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U.S. Department of State 
96/05/10 Remarks on Asia-Pacific Region before the Business Council 
Office of the Spokesman 
 
 
                             U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                              Office of the Spokesman 
 
_____________________________________________________________________
Text As Delivered                                        May 10, 1996 
 
 
                                 REMARKS BY 
                   SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                                   BEFORE
                            THE BUSINESS COUNCIL 
 
                           Williamsburg, Virginia 
                                May 10, 1996 
 
 
	Thank you for that kind introduction.  I want to thank Ed Woolard 
and John Bryan for their invitation to appear before the Business 
Council, which has done so much to deepen the dialogue between business 
and government.  And it is a great honor to be on the program with 
Senior Minister Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore, my distinguished predecessor 
Henry Kissinger, my former Carter Administration colleague Zbig 
Brzezinski, and Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin.  Appearing in this 
company before this powerful audience is enough to make me look forward 
to another relaxing round of Middle East shuttle diplomacy. 
 
	I am particularly pleased to have the chance to speak with you 
about the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.  As a young naval officer in the 
Pacific in World War II, chairman of a Los Angeles-based law firm with 
Asian offices, a one-time trade negotiator with Japan, and now Secretary 
of State, I have had the opportunity to witness -- up close and personal 
-- many of Asia's remarkable changes over the last half-century. 
 
	With all due respect to the proponents of a coming "Asian 
Century," I am bold enough to believe that it will also be the second 
American Century as well.  As a global power with global interests, the 
United States has a great stake in the region's dynamism, and we have 
the greatest ability to sustain it in ways that benefit the American 
people and the world. 
 
	Let me make a few observations about the impact of this new era on 
the way in which we pursue our national interests: 
 
	First, accelerated change means that no company or country can 
take its leadership for granted.  The United States won the Cold War, 
but as Peter Drucker has written, no company -- or country -- is 
automatically destined to be a permanent economic superpower in the new 
global marketplace.  We have to keep on our toes and be light on our 
feet.   
 
	Second, one of the most dramatic changes I have seen is the 
erasure of the line between domestic and foreign policy -- just as in 
the corporate world you no longer see a bright line between a company's 
domestic and foreign operations.  The Clinton Administration recognizes 
that our strength at home and abroad are inseparable -- and that our 
ability to create jobs and growth here depends on our ability to open 
markets overseas.  I believe that one of the signature accomplishments 
of our Administration will be a landmark set of market-opening 
agreements -- from GATT and NAFTA to APEC and the Free Trade Agreement 
of the Americas. 
 
	Third, our economic diplomacy is not only essential to advancing 
our commercial interests but is also a powerful tool for achieving other 
core foreign policy goals.  Economic development is essential to 
undergird peace, stability and progress toward democracy -- whether in 
the Middle East, Haiti, or the Newly Independent States of the former 
Soviet Union.  Just as surely as our military might and our embassies 
overseas advance our interests, your companies' global presence extends 
American power and influence.  Our late and much-admired colleague Ron 
Brown understood this concept well, and we will certainly all miss him 
for that and many other reasons.    
 
	Nowhere is the mutually reinforcing relationship between our 
economic and security interests more apparent than in the Asia-Pacific 
region.  For the last half-century, America's military presence in Asia 
has provided the foundation of stability for nations to build thriving 
economies for the benefit of all.   
 
	There should be absolutely no doubt that we intend to remain a 
Pacific power.  During the last three years, President Clinton has taken 
a number of key strategic decisions to reinforce our engagement in the 
region -- through our five active security alliances, our forward-
deployed presence, and our commitment to maintain approximately 100,000 
troops in the Pacific. 
   
	The cornerstone of our engagement in the region, of course, 
remains our relationship with Japan.  Here as elsewhere, this 
Administration has defied the skeptics and demonstrated that we can 
promote America's economic interests while strengthening our vital 
security relationships at the same time. 
 
	The Joint Declaration signed by the President and Prime Minister 
Hashimoto in Tokyo last month provides the firm foundation to ensure 
that our alliance can meet the challenges of the next century.  Japan 
has agreed to increase its financial and material support for our troops 
stationed there.  In addition, we are working well with Japan in areas 
such as Bosnia and the Middle East. 
 
	Our economic relationship with Japan is also becoming more 
balanced.  Since 1993, U.S. exports to Japan have risen by 34 percent, 
with increases as high as 80 percent in the sectors where trade 
agreements have been reached.  Our trade deficit fell last year by 
almost 10 percent from its level in 1994 -- the first time since 1990 
that our bilateral trade deficit has decreased. 
 
	This progress is due to a variety of factors -- including  the 
persistent efforts of your companies to gain footholds in Japanese 
markets.  But there can be no doubt that it is also due to our 
determined efforts to open markets.  Over the last three years, we have 
reached 21 separate market access agreements with Japan in sectors as 
diverse as autos and auto parts, agriculture, telecommunications and 
medical technology.  We will be vigilant in ensuring the implementation 
of existing agreements -- and in resolving outstanding trade disputes in 
areas such as film,  semiconductors and insurance.  And we will press 
for further deregulation of Japan's economy, which will benefit Japanese 
consumers as well as American and other foreign businesses. 
 
	Of course, no nation is playing a larger role in shaping the 
future of Asia than China.  How our relationship with China develops 
will have a vast impact on our future.  Nobody should have any illusions 
about the difficulty of dealing with this emerging power during a time 
of transition.  But nobody should have any doubt about how important a 
stable, open and prosperous China is to our interests.  What is vital is 
keeping a clear eye on our strategic interest in moving China in that 
direction.  Your companies' capital, technology and ideas are already 
playing a critical role in integrating China into the mainstream of the 
global economy and the international community.   
 
	The United States shares an array of important interests with 
China -- and we have worked hard over the last three years to advance 
them.  I have met with my counterpart Vice Premier and Foreign Minister 
Qian Qichen 13 times since I became Secretary of State.  We have been 
able to work together to extend the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 
and to resolve the threat posed by the North Korean nuclear program.  We 
have engaged with China in our effort to ban nuclear testing, to fight 
drug trafficking and alien smuggling and to protect the environment. 
 
	When we have problems with China's actions, we have pressed our 
interests candidly and forcefully.  As you know, we have stressed to 
China the importance of fully implementing the agreement on protecting 
intellectual property rights that we concluded in March 1995.  The 
piracy of CD's, videos, and software is growing, causing billions of 
dollars in losses to American companies.  The President has made it 
clear that if the Chinese do not deal with this IPR piracy, we will have 
no choice but to go ahead with a carefully targeted but quite 
substantial list of sanctions provided for by U.S. law. 
 
	We will continue to pursue our interests vigorously, whether the 
issue is security, trade, non-proliferation or human rights. Last month, 
for example, we sent an unmistakable signal to China that the use of 
force across the Taiwan Strait would be a matter of grave concern to the 
United States.   
 
	But we reject the counsel of those who seek to contain or isolate 
China.  Far from protecting our interests, such a course would harm 
them.  
 
	It is in this broad context that we will be supporting the 
continuation of MFN for China once again next month.  The President and 
I will make the case that the case that the best way to advance our 
interests is to maintain our engagement -- an approach pursued by six 
presidents and now endorsed, I am pleased to note, by Senator Dole.  
Revoking or conditioning MFN now would not advance human rights in 
China.  But it would damage our economy -- and harm Hong Kong and 
Taiwan, and other Asian allies and friends.  That is why Hong Kong 
legislative leader Martin Lee and Governor Chris Patten, with whom I met 
yesterday morning, support MFN's unconditional renewal. 
 
	Our alliance with South Korea is also another vital relationship.  
During the last three years, we have developed an unprecedented degree 
of cooperation.  Our strong partnership enabled us to forge an agreement 
to freeze North Korea's dangerous nuclear program and put it on course 
for dismantlement. We have also made great commercial progress in what 
is now our fifth largest export market.  We expanded our exports last 
year by 40 percent -- and now have a trade surplus.   
 
	As you know, to reach a durable peace on the Peninsula, President 
Clinton and President Kim Young Sam recently offered a proposal for 
four-party talks among the United States, South Korea, North Korea and 
China.  China has said that the proposal is "reasonable" and that it 
will participate if North Korea does.  North Korea, for its part, has 
indicated that it is seriously studying the proposal. 
 
	The nations of ASEAN -- Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, 
the Philippines, Brunei, and now Vietnam -- are essential to our 
security and economic interests in Asia.  Their rapidly growing markets 
collectively represent our fourth largest trading partner.  We are 
working hard in Southeast Asia to protect intellectual property rights, 
promote U.S. investment, and expand U.S. exports, which rose by more 
than 10 percent in 1994. 
	 
	Like any other region, the Asia-Pacific region has its share of 
problems that make the business environment difficult.  As Secretary, 
one of my top priorities has been to fight the corrupt practices that I 
know cost American companies billions of dollars in orders and contracts 
every year.  In late 1993, I launched a global initiative through the 
OECD to unite supplier nations to end illicit payments.  I am delighted 
that we have reached agreement to prevent bribes paid to foreign 
officials from being tax-deductible as a business expense.  I hope they 
will soon be outlawed altogether.  In a parallel effort, I have also 
intensified our efforts through APEC to increase the transparency of 
bidding practices in government procurement in this region -- where as 
you know there will be such massive demand over the next two decades. 
 
	During the last three years, this Administration has placed an 
unprecedented emphasis on our interlocking strategic and economic 
interests in Asia and around the world.  We will continue to work with 
you to seize the opportunities that Asia has to offer -- opportunities 
that are so critical to America's future.   
 
	Thank you very much. 
 
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