of the Spokesman

                           US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                           Office of the Spokesman

                               Speech by
                  Secretary of State Warren Christopher
                    University of Washington, Seattle
                              November 17, 1993

                      "America's Pacific Future"

Thank you for that introduction, Professor Lardy.  I want to thank the 
World Affairs Council and the Jackson School for having me here today.  
Scoop Jackson believed that America derived strength from its 
willingness to engage abroad, and he would be proud of the work being 
done here in his name.

One hundred and thirty-two years ago, the University of Washington was 
carved out of Seattle's emerald wilderness by a band of hardy and 
intellectually hungry pioneers.  The first faculty consisted of one 
professor; the first graduating class, one student.

From those simple origins, on that rugged frontier, the University of 
Washington has become one of America's great public universities.  I 
want to acknowledge, in that regard, my longtime friend Bill Gerberding, 
President of this university.

Today, another frontier beckons.  And Seattle stands not at the end of 
the trail but at the beginning.  As we approach the next century, 
America must once again look west -- west to Asia, west to our Pacific 

In the 19th century, American visionaries connected the coasts with 
great iron railroads.  Now, with the ethereal reach of satellites and 
the blinding speed of fiber optics, we are traversing the Pacific.  With 
the same determination that brought trains to Washington state, we are 
building bonds of communication, commerce, and culture with Asia.

Signs of our Pacific future are sprouting here like espresso stands.  
Trade with Asia accounts for 95 percent of the volume of Seattle's 
bustling ports.  A quarter of the city's schoolchildren are Asian-
Americans.  Pike Place Market overflows with the scents, flavors, and 
dialects of the Pacific Rim.  And in every sector -- from aircraft to 
software to real estate -- Seattle's economy is increasingly tied to 

My message today is simple:  as Seattle goes, so must the nation.  As 
Asia advances, so must we.  For today, no region in the world is more 
important to the United States than Asia.

America has fought three wars in Asia during the past half century.  We 
have abiding security interests there.  As to our economic interests, 40 
percent of our trade is with Asia, half again as much as with Europe.  
And every day, immigrants from Asia and their descendants are fulfilling 
the American Dream, enriching our culture and maintaining tangible ties 
across an ocean of opportunity.

Just over a generation ago, when many of these immigrants were first 
arriving on American shores, Asia seemed mired in a cycle of epic 
suffering.  But a new determinism pervades Asia now.  Despair about 
decay has given way to faith in progress.

In south China, towns that were once agrarian backwaters are leaping 
forward into the industrial age.  In Singapore's gleaming harbor, where 
laborers once carried sacks of rice on their backs, enormous cranes now 
swivel and stretch to unload high technology cargo.  And in the towering 
skyscrapers of Jakarta, Indonesians born in bamboo huts are making 
fortunes in Asian commodity markets.

Like Mount Rainier, Asia's astounding revival -- and the challenges it 
presents -- are best viewed from a panoramic perspective.  Asia is 
likely to account for half the growth in world trade between now and the 
year 2000.  It includes the world's fastest-growing economies and most 
promising terrain for American exports.  But at the same time, we are 
running unacceptable trade deficits with some of our Asian trading 

In security terms, Asia is more stable -- and, if you will, more pacific 
-- than at any other time since the turn of the century.  But at the 
same time, we need to meet new security challenges that cloud the 

And across the region, the rising tide of democracy is watering some of 
freedom's most parched terrain.  But at the same time, some of the 
world's least open regimes can also be found in Asia.

As we look ahead, then, we must remove the peril and realize the promise 
of wider engagement with the Pacific.  That is why President Clinton has 
called for a New Pacific Community, built on three core elements:  
shared prosperity, shared strength, and a shared commitment to 
democratic values.

I. Prosperity

Let me turn first to the economic dimension.  In Asia, we see most 
clearly that economic policy stands at the center of our foreign policy.  
Last year, our exports to the region totaled $128 billion and created 
2.4 million American jobs.

This Administration is working to widen trade and investment in Asia on 
three levels:  globally, through the GATT; regionally, through the APEC 
forum; and bilaterally, with individual nations.

No region has more at stake than Asia in the removal of barriers to 
global trade and investment.  Asia has asked us to remain engaged in the 
region, and we will do so.  But for the American people to appreciate 
the benefits of such engagement, Asia's markets must be open to our 
goods and services.

Today I urge the leaders of the Asian economies to join us in pushing 
for a successful conclusion of the GATT Uruguay Round.  If the Round 
succeeds, it will open markets and create jobs around the world.  If it 
fails, however, we will all suffer from the punishing effects of rising 

While we work to open global trade, we must also strengthen our regional 
trading ties.  Today's historic vote on NAFTA is a test of our 
willingness to do that.  It is a test of our desire to compete, rather 
than retreat.

NAFTA, as the President and I have been saying, is in our overriding 
national interest.  It takes down barriers to prosperity.  It 
demonstrates that as we enter the next century, America is looking 
outward, not turning inward.  That is why the President has put so much 
on the line for NAFTA's passage.  And that is why I believe the House of 
Representatives will approve NAFTA today.

APEC, the forum for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, is another vital 
part of our strategy to strengthen regional trading ties.  APEC was 
created only four years ago -- not to micromanage trade, but to get 
bureaucracy out of the way of business and to promote cooperation among 
diverse economies.

This year's meeting here in Seattle, to be followed by President 
Clinton's historic gathering of APEC leaders, is dedicated to expanding 
Pacific trade and investment.  We will begin to bring greater harmony to 
the trade policies of APEC members.  We will work to facilitate the 
entry of American businesses into Asian markets.  And we will work to 
strengthen APEC as an institution.

In the software business today, "open architecture" is the coin of the 
realm.  That, in essence, is what my colleagues and I are developing:  
an open environment in which we can increase by many times the $500 
billion in trade among APEC members.

But let me be clear:  APEC is a building block, not a trading bloc.  The 
United States views APEC as the cornerstone of regional economic 
cooperation.  These regional efforts, in turn, are a catalyst for global 
trade cooperation.

At the same time, the Clinton Administration is working to strengthen 
some of our most important bilateral economic relationships in Asia.  
China, one of America's largest trading partners, has a trade surplus 
with the United States that reached nearly $20 billion last year.  To 
address this problem, we are working with the Chinese to achieve full 
implementation of our market access agreements.  In South Korea, we have 
launched a new dialogue that will improve the trade and investment 
climate for U.S. businesses.  And with Japan, we are negotiating a new 
economic framework.  The security and political dimensions of our 
partnership with Japan are in sound condition.  But the economic pillar 
is urgently in need of repair.  This Administration attaches as high a 
priority to improving our economic ties with Japan as it does to 
maintaining our security and political links.  That is why we are 
working to correct our persistent trade imbalance.  We are determined to 
forge a more equitable and mutually beneficial partnership.

II. Security

Ultimately, all our efforts to advance American prosperity in Asia 
depend on the peace and security of the region.  America's continued 
security engagement is therefore the second core component of our New 
Pacific Community.

I was a 20-year-old Navy ensign -- the same age as many of you here 
today -- when World War II and its aftermath first linked America to the 
security of the Pacific.  Today, the reasons for us to stay anchored in 
Asia have changed.  But they are still compelling.  For it remains in 
our unambiguous national interest to deter regional aggression and to 
sustain Asia-Pacific economic growth.

While the tensions of the Cold War have subsided, many Asian nations 
harbor apprehensions about their closest neighbors.  An American 
withdrawal would magnify those concerns.  And so America must stay 

Our security role in Asia begins with our treaty alliances with Japan, 
South Korea, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines.  We will honor 
these obligations and maintain our forward military presence throughout 
the Pacific.

At the same time, we are working in Asia to prevent the proliferation of 
weapons of mass destruction.  Nowhere is the threat of nuclear 
proliferation more serious today than in North Korea.

North Korea is caught in a kind of time warp.  It is the most isolated 
country in the world, unmoved by the winds of change that have swept 
across the region.  It has buried the economic dreams of its people to 
raise a million-man army, most of which is deployed at South Korea's 

The other nations of the region share President Clinton's firm view that 
North Korea must set aside its nuclear ambitions.  It must not be 
allowed to pose a nuclear threat to South Korea or its other neighbors.

North Korea has refused to grant international inspectors full access to 
its nuclear sites.  The United States is committed to a diplomatic 
solution as the best means of resolving the nuclear issue.  At the same 
time, we insist on North Korea's full compliance with all of its 
international commitments, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation 
Treaty.  North Korea must fulfill its full-scope safeguards obligations 
and permit the inspections required by the International Atomic Energy 
Agency.  North Korea must also fulfill its denuclearization agreement 
with South Korea.  These are not only the views of the United States; 
they are the views of the world community.  We are not approaching this 
on a unilateral basis.  We are working with others in the region.

If North Korea refuses the necessary inspections -- and refuses to 
resume a dialogue with South Korea on nuclear issues -- then we are 
prepared to recommend that the UN Security Council consider options 
other than negotiation.  This need not be the outcome of this impasse.  
We urge North Korea to join the community of responsible nations by 
responding positively to the comments I have made here today.

As we work to resolve the impasse with North Korea, we must also develop 
new regional approaches to prevent conflicts.  That is why at the ASEAN 
Post-Ministerial Conference last July, my fellow ministers and I 
established the ASEAN Regional Security Forum.  This forum will 
supplement, but not replace, our treaty alliances.  These security 
discussions will ease tensions and discourage arms races.  It will 
include the ASEAN nations, the United States, Japan, Canada, South 
Korea, Australia, and others.  It will also include -- and mark this -- 
China, Russia, and Vietnam.

Ten years ago, or even five, such an array of countries would have been 
unthinkable.  Next year, it will be a reality.

III. Democracy

Just as security is the bedrock for the pursuit of prosperity, so 
democracy is the foundation for security.  More open societies make for 
a more stable region.  Democratic nations make better neighbors and 
better trading partners.  That is why the support of democracy and human 
rights is the third core element of our New Pacific Community.

President Clinton has said that "free markets not only enrich people; 
they empower them."  As more Asians enter the middle class, they will 
seek a greater voice in their communities.  As factories bloom across 
China, political power will come increasingly from the end of an 
assembly line.

Greater openness will also help sustain modernization in Asia.  After 
all, how can countries attract investment without the rule of law?  How 
can they combat corruption without a free press?  How can they generate 
prosperity without constant currents of information?

There are those who say that democracy is somehow unsuited for Asia, 
that our emphasis on human rights is a cloak for cultural imperialism.  
But there is no cloak over the city of Phnom Penh, where Cambodians 
voted this spring in their first free election.  There is no cloak over 
Seoul, where the former dissident Kim Young Sam is now Korea's 
President.  Nor, indeed, is there a cloak over Shanghai, where a talk 
show called "Radio Orient" receives thousands of calls and letters every 

To be sure, great areas of Asia lag behind the march of history.  But 
the yearnings for freedom are not a Western export.  They are a human 
instinct.  All across Asia, the United States is working to respond to 
those yearnings.  We are, in short, aligning ourselves with the future.

Human rights is a key issue in our relations with several Asian 
countries, including Burma, Vietnam, Indonesia, and China.  The Clinton 
Administration has developed a policy toward China that reflects both 
our values and our interests.  China is a great nation and an 
influential member of the world community.  A stable, prosperous China 
is in the long-term interest of the United States.

Recent problems have created the risk of a downward spiral in our 
relationship.  On human rights, unless there is overall significant 
progress, the President will not be able to renew China's Most Favored 
Nation status.  We are encouraged by Beijing's recent offer to open its 
prisons to the International Red Cross.  We hope that is a harbinger of 
sustained progress on human rights in China.

On trade, we continue to have concerns about market access, textiles, 
and intellectual property protection.  And on non-proliferation, we have 
imposed sanctions on China for its shipment of M-11 missile components 
to Pakistan.  At the same time, we have made clear that we are willing 
to negotiate the necessary conditions for a waiver of those sanctions.

And so we have launched a process of deeper engagement with China in 
order to make progress in these key areas.  Our goal I emphasize, is to 
build a comprehensive relationship that permits the resolution of our 

Many of the issues that can bring together the New Pacific Community are 
global issues -- challenges that cut across political borders.  
Consider, for example, the environmental problems that Asia, with its 
huge appetite for energy sources, will face in the next century.  
Consider that 20 years from now, 1 billion more people will live in Asia 

Problems like these demand transnational solutions.  That is why this 
Administration has brought global issues into the mainstream of our 
foreign policy.

Recently, I passed by Red Square -- the one in Moscow, that is -- to 
give a speech to Russian students.  They, like many of you, are wary of 
sweeping proclamations about "our moment in history."  But your 
generation -- whether in Moscow or Seattle or Beijing -- truly stands at 
a pivotal point, between the Cold War and a new millenium.  For Russia's 
youth, the question is whether to believe in free markets and democratic 
reform.  For you, the question is simpler:  whether to believe in 

Over the last several years, some Americans have worried that Asia's 
success spells trouble for the United States.  They look at Japan's 
performance, or China's incredible growth, or the ferocious development 
of Asia's Four Tigers, and they have feared that America's best days are 
behind us.  I see it altogether differently.  Asia's success is ours too 
-- because Asia's dynamism creates enormous new markets for our 
products; because for a half century our engagement has supported 
regional stability; and because Asia's drive toward freedom echoes the 
enduring strength of our values.

I look at the flower of Asian prosperity and I see the seeds of American 
renewal.  The virtues that have made America great -- thrift, diligence, 
optimism, resilience -- must guide us again as we rebuild America's 
economy and engage ever more vigorously with Asia.

Can we summon the confidence to do that?  Can we muster the courage to 
seize this opportunity?  From Lewis and Clark's expedition to the first 
flight of a Boeing airplane, everything in our history suggests that we 

And everything in our future -- our Pacific future -- says that we must.

Thank you very much.


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