[The following are excerpts of the remarks presented to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Washington, D.C., March 2, 2004.]
Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to share with the Committee our priorities for foreign assistance programs in the East Asia and Pacific region for fiscal year 2005.
Overview: U.S. Interests
The Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP) has placed counter-terrorism (CT) at the top of its list of strategic foreign assistance goals for fiscal year 2005. In light of a continued terrorist threat in Southeast Asia, evident in major bombings in Bali and Jakarta in the past two years, efforts to combat terrorist activity have been central to the pursuit of EAP's strategic goals that encompass the following: our traditional, primary long-term goal of promoting regional stability; fostering democracy and human rights; encouraging economic prosperity; fighting transnational issues and international crime; and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Counter-terrorism: Terrorism in the Asia-Pacific region is a serious threat to U.S. national security interests, including the welfare and security of American citizens in the region and the security of friends and allies. It poses a direct and immediate threat to regional trends toward stability, democratization, and prosperity that are otherwise generally positive. The Bureau's goal is to root out terrorism and address the underlying conditions, including the absence of rule of law, that make the region vulnerable to terror.
EAP will work with countries in the region bilaterally and through regional organizations to strengthen their capacity to combat terrorism and to foster the type of international cooperation needed to fight the global war on terrorism.
In Indonesia, for example, we intend to build on the successful efforts, funded by the Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining, and Related Programs (NADR) account, to continue training and to expand the Indonesian National Police's Counter-terrorism Task Force. And, we will use the increase in fiscal year 2005 Economic Support Fund (ESF) funds for Indonesia to support basic education through our United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program as a key element in the effort to combat terror. This initiative, announced by President Bush in October of 2003, will prepare Indonesia's children to be effective participants in their own democratic society while reducing extremism and intolerance, and supporting democracy and respect for diversity. The bureau will leverage U.S. efforts through cooperation with friends and allies, particularly those with the capability to help build regional CT capacity, including Japan, Australia, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and China.
Regional stability has long been the Bureau's main long-term strategic goal. In fiscal year 2005, regional stability will be advanced through success in attacking terrorism. EAP will sustain alliances with our five treaty partners in the region while promoting their increased integration into U.S. regional and international strategy; promote stability in Northeast Asia, including on the Korean Peninsula; support the positive integration of China into regional and global institutions; strengthen regional institutions for managing political and economic challenges, including the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC); and pursue regional growth and integration through free trade agreements (FTAs), Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFAs), market openings, and other economic liberalization measures, as well as through democratization and rule of law programs.
The ASEAN Cooperation Plan is an essential tool for building long-term stability in Southeast Asia. To support activities under the ASEAN Cooperation Plan, we have requested $2. …