“America and other nations of the Asia-Pacific must continue to strengthen existing alliances, forge new partnerships, and build coalitions based on common interests to ensure this region’s future is peaceful and prosperous.”
This was U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s message at the Asia Security Summit in Singapore. He emphasized that peace and prosperity in Asia depend on a commitment to certain foundational principles. These include fidelity to the rule of law; open access by all to sea, air, space and cyberspace; the principle of resolving conflict without the use of force; and free trade.
"Unfortunately," said Secretary Hagel, "some nations continue to dismiss these values and pursue a disruptive path – most notably, North Korea."
“The United States has been committed to ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula for sixty years. That means deterring North Korean aggression and protecting U.S. allies, and achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The United States has been clear that it will take all necessary steps to protect our homeland and our allies from dangerous provocations, including significantly bolstering its missile defense throughout the Pacific.”
The decisions we make today will help determine how that future unfolds in what will undoubtedly be a Pacific century."
The best way to counteract this and other threats and create a strong and stable future is by working with our partners and allies in the region. Secretary Hagel emphasized that “America is implementing a rebalance – which is primarily a diplomatic, economic, and cultural strategy.
"President Obama is increasing funding for diplomacy and development in Asia, including a seven percent increase in foreign assistance in the Asia-Pacific region. The United States is providing new resources for regional efforts such as the Lower Mekong Initiative, which helps improve water management, disaster resilience, and public health. We have built strong momentum toward implementing a next-generation trade and investment agreement through the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. We are fostering regional trade and investment through our work in APEC and our support to ASEAN.”
"Together," said Secretary Hagel, "we have the opportunity to forge a secure, prosperous and inclusive future. The decisions we make today will help determine how that future unfolds in what will undoubtedly be a Pacific century."