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U.S. Department of State
95/08/02 Remarks:  7+1 Session of ASEAN Post-Ministerial
Office of the Spokesman


                         U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                          Office of the Spokesman
                        (Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei)

For Immediate Release                                 August 2, 1995

                                   REMARKS
                   BY U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
                         AT THE SEVEN-PLUS-ONE SESSION
                                     OF THE 
                        ASEAN POST-MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE

                        International Conference Center
                          Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
                                 August 2, 1995


It is a great honor for me to represent the United States at this ASEAN 
Post-Ministerial Conference.  Two years ago, when I joined you at the 
PMC in Singapore, President Clinton had just proposed that America work 
with our allies and friends to create a new Pacific community, a 
community based on shared security, shared prosperity, and a shared 
commitment to democratic values.

For almost three decades, ASEAN has been the model of community-building 
in the Asia-Pacific.  In 1967, amid the turmoil of the Vietnam War, 
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand set aside 
their differences to issue their historic Bangkok Declaration.  Thanks 
in part to ASEAN's efforts "to promote regional peace and stability," 
the wheel has now come full circle, and Vietnam has joined ASEAN's 
rank
s.  As the only existing intergovernmental organization in the 
Pacific basin, ASEAN also helped lay the groundwork for the formation of 
APEC in 1989.  Today, ASEAN remains at the forefront of APEC, and is 
spurring regional growth and integration through the ASEAN Free Trade 
Area.  The ASEAN way of consultation, consensus and cooperation is 
gradually becoming the way of the Asia-Pacific.

The United States sees a strong partnership with ASEAN as essential to 
our engagement in the Asia-Pacific, and to the creation of a Pacific 
community.  Indeed, on the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second 
World War, our engagement in Asia is as essential to our security and 
prosperity as ever before.

The United States is and will remain a Pacific power--militarily, 
economically, and politically.  Since we last met, the United States has 
reaffirmed our engagement and military force levels in the region.  We 
have worked with the Republic of Korea and other nations to put the 
North Korean nuclear issue on the road to resolution.  We have 
reinforced our bedrock alliance with Japan and have concluded a series 
of agreements that strengthen our economic relationship.  We have sought 
to engage China on a range of issues important to regional stability.  
We have worked hard to make progress on regional and global 
nonproliferation, including this year's unconditional, indefinite 
extension of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.  We have deepened our 
cooperation with Australia, and rejuvenated our ties with New Zealand.  
We have bolstered our support for a democratic Cambodia and for the 
promotion of democracy in Burma.  We have opened up a new chapter in our 
relations with Vietnam.  We have made clear our interest in a peaceful 
resolution of disputes in the South China Sea.  And we have supported 
the ARF and the development of a Northeast Asia Security Dialogue as 
valuable supplements to our five treaty alliances and forward military 
presence.

Our strategy in the region advances our enduring interests, but also 
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 in the region 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, but competition for 
resources and markets is creating new tensions.  And with development 
and the spread of technology have come problems like the proliferation 
of weapons of mass destruction, the emergence of sophisticated narcotics 
networks, and severe pressures on the environment.

No nation in the Asia-Pacific can confront these complex transnational 
challenges on its own.  They can only be met by a community of nations 
acting together--a diverse community, to be sure, but one increasingly 
linked by shared interests and values.

Of these shared interests, none is greater than security.   The United 
States believes that a strong U.S. security presence remains the 
foundation for regional stability and prosperity.  We will stand by our 
commitment to security in the Pacific in peacetime no less than we did 
in the three wars in Asia that took almost 200,000 American lives.

Our five treaty alliances with Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand 
and Australia will continue to anchor our security commitment.  The 
United States will keep approximately 100,000 troops in the region--
roughly equivalent to the level we will maintain in Europe.  In addition 
to our arrangements with our treaty allies, we will also maintain other 
forward-deployed forces through formal and informal access arrangements 
with countries in the region--many of them ASEAN members--who welcome 
our continued presence.

On the foundation of our forward presence and our treaty alliances, we 
will deepen our engagement with other leading powers in the Asia-
Pacific.  Few nations are poised to play as large a role in shaping the 
future of the region than China.  As two great powers with very 
different political systems, the United States and China will inevitably 
have differences.  Although we may have differences, neither the United 
States nor China can afford the luxury of walking away from our 
responsibility to manage them--in the interests of our nations, the 
Asia-Pacific, and the entire world.

The United States continues to believe that a strong, stable, open and 
prosperous China can be a strong partner and a responsible leader of the 
international community.   And within the region, China's economic 
development and military posture will inevitably have a major impact on 
the perceptions and actions of other nations.

Later this week, I will travel to Vietnam to formally open diplomatic 
relations between our two countries.  Since taking office, President 
Clinton has worked to achieve 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 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.  Closer engagement is in America's interest because 
Vietnam is a vibrant country in a region of strategic importance to the 
United States.  We welcome its admission to ASEAN.  

Russia is another power in the Pacific that we continue to engage.  
Since this Administration took office, we have supported democratic 
reform in Russia as the best investment we can make in our nation's 
security and prosperity.  We have been joined in this effort by Japan 
and South Korea, which recognize that a stable, democratic and 
prosperous Russia can be a force for security and prosperity in the 
Asia-Pacific as well as in Europe.

We will engage China, Vietnam, Russia, and other powers both through our 
bilateral relationships, and through the ASEAN Regional Forum and other 
multilateral dialogues.  We believe that the ARF can play a constructive 
role in conveying intentions, easing suspicions, building confidence, 
and, ultimately, averting conflicts.  The decision at yesterday's second 
ARF Ministerial to approve a governmental work program has created a 
firm basis for the development of the ARF in the coming year.  And 
yesterday's meeting also provided an especially useful forum for 
discussing regional security concerns.

None of these security concerns has been more urgent than North Korea's 
nuclear program.  That is why the United States, consulting closely with 
the Republic of Korea, Japan, and other nations, concluded the U.S.-DPRK 
Agreed Framework.  The United States is committed to faithful 
implementation of the Framework. We will work patiently to resolve 
outstanding issues as long as the North maintains the freeze on its 
nuclear program and fulfills its other Framework obligations.

But implementation will require continued close coordination among the 
United States, South Korea and Japan.  Moreover, just as the North 
Korean nuclear issue affects the security of the entire Asia-Pacific, 
the entire Asia-Pacific has the ability--indeed, the responsibility--to 
help in its lasting resolution.  Many of the nations here today are 
already contributing to the Korean Peninsula Energy Development 
Organization (KEDO) that will play a central role in implementing the 
Framework.  KEDO deserves strong and continuing support from all who 
share an interest in the security of this region.  After all, the Agreed 
Framework is an important step in a process by which the region can 
achieve the goal of lasting peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.  
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 ultimate reconciliation.

North Korea's quest for nuclear weapons highlights the wider threat 
posed to this region and the world by the proliferation of weapons of 
mass destruction.  That is why the indefinite extension of the Non-
Proliferation Treaty is an historic achievement for the region and the 
international community.  The United States is committed to negotiating 
a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by 1996, and will continue its testing 
moratorium until September 1996.  We regret the decisions by China and 
France to continue testing during this period.  Today, I reiterate our 
call for a testing moratorium.

There are additional steps our nations can and should take to limit the 
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  We should carry out the 
decision taken at the NPT Review and Extension Conference on the 
immediate commencement and early conclusion of negotiations on a non-
discriminatory and universally applicable convention banning the 
production of fissile material for nuclear weapons.  I would also urge 
ASEAN states to implement responsible technology transfer policies, 
including export controls on sensitive transfers.

Like proliferation, many of the security challenges now facing the 
region defy the bounds of geography and ideology, and require a strong 
collective response.  Stopping the flow of narcotics is an important 
example.  All our nations are affected by this scourge, but no one 
nation alone can stop poppies from being grown and refined into heroin 
in Burma, and then shipped through Thailand, China and other countries 
to users in Asia, in Europe, and in the United States.  

The United States is working to reduce domestic demand for illicit 
narcotics.  We are also supporting alternative development and drug 
enforcement in the ASEAN region.  We are continuing our bilateral 
counternarcotics assistance programs in Laos and Thailand.  We look 
forward to working closely with Vietnam and Cambodia on drug control 
efforts.  We also hope to join with all countries of the ASEAN region in 
a coordinated effort to stem the flow of heroin from Burma.  As with 
narcotics, we must also collectively confront the challenges of 
protecting the environment and controlling unsustainable population 
growth.

As our discussions at the ASEAN Regional Forum brought out, the nations 
of the Asia-Pacific face another shared security challenge: ensuring 
stability and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and the 
Spratly Islands.  Almost 25 percent of the world's ocean freight passes 
through these vital sea lanes.  The United States continues to urge 
claimants to the Spratlys to intensify diplomatic efforts to manage this 
issue peacefully.  We welcome China's statement that it will act in 
accordance with international law, including the Law of the Sea, in its 
efforts to resolve this dispute.

These new approaches to regional security complement the economic 
integration that is helping to fuel the Asia-Pacific's economic 
dynamism.  Our region is united in its understanding of the critical 
contribution that the opening of markets and the reduction of trade and 
investment barriers can make to the prosperity of our people.  Two years 
ago, the leaders of APEC gave a strong impetus to the successful 
conclusion of the Uruguay Round negotiations.  Now our region must help 
ensure rapid and full implementation of the Uruguay Round agreement and 
the success of the World Trade Organization we launched last January.

We must also work through APEC to promote regional economic growth and 
integration.  The United States remains committed to APEC as the 
cornerstone of economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.  Indeed, 
our ability to cooperate within APEC is one of the vital signs of 
community-building in the Pacific.  Intensive cabinet-level meetings 
this year between APEC's finance, telecommunications, and transportation 
ministers have deepened the patterns of consultation that have developed 
among APEC nations over the last six years.

By convening the first-ever APEC Leaders' Meeting two years ago on Blake 
Island outside Seattle, the President helped shape a shared vision for a 
new Pacific community.  Last year in Bogor, the leaders committed to 
achieve free and open trade and investment in the region by 2020.  This 
year in Osaka, we expect APEC leaders to turn their historic vision into 
a blueprint for liberalization.  That blueprint should set forth shared 
principles, specific goals for liberalization, and a process for 
achieving them.

In addition to our global and regional efforts, the United States will 
continue to work bilaterally to promote economic growth and open 
markets.  Under our Framework for an Economic Partnership with Japan, 
for example, we have reached 16 agreements with wide-ranging benefits 
for our two economies and that of the region and the world.  While we 
may have differences with our trading partners, we see those differences 
as a normal part of bilateral relations and will not allow them to 
undermine our cooperation in other areas.

The Asia-Pacific region has benefitted enormously from the growth of 
global financial markets that have provided capital to help finance 
investment and trade.  The recent Mexican financial crisis demonstrated 
the real-time interdependence of the global financial system--and the 
need for greater international efforts to prevent and to manage crises 
through greater disclosure and transparency and through a coordinated 
emergency response.  Similarly, the recent problems at Barings Bank in 
Singapore and London also demonstrated our shared stake in more 
coordinated supervision of international financial institutions.  At 
Halifax in June, the G-7 nations took significant steps in both these 
areas.  We look to the ASEAN nations to support strongly these important 
initiatives as they are considered by the International Monetary Fund.

If open markets and open sea lanes promote prosperity and security in 
the Pacific, so, too, 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 Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, much of Southeast 
Asia, Australia and New Zealand tell us that accountable government and 
the rule of law are the bedrock of stability and prosperity.  The 
reality of Burma and North Korea tells us that repression entrenches 
poverty and insecurity.

In Burma, the efforts of each of our nations helped lead to the recent 
release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the movement that won that 
country's 1990 elections.  We warmly welcome the Nobel laureate's 
release.  It gives us reason to hope that Burma's fundamental problems 
can be resolved.  But we should remember that those problems continue, 
including grave human rights violations, massive forced labor, and drug 
trafficking.

We believe the true significance of Aung San Suu Kyi's release depends 
on whether it leads to real movement toward the restoration of a 
government accountable to Burma's people.  We should make clear to 
Rangoon that only progress on democracy, human rights, and 
counternarcotics will make it possible for Burma to rejoin the Southeast 
Asian mainstream.  In the absence of further progress, we must heed Aung 
San Suu Kyi's call to maintain a principled stand on behalf of 
democratic change.

Cambodia has already embarked on the process of democratic renewal.  
This week, as the first American Secretary of State to travel to 
Cambodia in 40 years, I will reaffirm America's support for its efforts 
to build a stable and prosperous democracy.  That nation's remarkable 
progress is a tribute to its people, as well as a tribute to the 
international community's efforts over the past several years in which 
ASEAN played a key role.  We warmly welcomed its participation yesterday 
at the ARF.  But Cambodia's future cannot be taken for granted.  And it 
will need continued international support.  It will need the continued 
determination of its government and people to consolidate reform and to 
strengthen the rule of law.

Cambodia's progress and Vietnam's admission to ASEAN are but the two 
most striking examples of the fading of Cold War divisions and the 
closer integration of the Pacific.  Currents of commerce and culture are 
carrying our nations toward a common destiny.  Building on the advances 
we have already made, and drawing on the unique characteristics of the 
region, we hope to work with our neighbors to create a Pacific community 
that will be safe, prosperous, and free.  

Thank you very much.
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