2016.02.15有關召集ASEAN領袖會議,Susan Rice的演講與問答

     AMBASSADOR RICE:  Good afternoon, everyone. 
It’s great to be with you all in beautiful Rancho Mirage, California.  We’re very excited to be hosting the leaders of 10 countries of ASEAN.  This summit is truly an historic occasion.  It’s the first time we’ve hosted ASEAN leaders here in the United States for this kind of meeting.  That we’ve succeeded in doing so reflects a return on seven years of significant and sustained investment by this administration and by President Obama, personally, in the Asia Pacific and in Southeast Asia in particular.  And it demonstrates our enduring commitment to this vital region.

     Indeed, as reflected by this summit, U.S.-ASEAN relations have never been stronger.  With nearly half the Earth’s population, one-third of global GDP, some of the world’s most capable militaries and some of the earth’s most critical ecosystems, the Asia Pacific region is increasingly the world’s political and economic center of gravity.  Which is why President Obama, from the very beginning, has prioritized engagement with Asia, recognizing that this region is central to U.S. interests in the 21st century.

     This was the impetus behind our Rebalance strategy, which aims to forge a network of partners throughout Asia who work together to build and sustain a rules-based regional order.  And, ASEAN, of course, is at the heart of Asia.  This 10-state union -- founded on common principles, like respect for international law, free trade, and peaceful resolution of disputes -- is a natural partner for the United States, and from day one has been a core focus of the rebalance.

     Our ties with Asia have expanded dramatically over the last seven years.  In 2009, we signed the Treaty of Amity and CooperationWe joined the East Asia Summit.  We became the first ASEAN Dialogue partner to establish a dedicated, diplomatic mission, and appoint a resident ambassador to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.  And in 2013, we created the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, YSEALI, which now has over 60,000 vibrant members.

     Our economic ties are also booming.  We have a quarter-trillion-dollar trade relationship with ASEAN, up 55 percent since 2009.  The ASEAN region is now the fourth-largest goods export market for the United States.  Trade with ASEAN countries supports more than 500,000 American jobs.  Last year alone, companies from right here in California exported $11 billion in goods to ASEAN.  In fact, companies from all 50 of our states engage in trade with ASEAN.  U.S. companies have been the largest investor in ASEAN, with a stock of more than $226 billion nearly doubling since 2008.

     ASEAN is also an increasingly important partner in addressing regional and global challenges -- from maritime disputes to climate change, pandemic disease to violent extremism, sustainable development to trafficking in persons -- which is why last year, during the President’s trip to Malaysia, we elevated our partnership with ASEAN to a strategic partnership.

     But there is much more we can still do together, and that’s why we’re here.  Over the next day and a half, we’ll discuss our shared interest in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, encouraging peaceful resolution of disputes, and combatting terrorism, pandemic disease, climate change, and trafficking in persons.

We’re quite aware that some of our ASEAN partners have a long way to go on human rights.  But the United States will continue, as we do everywhere, to stand up for the rights of all people -- and I emphasized this point last week in my meeting at the White House with civil society representatives from all 10 ASEAN countries.  The President, as always, will stress the importance of good governance, the rule of law, human rights, and a vibrant civil society, and capable, accountable institutions.

The unique and informal setting that we have here at Sunnylands will allow leaders to engage in more in-depth and candid discussions than is possible at the usual, more formal summit meetings.  So this we look forward to as a rare opportunity for candor and to identify new areas of cooperation that will help ensure peace and prosperity in this critical Asia Pacific region for our children and grandchildren.

Thank you all very much.  I’m happy to take a few questions.

Q    This is Jeff Mason.  With regard to the South China Sea, what is your expectation of all of the groups agreeing to --
MR. SCHULTZJeff, we’re having trouble hearing you.
     Q    -- and what is your reaction to, of course, the region that China has been pressuring countries like Cambodia and Laos not to sign on to that?
MR. SCHULTZJeff, we’re having trouble hearing you.  If you could repeat that and speak up.

Q    The question was, what is your expectation, Susan, tomorrow about the likelihood of a strong statement from all of ASEAN and the United States with regards to the South China Sea?  And what is your reaction to reports from the region about China having put pressure on some members not to sign that?
AMBASSADOR RICE:  I think the question was about Chinese pressure on some ASEAN partners and the potential statement about the South China Sea.  We will be continuing to work with our ASEAN partners on a potential statement that we might issue together.  This statement will cover a wide range of topics.  It won’t be focused primarily on the South China Sea.  And we obviously have issued such statements in the past with ASEAN, and in it we consistently underscore our shared commitment to a peaceful resolution of disputes, freedom of commerce and navigation, the rule of law, and the necessity of disputes being resolved through peaceful, legal means.

We also have expressed concerns about efforts to resolve disputes through other means, and we’ll continue to do so.  So I’m very confident that, among other topics that we will discuss during the next day and a half, this will be an important one -- by no means the only one.  And I’m confident that our shared commitment to upholding these norms will be reinforced.
Q    You’ve been working with some of these countries at the summit to try to limit their cooperation with North Korea, militarily, economically.  Can you be a little more specific on what you might expect to come out of this on that front?  And would you say you're putting pressure on them to do so?  Also, what effect do you expect that to have on North Korea?
AMBASSADOR RICE:  Well, North Korea is obviously a topic of interest to the entire region, certainly to the United States and our allies in Japan and the Republic of Korea.  So we will continue our work to contain and reduce the threat posed by North Korea.  We'll do it both in the context of our discussions here on the margins -- this is not a topic formally on the agenda -- but more urgently, as we have done bilaterally and trilaterally in our cooperation with the Korean government in Seoul and Japanese government as well.
In New York, we continue to work and see the negotiations on a Security Council resolution, which we expect will contain significant new sanctions, progress.  And so we'll be working on this issue, as we have been on multiple fronts simultaneously in the coming days.
Q    I'd like to follow up on North Korea.  You mentioned your efforts at the U.N. Security Council.  It seems that the Chinese still be reticent to have tougher sanctions against North Korea.  How can you get support around member states at the Security Council?
AMBASSADOR RICE:  Well, China is obviously a critical player at the United Nations and it, too, has choices to make.  We have had ongoing discussions with the Chinese in New York.  President Obama has spoken to President Xi.  I think these discussions are progressing.  But I think it unlikely that China wants to be seen by the international community as the protector of North Korea, given its recent outrageous behavior in violation of international law and U.N. Security Council resolution.
So, given that, I expect that they will indeed come onboard with significant new sanctions, and we're working towards that end.
Q    Madam Ambassador, may I ask a question on human rights?  The President is hosting people like Thammavong of Laos, Hun Sen of Cambodia, Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei, all people that have terrible human rights records.  And human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch, says that this sends a signal that the United States supports and legitimizes these leaders to their people, and that, in fact, the pivot to Asia is about a pivot to governments, rather than to people and civil society.  How would you respond to that?
AMBASSADOR RICE:  I dispute that strenuously.  We deal with countries around the world, including in Asia, with whom we have serous disagreements on human rights, on democracy, on corruption, and yet we do talk to them.  But at the same time, we take every opportunity, both publicly and privately, to underscore our grave concerns about human rights.  That's why I made mention of that in my opening statement.  That's why I spent an hour and a half last week with leaders of ASEAN civil society to hear their points of view, to ensure that their perspectives and concerns were incorporated into our thinking and planning for this summit.
We have stood with the people of Southeast Asia for many years as they seek to build more just, more open, more accountable societies.  We've been significant supporters of civil society organizations.  YSEALI, the President’s Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, is about the United States building people-to-people ties with the next generation of the region’s leaders.  So just because, in Asia, as elsewhere, we are obliged to deal with governments, including in some cases those with whom we have significant disagreements on things like human rights, does not mean that we're legitimizing them or their behavior, or that we have in any way lessened our commitment to democracy, human rights and civil society.
Thank you.
     Q    Thanks so much, Eric.  Let me go back to the South China Sea and the Sunnylands meeting.  I believe the United States and ASEAN countries are preparing Sunnylands principle, which include freedom of navigation and (inaudible), and also no militarization in the South China Sea.  So what particular message are you going to deliver in this meeting?  And also, has the United States asked ASEAN countries to play a role to sustain peace and security in the South China Sea?  What kind of role does the United States expect ASEAN to play?
     MR. SCHULTZ:  I know that Ambassador Rice addressed this briefly earlier, and I think we’ll also have more to say on this over the next 36 hours.  So I’m not going to get ahead of the President.  But our message on this is not particularly different today than it has been over the past few weeks and months, which is we fully support freedom of navigation and that we are going to stand by our partners in the region, and make sure that international norms are respected.
     All right, one more.

     Q    Just a follow-up question.  It’s more relevant to Asia perspective.  And frankly, I’m from Cambodia.  My question is, why Obama, he decided to host the summit in Sunnylands instead of the White House?
     MR. SCHULTZ:  Sure.  The President has used the venue here at Sunnylands as a relaxed venue where heads of state and other leaders, his counterparts from around the world, can have a more informal, casual discussion.  In Washington, there’s a little bit more of a stiffness.  And the President wanted to be able to afford the world leaders here more of an opportunity to have a more candid, relaxed discussion.