We have an ironclad commitment to the sovereignty, independence, and security of every ally. And we’ll expand cooperation between allies, because we believe we’re stronger when we stand together.
The United States will continue to modernize our defense posture across the region. We’ll deploy more of our most advanced military capabilities to keep the peace and deter aggression. Our presence will be more distributed, including in Southeast Asia with partners like Singapore. And we’ll increase military training and education, including working with the military partners we have in this region around the respect for human rights by military and police. And by the end of this decade, a majority of our Navy and Air Force fleets will be based out of the Pacific, because the United States is, and will always be, a Pacific power.
And keep in mind we do this without any territorial claims. We do this based on our belief that a region that is peaceful and prosperous is good for us and is good for the world.
The United States will continue broadening our cooperation with emerging powers and emerging economies. We intend to help Vietnam pursue economic reforms and new maritime capabilities. We will continue to move ahead with our comprehensive partnership with Indonesia, which is a strong example of diversity and pluralism. We’ll continue to expand ties with Malaysia, a growing center of entrepreneurship and innovation. And we support a greater role in the Asia Pacific for India, which is the world’s largest democracy.
The United States will continue expanding our engagement with regional institutions, because together we can meet shared challenges — from preventing the horror of human trafficking to countering violent extremism, to stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. Together, we can improve maritime security, upholding freedom of navigation and encouraging territorial disputes are resolved peacefully. We’ll work with partners to develop the East Asia Summit into the region’s leading forum for addressing political and security challenges. And we’ll support ASEAN’s effort to reach a code of conduct with China that reinforces international law in the South China Sea.
And speaking of China, the United States will continue to pursue a constructive relationship with China. By virtue of its size and its remarkable growth, China will inevitably play a critical role in the future of this region. And the question is, what kind of role will it play? I just came from Beijing, and I said there, the United States welcomes the continuing rise of a China that is peaceful and prosperous and stable and that plays a responsible role in world affairs. It is a remarkable achievement that millions of people have been lifted out of poverty in China because of the extraordinary growth rates that they’ve experienced. That is a good thing. We should want and welcome that kind of development.
And if, in fact, China is playing the role of a responsible actor that is peaceful and prosperous and stable, that is good for this region, it’s good for the world, it’s good for the United States. So we’ll pursue cooperation with China where our interests overlap or align. And there are significant areas of overlap: More trade and investment; more communications between our militaries to prevent misunderstandings or possible conflict; more travel and exchanges between our people; and more cooperation on global challenges, from Ebola to climate change.
But in this engagement we are also encouraging China to adhere to the same rules as other nations — whether in trade or on the seas. And in this engagement we will continue to be frank about where there are differences, because America will continue to stand up for our interests and principles, including our unwavering support for the fundamental human rights of all people.
We do not benefit from a relationship with China or any other country in which we put our values and our ideals aside. And for the young people, practicality is a good thing. There are times where compromise is necessary. That’s part of wisdom. But it’s also important to hang on to what you believe — to know what you believe and then be willing to stand up for it. And what’s true for individuals is also true for countries.
The United States will continue to promote economic growth that is sustainable and shared. So we’re going to work with APEC to tear down barriers to trade and investment and combat the corruption that steals from so many citizens. We’ll keep opposing special preferences for state-owned companies. We’ll oppose cyber-theft of trade secrets. We’ll work with partners to invest in the region’s infrastructure in a way that’s open and transparent. We’ll support reforms that help economies transition to models that boost domestic demand and invest in people and their education and their skills.
We’ll keep leading the effort to realize the Trans-Pacific Partnership to lower barriers, open markets, export goods, and create good jobs for our people. But with the 12 countries of the TPP making up nearly 40 percent of the global economy, this is also about something bigger. It is our chance to put in place new, high standards for trade in the 21st century that uphold our values. So, for example, we are pushing new standards in this trade agreement, requiring countries that participate to protect their workers better and to protect the environment better, and protect intellectual property that unleashes innovation, and baseline standards to ensure transparency and rule of law.
It’s about a future where instead of being dependent on a single market, countries integrate their economies so they’re innovating and growing together. That’s what TPP does. That’s why it would be a historic achievement. That’s why I believe so strongly that we need to get it done — not just for our countries, but for the world.
To read the complete text, visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/15/remarks-president-obama-university-queensland.