Monday, November 25, 1996
ISSN: 0511-4187; Volume v32; Issue n47
Remarks to the parliament in Canberra. (Bill Clinton speech)(Transcript)
Total number of pages for this article: 6 FULL TEXT
� November 20, 1996
� Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker, Madame President of the Senate,to
the leader of the opposition and all the members of the Senate and House
and ladies and gentlemen here assembled. Let me begin, Prime Minister,
by thanking you, the people of Canberra, and all of Australia for the
absolutely tremendous welcome that Hillary and I and the entire American
after only a day, we all feel like we're on top of the world, and I
thank you for that. [Laughter]
� I appreciate the opportunity to speak to you in this great hall of
democracy. Your Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, was one of the very
few world leaders to address our United States Congress twice. Now, I
give you that fact as a point of interest, not a pitch for a return
engagement here. [Laughter] Forty-one years ago today - not today, 41
years ago this year - here is what he said to our people: "We have, with
your great country, as a result of war as well as of peace, a tie which
I believe to be unbreakable and a degree of affectionate, simple
understanding which I do not believe can be surpassed between any two
countries of the world."
� Today, 41 years later, the Prime Minister's insight still holds. The
ties between us span more than 200 years. In 1792, an American ship
named for brotherhood, the Philadelphia, arrived at Port Jackson with
supplies that helped to save the colonists from starvation. Former Prime
Minister Frasier noted that the beef that the Philadelphia carried had
been on board for 9 months, "well-cured" he called it. [Laughter]
and seasoned in peace, has also become well-cured. Our people have built
bridges of commerce and culture, friendship and trust, reaching over the
greatest expanse of ocean on Earth. The United States is proud to be
Australia's largest foreign investor and largest trading partner. We are
also proud of the wars we have fought together and the peace we have
fought to sustain together.
� The great diversity of our ties was born of shared experience and
common values. Our pioneers both settled vast frontiers and built free
nations across entire continents. In one another, I really believe we
see a distant mirror of our better selves, reflections of liberty and
decency, of openness and vitality. In this century, our bonds have truly
been forged in the fires of wars, war after war after war. Together we
carried liberty's torch in the darkest nights of the 20th century.
� My message to you today is that together we must embrace the dawn of
this new century together, and we must make the most of it together. We
carried a torch through the night; now we can create the dawn our
for your fierce love of liberty and your unfailing friendship to the
United States, the American people thank you. And the American people
look forward with you to this new era of freedom and possibilities.
After all, our nations are at peace; our economies are strong. The ideas
we have struggled for, freedom of religion, speech and assembly, open
markets, tolerance, they're more and more the habits of all humanity.
For the first time in all history, two-thirds of all the nations on this
Earth and more than half the people alive today are ruled by governments
picked by their own people. The rigid blocs and barriers that too long
defined the world are giving way to an era of breathtaking expansion of
information technology and information.
� And because of these things, we now have a chance, greater than any
generation of people who ever lived before us, to give more and more
people the opportunity to realize their God-given potential, to live
their own dreams, not someone else's plan.
� But this chance we have is nothing more than that. It is a chance, not
a guarantee. For all its promise, we know this new century will not be
our responsibility. Nations and people still will be tempted to fight
wars for territory or out of ethnic, religious, or racial hatred. As I
told the American people over and over again during the recent election
campaign, it was literally heartbreaking to me to think of how much of
their time I had to spend dealing with people who still believe it's all
right to murder each other and each other's children because of their
racial, their religious, their ethnic, their tribal differences. We must
stand against that, and the example of how we live together must be a
rebuke to that in the 21st century.
� And make no mistake about it, there is a nexus of new threats:
terrorists, rogue states, international criminals, drug traffickers.
They, too, menace our security, and they will do more of it in the new
century. They will be all the more lethal if they gain access to weapons
of mass destruction, whether nuclear, chemical, or biological.
� Because of our size, our strength, our prosperity, and the power of
our example, Australia and the United States have a special
responsibility, not only to seize the opportunities but to move against
the new threats of the 21st century. Together we can reduce even more
terrorists and the drug traffickers. We can extend the reach of free and
fair trade. We can advance democracy around the world. And yes, we can
prove that free societies can embrace the economic and social changes,
and the ethnic, racial, and religious diversity this new era brings and
come out stronger and freer than ever.
� The threat of nuclear weapons born a half century ago finally is
diminishing as a new century begins. The United States and Russia are
reducing our arsenals, pointing our weapons away from one another,
working to safeguard nuclear materials and facilities. Every single
Australian should be very proud of the role your country has played in
guiding the world toward a more secure future. You helped lead the fight
to extend the nonproliferation treaty. Your determined diplomacy brought
the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to reality and the world to the verge
of banning all nuclear testing for all time. Every nation is in your
debt for that achievement. And on behalf, again, of the people of the
United States, I say thank you.
� Now we must pursue together our remaining arms control agenda: further
reductions in Russia's and America's arsenals once Russia ratifies START
gas in the battlefield and our people never fall victim to it in a
terrorist attack; a stronger biological weapons convention, so that
disease is never used as a weapon of war; a worldwide ban on landmines,
so that all our children can walk with confidence on the earth beneath
� As we deal with these challenges to our security, we must recognize
the new ones which are emerging and the new approaches they require.
Terrorism, international crime, and drug trafficking are forces of
destruction that have no tolerance for national borders. Together we
must show zero tolerance for them. That means putting pressure on rogue
states, not doing business with them. It's very difficult to do business
by day with people who kill innocent civilians by night.
� It means giving no aid and quarter to terrorists who slaughter the
innocent and drug traffickers who poison our children. It means, in
short, pursuing a concerted strategy: intelligence and police
cooperation worldwide; coordinated legal action in every country to stop
money laundering; shut down gray markets for guns and false documents;
and increase of extraditions. It means security coordination in our
enforcement officials the tools they need to cooperate and to succeed.
� The measure of our people's security includes not only their physical
safety, however, but as we all know, their economic well-being. Our two
countries have led in opening markets around the world, and we can be
pleased with our progress. Through GATT, the WTO, APEC, and literally
hundreds of smaller accords, we are moving to extend the reach of free
and fair trade. But we can do more, issue by issue, agreement by
� I am determined to work with Congress in my second term to move ahead
boldly on market opening initiatives around the world. Decades from now
I want people to say that our generation rose to the challenge of
creating a new, open trading system for the 21st century. If we do, more
people will have good jobs and better lives as they share in humanity's
genius for progress. Over the long term, we can best advance the
security and prosperity we seek by expanding and strengthening not only
trade but the community of free nations.
� The tide of democracy is now running strong and deep. Consider this:
Moldova, Nicaragua, and Thailand have freely elected their leaders, a
prospect literally unimaginable not very long ago. In my own hemisphere,
every nation but one has raised freedom's flag. In Central Europe and in
Russia, Ukraine, and the other New Independent States the forces of
reform have earned our respect and deserve our continued support.
� For the first time since the rise of nation-states on the continent of
Europe, it is literally conceivable that we have an opportunity, a real
and tangible opportunity, to build a continent that is democratic,
undivided, and at peace. It has never been possible before, and together
we can achieve it now.
� Now, I know that some people on both sides of the Pacific are
concerned that America's continuing involvement with Europe and our
intense renewed involvement with our neighbors in Latin America will
lead to dis-engagement from the Asia-Pacific region. They are wrong. Mr.
Prime Minister, if I could borrow your eloquent phrase - at least I'm
giving you credit, as we politicians don't often do - [laughter] - the
United States does not need to choose between our history and our
geography. We need not choose between Europe and Asia. In a global
no less than to the West. Our security demands it. After all, we fought
three wars here in living memory. The cold war's last frontier lies now
on the Korean Peninsula. The region as a whole is in the midst of
profound change, so our security demands it. Our prosperity requires it.
One-third of our exports and more than 2 million American jobs depend
upon our trade with Asia. Over the next decade, Asia's remarkable growth
will mean ever-expanding markets for those who can compete in them. Our
future cannot be secure if Asia's future is in doubt.
� As we enter the 21st century, therefore, I say to you that America not
only has been, she is and will remain a Pacific power. We want America's
involvement and influence to provide the stability among nations which
is necessary for the people of the Asia-Pacific region to make the
routines of normal life a reality and to spur the economic progress that
will benefit all of us.
� To meet those challenges of stability, we are now pursuing three
objectives: stronger alliances, deeper engagement with China, and a
larger community of democracies. First, we share the view of almost
every nation in Asia that a strong American security presence remains
troops across the Pacific, just as we maintain about 100,000 troops in
Europe. We will keep them well-trained, well-equipped, and
well-prepared. We will continue to revitalize our core alliances both
bilaterally and regionally.
� These efforts, let me say clearly, are not directed against any
nation. They are intended to advance security and stability for everyone
so thatwe can grow together and work together, all of us in the new
� Our alliance with a democratic, prosperous Japan has been one of the
great achievements of the postwar period. Last spring, after more than a
year's hard study and work, Prime Minister Hashimoto and I signed a new
security charter. Japan's continued support for our military presence
and even closer links between our armed forces will enable us to deepen
our cooperation on behalf of peace and stability in this region and
� With our close ally in South Korea, we're working to reduce tensions
on the Korean Peninsula that threaten all of northeast Asia. We must
proposed last spring. And we must continue our work to dismantle North
Korea's frozen nuclear program.
� We are reinforcing our security ties with the Philippines and
Thailand, while multiplying the power of our troops through greater
access to regional military facilities.
� And finally and simply put, the defense links between the United
States and Australia have never been stronger in peacetime. Mr. Prime
Minister and members of Parliament, the agreements our foreign and
defense ministers signed this summer in Sydney authorized the largest
exercises involving our troops since World War II. American marines will
soon begin training in northern Australia. And we are deepening our
already strong security cooperation. Today I say, again, with utter
confidence, our alliance is not just for this time, it is for all time.
� As we work nation to nation, let us continue to build a new
architecture for regional security as well, an architecture through
ASEAN that will strengthen our ability to confront common challenges.
Already this effort is helping to defuse tensions in the South China Sea
� Our second stabilizing objective is deeper engagement with China. The
direction China takes in the years to come, the way it defines its
greatness in the future, will help to decide whether the next century is
one of conflict or cooperation. The emergence of a stable, an open, a
prosperous China, a strong China confident of its place in the world and
willing to assume its responsibilities as a great nation is in our
� True cooperation is both possible and plainly productive. We worked
closely with China to extend the nuclear nonproliferation treaty and to
secure the passage of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. We joined to
shore up peace in Cambodia and increase stability on the Korean
Peninsula. We're making progress together on some tough issues, from
nuclear technology to intellectual property rights.
� The United States and China will continue to have important
differences, especially in the area of human rights, and we will
continue to discuss them candidly. But by working together where
necessary, we can deepen our dialog and add to Asia's stability. I look
forward to doing just that when I meet for the fourth time with
President Jiang in the Philippines next week.
� The third part of our work for stability is support for the advance of
democracy. Our two nations know that democracy comes in many forms.
Neither of us seeks to impose our own vision on others, but we also
share the conviction that some basic rights are universal. We have to
decide whether we believe that. I believe everywhere people aspire to be
treated with dignity, to give voice to their opinions, to choose their
own leaders. We have seen these dreams realized in the democratic
odyssey of the Asia-Pacific, from Japan to South Korea to Thailand and
� In this century we have sacrificed many of our sons and daughters,
your nation and ours, for the cause of freedom. And so we must continue
to speak for the cause of freedom in this new age of commerce and trade
and technology. We must push repressive regimes in places like Burma to
pursue reconciliation and genuine political dialog. We must assist new
democracies like Cambodia by encouraging the development of political
parties and institutions.
� We know that the freer and better educated people are, the more
creative they become, the better able they are to compete, the more able
they are to satisfy each other's deepest wants and needs. We can look at
the economic vitality of the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, and South
Korea to see the proof of this assertion.
� As stability extends its reach and strengthens its grip, the Pacific
may finally be able to live up to its name. In Cambodia, farmers once
again till the land that had become horrific killing fields. In Vietnam,
schoolchildren can worry more about their exams than about the war. From
Bangkok to Manila, power is no longer used against the people, it is in
the hands of the people.
� A generation ago, it was hard to imagine how rapidly freedom could
come to these nations, how rapidly their economies could grow. But freed
from the threat of war, unleashed by their newfound freedoms, the people
of this region have built among the greatest success stories the world
has ever seen. They have transformed economic wastelands into powerful
engines for growth, enriched the lives of millions by harnessing the
clearly the most dynamic on Earth.
� More than 7 million Americans trace their roots to Asia. Five of our
States touch the Pacific. We are inexorably linked to the promise of the
Asia-Pacific region. That's why in the first year of my term I sought to
elevate the APEC forum, that began right here in Canberra, into the
first-ever meeting of Asian-Pacific leaders. At our inaugural summit in
Seattle, working closely with your former Prime Minister, Paul Keating,
we agreed to give this extraordinarily diverse region a common goal, to
work as a community of nations committed to economic integration.
� A year later in Jakarta, we made a historic commitment, free trade and
investment in the region by 2020. Some said that was an illusory vision.
But already that vision is becoming a blueprint, a blueprint taking
shape as concrete commitments. At next week's leaders' meeting, Prime
Minister Howard and I hope and expect that APEC will give a boost to
specific market-opening initiatives. For me, I hope that means
unshackling trade in computers, semiconductors, and telecommunications,
the high-tech sectors of the future. We have an opportunity to set an
example for the rest of the world, and we ought to seize it. If we do,
and those who receive them.
� Progress, after all, is not yet everyone's partner, and we have a
responsibility to open the doors of opportunity to those who remain
outside the global economy. For example, some two-thirds of the people
on our planet have no access to a telephone. I found that hard to
believe when I saw so many of your fellow citizens with their cell
phones in their hands as I drove up and down your streets. [Laughter]
� More than half the people of the world are 2 days' walk from a
telephone. They are totally disconnected from the communications and
information revolution that is the present vehicle for human progress
and possibility. If we add their creative energies to the mix which now
exists, of course, they will gain skills and jobs and greater wealth,
but we also will benefit from the higher growth rates, from the expanded
markets, and from the increasing likelihood that those people will find
peaceful, rather than warlike ways to release their energies. We can do
this if we have the courage not to retreat but, instead, to compete.
� At this year's meeting at APEC and everywhere I go, I will also
more determined than ever to create an Asian-Pacific community of shared
efforts, shared benefits, and shared destiny. The interests that compel
our engagement have grown, not shrunk, and so has our commitment to a
� We know from our past that we can succeed, that we are equal to the
difficulties ahead. I began today by quoting Prime Minister Menzies, so
let me conclude by returning to his words. He said, "The world needs
every scrap of democratic strength that can be found in it because
nobody, however optimistic, need underestimate the measure or the
character of danger that always confronts us. It is not merely our
privilege to be strong, it is our duty to be strong.
� The world needs Australia. The world needs the United States. It needs
us together as partners and friends and allies. We have stood together
in the hard times as partners and friends. Let us stand together and
work together now for a new future of peace and possibility that extends
to our children and our grandchildren and to all the children of the
between our nations. Thank you very much.
� NOTE: The President spoke at 4:10 p.m. at Parliament House. In his
remarks, he referred to Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto of Japan;
President Jiang Zemin of China; and President Kim Yong-sam of South