White House Office of the Press Secretary
September 6, 2007
Strengthening the Forces of Freedom and Prosperity in the Asia Pacific
President Bush Supports APEC Nations Working To Uphold Democratic Values, Help Build And Sustain Free Societies
Today, President Bush Addressed The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Summit And Reiterated America's Commitment To Help Strengthen The Expansion Of Freedom And Prosperity In The Region. The expansion of freedom and democracy in the Asia Pacific region is one of the great stories of our time. At the end of World War II, Australia and New Zealand were the only democracies in the region, but we have since witnessed Japan's transformation into a thriving free society, the triumph of democracy in the Philippines, democratic transitions in Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia, and the birth of a new democratic nation in East Timor.
The Expansion Of Trade And Investment Will Help Strengthen Freedom And Prosperity In The Asia Pacific Region
The United States Has Both The Will And The Flexibility To Help Conclude A Successful Doha Round - And We Will Work Steadfastly With Our APEC Partners In This Vital Effort. The Doha round of trade negotiations represents a once-in-a-generation chance to open markets and help millions rise from poverty. The U.S. is committed to seizing this opportunity, but we need partners in the Asia Pacific region to help lead the effort.
The U.S. Will Work With APEC Countries To Address The Challenge Of Global Climate Change And Energy Security
Under Prime Minister Howard's Leadership, APEC Is Discussing And Developing A Practical Set Of Priorities For Cooperation On Energy Security, Clean Development, And Climate Change. The work done at APEC will make an important contribution to UN discussions about a new framework on energy security and climate change.
The U.S. And APEC Countries Are Standing Side By Side In The Global War On Terror
APEC Nations Are Making Our World Safer By Helping People In The Middle East Build Free And Hopeful Societies That Fight The Terrorists Instead Of Harboring Them.
The Fight Against The Terrorists In The Asia Pacific Region Is One Of The Untold Success Stories Of The War On Terror - And The Rest Of The World Has A Lot To Learn From The Approach To Terrorism Taken In This Region.
Nations in the Asia Pacific region have followed a clear strategy to defeat extremists:
1) Arresting And Killing Key Leaders And Operatives Of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) And The Filipino Terrorist Group Abu Sayyaf, The Two Most Dangerous Terrorist Networks In The Asia Pacific.
2) Providing Economic Assistance To Struggling Communities Where The Terrorists Operate. This assistance is strengthening moderate leaders and giving citizens alternatives to the path of radicalism and violence. For example:
3) Increasing Regional Cooperation In The Fight Against Terrorism.
4) Working To Defeat The Terrorists' Hateful Ideology.
The Vision Of Freedom And Prosperity Must Be Extended Throughout The Rest Of This Region
We Must Work For The Day When The People Of North Korea Enjoy The Same Freedoms As The Citizens In Asia's Democracies.
We Must Press The Regime In Burma To Stop Arresting, Harassing, And Assaulting Pro-Democracy Activists For Organizing Or Participating In Peaceful Demonstrations. The Burmese regime must release these activists immediately, stop its intimidation of those Burmese citizens who are promoting democracy and human rights, and release all political prisoners - including Aung San Suu Kyi.
We Will Continue To Work With Nations Like Russia To Advance Our Shared Interests In The World - While Encouraging Russia's Leaders To Respect The Checks And Balances That Are Essential To Democracy.
We Will Encourage Nations With Whom We Have Strong Relations, Such As China, To Open Up Their Political Systems And Give Greater Voice To Their People.
We Look Forward To Free And Fair Elections In Thailand.