"As a Pacific nation -- led by our first Pacific President -- we have an enduring interest in advancing security, prosperity, and human dignity across this region," said U.S. Deputy Secretary William Burns in mid-December.
Speaking at the Institute For Strategic And International Studies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, he noted that the United States is focused on Asia. The U.S. will continue to broaden and deepen our bilateral security cooperation with treaty allies; work toward partnerships with new and emerging players; and engage in the development of regional multilateral institutions, such as ASEAN, APEC, and the East Asia Summit.
“Undergirding this strategy,” said Deputy Secretary Burns, “is our commitment to advancing democratic values and human rights, as the best way to ensure that rising prosperity benefits all citizens.”
Our partnership with Malaysia is an important part of this strategy. “We see Malaysia not just as a close partner, but as a natural partner because of the values and goals we share,” said Deputy Secretary Burns.
We are putting economics at the center of our foreign policy in every region of the world, seeking to foster a system of open, free, transparent and fair economic competition. We see a strong partnership with Malaysia as an economic anchor for all of Southeast Asia. The United States and Malaysia are committed to helping build East Asia’s regional architecture into a lasting network of institutions. We are also cooperating on projects beyond Asia, “to address those challenges that no country can solve on its own,” such as fighting piracy and improving global security.
And finally, we are creating new connections between our people and societies, said Deputy Secretary Burns.
“We will triple the number of Americans helping teach English in Malaysia next month, January and will keep expanding in 2013 and 2014. In return, Malaysian scholars live and teach at U.S. Universities.
“The road before America and Malaysia holds enormous promise. ... Our people are learning together. Our governments are working together. Our values and interests push us ahead together,” said Deputy Secretary Burns. “There is no more dynamic part of the world today, and no region whose choices will be more consequential in the decades ahead for American interests, for Malaysia’s own future, and for the shape of the global system.”