The East Asia and Pacific region is home to five United States treaty allies and one-third of the world's population. Over the years, dynamic economic growth has brought prosperity, created massive new middle classes, and accelerated regional integration. The burgeoning economies of East Asia are generating historic changes in regional political, security, and economic relationships. Our interest is based on principle, on U.S. national security, and on our broader development goals as outlined in the President's Freedom Agenda and the National Security Strategy. As we advance these interests, we will seek to intensify our coordination efforts with key donors in the region, such as Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Finally, U.S. support for good governance and democratization reinforces our development and transformational diplomacy goals of working with partners to help them build their own sustainable institutions of democratic governance.
Promoting Peace and Security: Our foremost regional priority is to protect our vital interests: stability, security, and peace. We will seek to sustain partnerships with our treaty allies—Australia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand. Through strengthened multilateral cooperation with our partners, we seek to end verifiably North Korea's nuclear and missile programs and fully implement UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1718. We will expand dialogue with China, encouraging it to act as a responsible stakeholder in the international system and encouraging dialogue between Beijing and the elected leaders in Taipei. We will support increasing economic and social integration across the Taiwan Strait while upholding our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act. We will work to promote stability in the Pacific island states. Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, and the Philippines, a treaty ally and the region's oldest democracy, are flagships of our transformational diplomacy efforts. We will build on successful counterterrorism and nonproliferation programs and seek to enhance our maritime security cooperation with the littoral countries in East Asia. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 1, 2, and 4)
Promoting Freedom, Human Rights and Democracy: Within the region, democratic governance is rapidly evolving; and advancing human rights, freedom, and democracy are critical to combating the spread of terrorism. We will focus significant resources and effort in supporting Indonesia's new democracy, the success of which is critical to U.S. interests in the region and globally. We will work to strengthen good governance in Mongolia's promising young democracy, and expand efforts to help newly-independent East Timor maintain its fragile democracy and stability. While democracy has advanced, institutions are fragile, and freedom remains remote for many. We will encourage the development of more open and accountable political, regulatory, and legal systems in countries such as China and Vietnam, and the return of democratically elected governments in Thailand and Fiji following military coups in 2006. We will promote human rights and credible accountability for past abuses in Cambodia, and continue to press for democratic change in Burma while building the capacity of democratic forces for the enormous governance challenges that will arise when political change comes. We will build on ASEAN's commitment to the President to cooperate to promote good governance and fight corruption. With respect to North Korea we will need to keep international attention focused on human rights abuses, lack of democratic standards, and the plight of refugees. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 2 and 5)
Investing in People: Accessible educational systems, a skilled labor force and an informed electorate are essential for expanding economic and political development. Our efforts will bolster people's faith and confidence in governance as these investments, particularly at the local level, demonstrate that governments are responsive to citizens' needs. We have made notable strides to improve educational systems, advance environmental practices, and combat illegal trafficking. We will continue to provide HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment assistance and help strengthen basic and higher education throughout the region. Preventing and controlling the spread of other infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and avian influenza (AI) will continue to be regional priorities. Southeast Asia is "ground zero" for AI, the site of most AI cases and human deaths, and the most likely origin of a pandemic. Providing support to help countries combat this threat is critical. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 3 and others)
Promoting Trade, Investment, and Economic Development: Trade and investment are growing faster in East Asia than elsewhere in the world. In Indonesia and the Philippines we will seek to improve the business climate, promote economic development, curtail corruption, and improve financial sector soundness. Throughout the region we will continue to promote global trade liberalization through bilateral free trade agreements (FTA), tax treaties and Trade and Investment Framework Agreement negotiations and implementation, and engagement in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. We will continue to focus on clean water, sanitation, and clean energy technology as well as more effective use and management of natural resources and protection of biodiversity in China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Mekong Delta. We will promote responsible fisheries management in the Pacific. Furthermore, our support for the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate will be essential in view of China's strong demand for energy and energy services in the upcoming years. In Indonesia, the Philippines, and Cambodia, we will support workforce development, private sector competitiveness, and economic governance. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 4 and others)
Bolstering Multilateral Engagement: We must continue to bolster multilateral engagement and strengthen those regional fora of which we are members—the APEC forum and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF)—increasing our participation in them. APEC's future hinges on the U.S. commitment to revitalize it. Through robust implementation of our Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Enhanced Partnership Plan of Action, we will address issues such as disaster mitigation and preparedness, trafficking in persons, trade, finance, security, nonproliferation, energy, and the environment in a region that aims to become a single political and economic community by 2020. (Strategic Goal Linkages: 1, 4, and others)
|Countries Comprising the East Asia and the Pacific Region|
The following countries are in the East Asia and the Pacific region: