The Military and Democracy in Asia and the Pacific

The military versus democracy in Fiji: Problems for contemporary political development
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His trip will bring together two of our top priorities — renewed American leadership in Asia and a U. Now, the relationship between China and the United States is complex and of enormous consequence, and we are committed to getting it right. They apply a zero-sum calculation to our relationship. So whenever one of us succeeds, the other must fail.

But that is not our view. So we are working together to chart a positive, cooperative, and comprehensive relationship for this new century. There are also many in China who believe that the United States is bent on containing China, and I would simply point out that since the beginning of our diplomatic relations, China has experienced breathtaking growth and development.

Asia's Surprising Democratic Renaissance

And this is primarily due, of course, to the hard work of the Chinese people. But U.

Benjamin Reilly

And we do look forward to working closely with China, both bilaterally and through key institutions as it takes on a greater role, and at the same time, takes on more responsibility in regional and global affairs. On Iran, we look to China to help ensure the effective implementation of global sanctions aimed at preventing Iran from pursuing its nuclear ambitions.

On military matters, we seek a deeper dialogue in an effort to build trust and establish rules of the road as our militaries operate in greater proximity. On currency and trade, the United States seeks responsible policy adjustments that have been clearly articulated by Secretary Geithner and a better climate for American businesses, products, and intellectual property in China. Looking beyond our governments, our two countries must work together to increase the number of students studying in each country. And we have an initiative called Strong to promote that goal.

And on human rights, we seek a far-reaching dialogue that advances the protection of the universal rights of all people. We will welcome President Hu Jintao to Washington in early for a state visit. The United States is committed to making this visit a historic success. And I look forward to meeting with my counterpart, State Councilor Dai Bingguo later this week to help prepare for that trip. Now, our relationship with our allies and our partners are two of the three key elements of our engagement in the Asia Pacific region.

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If consequential security, political, and economic issues are being discussed, and if they involve our interests, then we will seek a seat at the table. And we see it as indispensible on a host of political, economic, and strategic matters.

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They have defined a new path forward for APEC on trade liberalization and promoted specific efforts to increase business investment in small and medium enterprises. We have been closely collaborating with Japan to prepare the way for our own leadership of APEC next year, and that will build on the leaders meeting here in Honolulu. And I appreciate the Host Committee members who are here for your support of this important meeting.

Our aim is to help APEC evolve into an important, results-oriented forum for driving shared and inclusive, sustainable economic progress. And we are working through the Pacific Island Forum to support the Pacific Island nations as they strive to really confront and solve the challenges they face, from climate change to freedom of navigation. Now, immediately following this speech, I will leave for Hanoi, where I will represent our country at the East Asia Summit. This will be the first time that the United States is participating and we are grateful for the opportunity.

So these are the primary tools of our engagement —our alliances, our partnerships, and multilateral institutions. And as we put these relationships to work, we do so in recognition that the United States is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the Asia Pacific—because of our history, our capabilities, and our credibility. People look to us, as they have for decades. Because they look to us to help create the conditions for broad, sustained economic growth and to ensure security by effectively deploying our own military and to defend human rights and dignity by supporting strong democratic institutions.

So we intend to project American leadership in these three areas—economic growth, regional security, and enduring values. These arenas formed the foundation of American leadership in the 20th century, and they are just as relevant in the 21st century. But the way we operate in these arenas has to change—because the world has changed and it will keep changing. The first is economic growth.

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And as I talk with business leaders across our own nation, I hear how important it is for the United States to expand our exports and our investment opportunities in the dynamic markets of Asia. These are essential features of the rebalancing agenda of our administration. Now, for our part, we are getting our house in order—increasing our savings, reforming our financial systems, relying less on borrowing. And President Obama has set a goal of doubling our exports, in order to create jobs and bring much-needed balance to our trade relationships.

But achieving balance in those relationships requires a two-way commitment. So we are working through APEC, the G, and our bilateral relationships to advocate for more open markets, fewer restrictions on exports, more transparency, and an overall commitment to fairness. American businesses and workers need to have confidence that they are operating on a level playing field, with predictable rules on everything from intellectual property to indigenous innovation.

I mentioned our earlier — I mentioned earlier our hope to complete discussions on the U. We are also pressing ahead with negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an innovative, ambitious multilateral free trade agreement that would bring together nine Pacific Rim countries, including four new free trade partners for the United States, and potentially others in the future.

Starting with the Korea Free Trade Agreement, continuing with the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, working together for financial rebalancing at the G, and culminating at the APEC Leaders Summit in Hawaii, we have a historic chance to create broad, sustained, and balanced growth across the Asia Pacific and we intend to seize that.

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Sustained economic progress relies on durable investments in stability and security—investments the United States will continue to make. Our military presence in Asia has deterred conflict and provided security for 60 years, and will continue to support economic growth and political integration.

But our military presence must evolve to reflect an evolving world. The Pentagon is now engaged in a comprehensive Global Posture Review, which will lay out a plan for the continued forward presence of U. That plan will reflect three principles: Our defense posture will become more politically sustainable, operationally resilient, and geographically dispersed. Indo-Pacific Command, Adm.

Philip Davidson, has noted.

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Yet advocating for liberal values and beliefs is certainly an important part of the concept. Many U.

The aim of a free and open Indo-Pacific is meant to draw a visible line between U. But if Washington fails to stand up for rights, Beijing actually has more leverage to promote its own models in Asia. Vice President Mike Pence, by far the most high-profile administration official to directly address rights issues, has touted the strategy and used visits to Asia to press regional leaders on rights and freedoms. It remains unclear how Secretary of State Mike Pompeo views them, though. He presided over the report on Rakhine state, which documented severe abuses against the Rohingya yet did not issue a genocide finding.

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But Pompeo also has pushed Myanmar to release the Reuters journalists and has issued strong statements on rights in some other regions of the world, including Latin America. This book is the first comprehensive, systematic investigation of the connection between civil society and political change in Asia—change toward open, participatory, and accountable politics.

Its findings suggest that the link between a vibrant civil society and democracy is indeterminate: certain types of civil society organizations support democracy, but others have the potential to undermine it.

"Democratic Control of the Military: Thailand in Comparative Perspective" 1/3

Further, the study argues that while civil society is a key factor in political change, democratic transition and consolidation hinge on the development of effective political parties, legislatures, and state institutions.