'자료/세계 자료'에 해당되는 글 42건

  1. 2021.10.06 2021, 오커스(AUKUS) statement, briefing, remarks
  2. 2021.08.17 Remarks by President Biden on Afghanistan(210831, 0830, 0816, 0814, 0723, 0708, 0625, 0414)
  3. 2021.07.02 시진핑 중국 공산당 창당 100주년 천안문광장 기념연설 전문(영문)
  4. 2021.06.17 2021 미러 제네바정상회담 뒤 Putin 단독회견문 News conference following Russia-US talks(0616, Kremnin)
  5. 2021.06.17 2021 미러 제네바 정상회담 공동성명(0616)+바이든 단독회견문U.S.+전용기 탑승전 회견-Russia Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability
  6. 2021.05.11 EU외교장관회의, 인도·태평양 협력에 관한 EU 전략(210421)
  7. 2021.05.09 바이든 취임100일, 상하원 합동회의 연설 Remarks by President Biden in Address to a Joint Session of Congress(210428, 수정본)
  8. 2021.04.28 푸틴 2021 러시아 연방의회 국정연설(0421)
  9. 2021.04.19 바이든-스가 첫 정상회담 공동성명+기자회견+CoRe partnership fact sheet(210416)
  10. 2021.04.19 미국 상원 외교위 The Strategic Competition Act of 2021
  11. 2021.04.16 Global Trend 2040
  12. 2021.04.14 미국 DNI 2021연례위협보고서(0413)
  13. 2021.03.30 Quad 정상회의 공동성명(“The Spirit of the Quad”)+4개국 정상 발언록+Fact sheet+기자회견(210312)
  14. 2021.03.30 U.S.-Japan Joint Press Statement(210316)+공동기자회견
  15. 2021.03.30 (미중 알래스카 고위급회담, 미국 국무부&중국 외교부 발표210318)Secretary Antony J. Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Director Yang And State Councilor Wang At the Top of Their Meeting
  16. 2021.03.05 바이든 '잠정 국가안보전략'+블링컨 연설+오스틴 펜타곤 메시지(210303) Biden Interim National Security Strategic Guidance+Blinken&Austin
  17. 2021.01.21 Inaugural Address of Jimmy Carter
  18. 2021.01.21 조 바이든 취임연설 [전문]
  19. 2021.01.19 First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln
  20. 2021.01.05 시진핑 신년사 2021(전문)
  21. 2020.12.15 Pompeo speech, Communist China and the Free World’s Future (20200723) 폼페이오 닉슨도서관 연설
  22. 2020.11.24 Why America Must Lead Again, 조 바이든 포린어페어즈 기고문(2020년 3/4월호) (1)
  23. 2020.05.19 PROTECTING OUR PEOPLE AND OUR ECONOMY FROM CORONAVIRUS -Warren Campaign-
  24. 2020.05.19 THE BIDEN PLAN TO COMBAT CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND PREPARE FOR FUTURE GLOBAL HEALTH THREATS
  25. 2019.12.06 나토 70주년 런던선언(London Declaration) 전문 + 사무총장 기자회견문
  26. 2019.10.11 미국-중국 상하이 코뮈니케(1972)
  27. 2019.10.02 그레타 툰베리(Greta Thunberg) UN연설(전문)
  28. 2019.10.02 Trump UN총회 연설 전문(2019)
  29. 2019.04.08 EU commission china trade report 190312
  30. 2019.02.12 미국-베트남 정상회담 공동기자회견 전문(2017.11.11)

 

The White House

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BRIEFING ROOM

Joint Leaders Statement on AUKUS

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

As leaders of Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, guided by our enduring ideals and shared commitment to the international rules-based order, we resolve to deepen diplomatic, security, and defense cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, including by working with partners, to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century. As part of this effort, we are announcing the creation of an enhanced trilateral security partnership called “AUKUS” — Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Through AUKUS, our governments will strengthen the ability of each to support our security and defense interests, building on our longstanding and ongoing bilateral ties. We will promote deeper information and technology sharing. We will foster deeper integration of security and defense-related science, technology, industrial bases, and supply chains. And in particular, we will significantly deepen cooperation on a range of security and defense capabilities.

As the first initiative under AUKUS, recognizing our common tradition as maritime democracies, we commit to a shared ambition to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. Today, we embark on a trilateral effort of 18 months to seek an optimal pathway to deliver this capability. We will leverage expertise from the United States and the United Kingdom, building on the two countries’ submarine programs to bring an Australian capability into service at the earliest achievable date.

The development of Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines would be a joint endeavor between the three nations, with a focus on interoperability, commonality, and mutual benefit. Australia is committed to adhering to the highest standards for safeguards, transparency, verification, and accountancy measures to ensure the non-proliferation, safety, and security of nuclear material and technology. Australia remains committed to fulfilling all of its obligations as a non-nuclear weapons state, including with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Our three nations are deeply committed to upholding our leadership on global non-proliferation.

Recognizing our deep defense ties, built over decades, today we also embark on further trilateral collaboration under AUKUS to enhance our joint capabilities and interoperability. These initial efforts will focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and additional undersea capabilities.

The endeavor we launch today will help sustain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. For more than 70 years, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, have worked together, along with other important allies and partners, to protect our shared values and promote security and prosperity. Today, with the formation of AUKUS, we recommit ourselves to this vision.

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Briefing Room | The White House

 

www.whitehouse.gov

Remarks by President Biden, Prime Minister Morrison of Australia, and Prime Minister Johnson of the United Kingdom Announcing the Creation of AUKUS

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021SPEECHES AND REMARKS

East Room

5:01 P.M. EDT

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  Well, good morning from Australia.  I’m very pleased to join two great friends of freedom and of Australia: Prime Minister Johnson and President Biden.

Today, we join our nations in a next-generation partnership built on a strong foundation of proven trust.

We have always seen the world through a similar lens.  We have always believed in a world that favors freedom; that respects human dignity, the rule of law, the independence of sovereign states, and the peaceful fellowship of nations.

And while we’ve always looked to each other to do what we believe is right, we have never left at — each other.  Always together.  Never alone.

Our world is becoming more complex, especially here in our region, the Indo-Pacific.  This affects us all.  The future of the Indo-Pacific will impact all our futures.

To meet these challenges, to help deliver the security and stability our region needs, we must now take our partnership to a new level — a partnership that seeks to engage, not to exclude; to contribute, not take; and to enable and empower, not to control or coerce.

And so, friends, AUKUS is born — a new enhanced trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.  AUKUS: a partnership where our technology, our scientists, our industry, our defense forces are all working together to deliver a safer and more secure region that ultimately benefits all.

AUKUS will also enhance our contribution to our growing network of partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region: ANZUS; our ASEAN friends; our bilateral strategic partners, the Quad; Five Eyes countries; and, of course, our dear Pacific family.

The first major initiative of AUKUS will be to deliver a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Australia.  Over the next 18 months, we will work together to seek to determine the best way forward to achieve this.  This will include an intense examination of what we need to do to exercise our nuclear stewardship responsibilities here in Australia.

We intend to build these submarines in Adelaide, Australia, in close cooperation with the United Kingdom and the United States.

But let me be clear: Australia is not seeking to acquire nuclear weapons or establish a civil nuclear capability.  And we will continue to meet all our nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

Australia has a long history of defense cooperation with the United States and the United Kingdom.  For more than a century, we have stood together for the course of peace and freedom, motivated by the beliefs we share, sustained by the bonds of friendship we have forged, enabled by the sacrifice of those who have gone before us, and inspired by our shared hope for those who will follow us.

And so, today, friends, we recommit ourselves to this cause and a new AUKUS vision.

PRIME MINISTER JOHNSON:  I’m delighted to join President Biden and Prime Minister Morrison to announce that the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States are creating a new trilateral defense partnership, known as AUKUS, with the aim of working hand in glove to preserve security and stability in the Indo-Pacific.
 
We’re opening a new chapter in our friendship, and the first task of this partnership will be to help Australia acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines, emphasizing, of course, that the submarines in question will be powered by nuclear reactors, not armed with nuclear weapons.  And our work will be fully in line with our non-proliferation obligations. 
 
This will be one of the most complex and technically demanding projects in the world, lasting for decades and requiring the most advanced technology.  It will draw on the expertise that the UK has acquired over generations, dating back to the launch of the Royal Navy’s first nuclear submarine over 60 years ago; and together, with the other opportunities from AUKUS, creating hundreds of highly skilled jobs across the United Kingdom, including in Scotland, the north of England, and the Midlands, taking forward this government’s driving purpose of leveling up across the whole country.
 
We will have a new opportunity to reinforce Britain’s place at the leading edge of science and technology, strengthening our national expertise.  And perhaps most significantly, the UK, Australia, and the U.S. will be joined even more closely together, reflecting the measure of trust between us, the depth of our friendship, and the enduring strength of our shared values of freedom and democracy.
 
Only a handful of countries possess nuclear-powered submarines, and it is a momentous decision for any nation to acquire this formidable capability and, perhaps, equally momentous, for any other state to come to its aid.  But Australia is one of our oldest friends, a kindred nation and a fellow democracy, and a natural partner in this enterprise.
 
Now, the UK will embark on this project alongside our allies, making the world safer and generating jobs across our United Kingdom.
 
Thank you.  Over to you, Mr. President.
 
PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Thank you, Boris.  And I want to thank that fellow down under.  Thank you very much, pal.  Appreciate it, Mr. Prime Minister.
 
I’m honored today to be joined by two of America’s closest allies — Australia and the United Kingdom — to launch a new phase of the trilateral security cooperation among our countries.
 
As Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Johnson said, I want to thank you for this partnership, your vision
as we embark together on this strategic mission.
 
Although Australia, the UK, and U.S. partnership — AUKUS — it sounds strange with all these acronyms, but it’s a good one, AUKUS — our nations will update and enhance our shared ability to take on the threats of the 21st century just as we did in the 20th century: together.
 
Our nations and our brave fighting forces have stood shoulder-to-shoulder for literally more than 100 years: through the trench fighting in World War I, the island hopping of World War II, during the frigid winters in Korea, and the scorching heat of the Persian Gulf.  The United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom have long been faithful and capable partners, and we’re even closer today.
 
Today, we’re taking another historic step to deepen and formalize cooperation among all three of our nations because we all recognize the imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term.
 
We need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region and how it may evolve.  Because the future of each of our nations — and indeed the world — depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific enduring and flourishing in the decades ahead — ahead.
 
This is about investing in our greatest source of strength — our alliances — and updating them to better meet the threats of today and tomorrow.
 
It’s about connecting America’s existing allies and partners in new ways and amplifying our ability to collaborate, recognizing that there is no regional divide separating the interests of our Atlantic and Pacific partners.
 
Indeed, this effort reflects a broader trend of key European countries playing an extremely important role in the Indo-Pacific. 
 
France, in particular, already has a substantial Indo-Pacific presence and is a key partner and ally in strengthening
the security and prosperity of the region.
 
The United States looks forward to working closely with France and other key countries as we go forward. 
 
And finally, this initiative is about making sure that each of us has a modern capability — the most modern capabilities we need — to maneuver and defend against rapidly evolving threats.  
 
AUKUS will bring together our sailors, our scientists, and our industries to maintain and expand our edge in military capabilities and critical technologies, such as cyber, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, and undersea domains.
 
You know, as a key project under AUKUS, we are launching consultations with Australia’s acquisition of conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines for its navy — conventionally armed.
 
I want to be exceedingly clear about this:  We’re not talking about nuclear-armed submarines.  These are conventionally armed submarines that are powered by nuclear reactors.  This technology is proven.  It’s safe.  And the United States and the UK have been operating nuclear-powered submarines for decades.
 
I have asked Secretary Austin and the Department of Defense
to lead this effort for the U.S. government in close collaboration with the Department of Energy and Department of State.
 
Our governments will now launch an 18-month consultation period to determine every element of this program — from workforce, to training requirements, to production timelines, to safeguards and nonproliferation measures, and to nuclear stewardship and safety — to ensure full compliance with each of our nation’s commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
 
We’ll all undertake this effort in a way that reflects the longstanding leadership in global nonproliferation and rigorous verification standards, in partnership and consultation with the International Atomic Energy Agency.
 
So, I want to thank the Prime Minister — Prime Minister Morrison and Prime Minister Johnson for their friendship, but mostly important for their leadership and partnership as we undertake this new phase of our security cooperation.
 
And the United States will also continue to work with ASEAN and the Quad, as was stated earlier; our five treaty allies and other close partners in the Indo-Pacific; as well as allies and partners in Europe and around the world to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific, and build a future of peace, opportunity
for all the people of the region. 
 
We’re joining together.  Partnerships are getting stronger.  This is what we’re about. 
 
I want to thank you all.  And I look forward to seeing both of you in person very soon, I hope. 
 
Thank you.  Thank you.

5:12 P.M. EDT

-----------------

Background Press Call on AUKUS

SEPTEMBER 15, 2021PRESS BRIEFINGS

Via Teleconference

9:03 A.M. EDT

MODERATOR:  Hi, everyone.  Thanks for joining us this morning.  Just to kick us off with some ground rules at the top: To reiterate, this call is on background.  It will be attributed to “senior administration officials.”  The contents of this call are embargoed until 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  And by joining this call, you are hereby agreeing to these ground rules.  Again, the contents are embargoed until 5:00 p.m. Eastern. 

Now, to quickly get into the topic of what we are discussing today: As you know, at 5:00 p.m., President Biden will be delivering remarks.  He will be delivering remarks alongside Prime Minister Morrison of Australia and Prime Minister Johnson of the UK, and they will be announcing the creation of a new trilateral security partnership between our three nations focused on the Indo-Pacific region.

The partnership is named AUKUS — that is A-U-K-U-S.  So the purpose of this briefing today is to discuss this new initiative.  We have two senior administration officials.  For your awareness, the speakers today are [senior administration official] and [senior administration official].  Hereafter, they will be referred to as “senior administration officials.” 

So, with that, I will turn it over to our first briefer for some brief opening remarks.  Over to you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Thank you, and good morning to everyone.  So as [senior administration official] indicated, the three leaders of our maritime democracies will, this evening or later today, announce the formation of a new trilateral security partnership.  And AUKUS obviously represents Australia, United Kingdom, and the United States.

I think this is an historic announcement.  It reflects the Biden administration’s determination to build stronger partnerships to sustain peace and stability across the entire Indo-Pacific region.  This new architecture is really about deepening cooperation on a range of defense capabilities for the 21st century. 

And again, these relationships with Great Britain and Australia are time tested — our oldest allies, generally.  This is designed not only to strengthen our capabilities in the Indo-Pacific but to link Europe, and particularly Great Britain, more closely with our strategic pursuits in the region as a whole. 

I think, you know, Great Britain is very focused on the concept of “global Britain,” and their tilt is about engaging much more deeply with the Indo-Pacific, and this is a down payment on that effort. 

This new architecture, this new alignment is about collaborating on joint capabilities and pursuing deeper interoperability.  And you will see several things: One, we will announce a new architecture of meetings and engagements among our senior defense and foreign policy officials to share perspectives, to align views.  But we will also announce efforts to spur cooperation across many new and emerging arenas — cyber; AI — particularly applied AI; quantum technologies; and some undersea capabilities as well.

We’ll also work to sustain and deepen information and technology sharing, and I think you’re going to see a much more dedicated effort to pursue integration of security and defense-related science, technology, and industrial bases, and supply chains.  This will be a sustained effort over many years to see how we can marry and merge some of our independent and individual capabilities into greater trilateral engagement as we go forward.

I just want to underscore, just generally: Obviously, there are no better allies than the United Kingdom and Australia.  This is about strengthening our alliances and working together to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

We undertake this effort as part of a larger constellation of steps, including stronger bilateral partnerships with our traditional security partners in Asia — Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines — and also stronger engagement with

new partners like India, Vietnam, and new formations like the Quad.  And, as you know, the Quad will be held in person for this first time next week.

But for AUKUS, in addition to this set of strategic and defense-related steps, our first initiative as part of AUKUS is the three countries will announce, later today, a shared ambition to support Australia’s desire to acquire nuclear-powered submarines.  And we will launch a trilateral effort of 18 months, which will involve teams — technical and strategic and navy teams — from all three countries to identify the optimal pathway of delivery of this capability. 

And I think, as you know, the only country that the United States has shared, traditionally, this kind of nuclear technology for propulsion is Great Britain, and that arrangement dates back to 1958. 

We are adding — this is a unique set of circumstances — Australia to that deep partnership to explore the best ways for Australia to pursue nuclear-powered submarines.

I do want to underscore that this will give Australia the capability for their submarines to basically — to deploy for longer periods.  They’re quieter.  They’re much more capable.  They will allow us to sustain and to improve deterrence across the Indo-Pacific. 

As part of that, we will work closely on efforts to ensure the best practices with respect to nuclear stewardship.  I think you will see much deeper interoperability among our navies and our nuclear infrastructure people to ensure that our countries are working very closely together. 

I just want to underscore that this is a fundamental decision — fundamental — that binds decisively Australia to the United States and Great Britain for generations. 

This is the biggest strategic step that Australia has taken in generations.  And it is noteworthy that it comes here during the 70th anniversary of ANZUS.  So it’s a substantial strategic alignment for Australia, building on a deep partnership with both countries. 

I do want to underscore that the Biden administration remains deeply committed to American leadership and nonproliferation.  This is nuclear propulsion.  Australia has no intention of pursuing nuclear weapons.  And Australia is, in fact, a leader in all nonproliferation efforts in the NPT and elsewhere. 

Australia, again, does not seek and will not seek nuclear weapons; this is about nuclear-powered submarines.  But it’s a very important initiative that will basically set us on a new course of trilateral cooperation into the 21st century. 

I’m going to ask my colleague if he’d like to jump in quickly, and then we will open it up for your questions.  Thank you very much. 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Thanks very much.  I’ll just follow up on what my colleague said about nonproliferation by adding that this partnership is, in many ways, possible because of Australia’s longstanding and demonstrated commitment to nuclear nonproliferation. 

The partnership is going to be taken fully consistent with our respective nonproliferation obligations over the next 18 months during this consultation period. 

Our shared objective is to maintain the strength of the nonproliferation regime and Australia’s exemplary nonproliferation credentials.  That will be central to the discussion.  And, you know, as we embark on the effort for the next 18 months, we will be engaged fully with the IAEA. 

So I’ll stop there.  I think we’re ready now to turn to questions. 

Q    Hi.  Thanks very much for doing this.  [Senior administration official], I guess this question is mostly to you: What will this nuclear submarine technology allow Australia to do in the Indo-Pacific with regard to China?  I imagine it makes Australia — Australian subs much more on a par with Chinese subs and other nuclear-powered technology, but if you could talk about that direct linkage please. 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So, thank you for the question.  I would say, just at a general level, nuclear-powered submarines really maintain superior characteristics of stealth and speed, maneuverability, survivability, and really substantial endurance. 

And I think the challenge with conventionally powered submarines is that you have to surface regularly, the range is limited. 

And I think what we’re seeing in the Indo-Pacific region is a — is a set of circumstances where capabilities are more advanced.  This allows Australia to play at a much higher level and to augment American capabilities that will be similar.  And these — this is about maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific. 

I would just underscore: That’s the mission that we’ve undertaken for decades.  We are determined to continue that effort, and I think Australia has basically indicated that they want to ensure that they’re playing a strategic role in that overall effort. 

Q    Hi.  Thank you.  Thank you very much for this.  I wanted you to tell us a little bit about how the UK is going to fit into this.  I mean, are we going to be expecting to see more UK patrols?  Will that involve British submarines, and what type of submarines might those be? 

And on the (inaudible), we’ve heard that there might be some agreement to upgrade air cooperation that could possibly see U.S. bombers and fighters accessing Australian airfields in the future.  Is this part of the arrangement?

And also, we’ve heard maybe there could be an agreement about Australia producing its own munitions domestically. 

Thank you. 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Thank you.  Those are — those are good, detailed questions.  Let me just take — give you as much clarity as I can. 

I think, as you know, the ministers from Australia are meeting with their counterparts here in Washington today and tomorrow.  They will have more to say about how the United States and Australia intend to work together on a range of issues, both in terms of policy coordination and interoperability.  And I’ll leave it to them to specify any next steps with respect to American engagement directly with Australia. 

I think, with respect to Great Britain, you have just seen the substantial deployment of British forces throughout the Indo-Pacific — very successful deployments of the aircraft carrier in supporting ships, lots of valuable port engagements.

Our strategic discussions — and I just want to underscore that this AUKUS negotiation transcended several months of very deep, very high-level engagements with both our military commands, our political leadership, and the people closest to our leaders in order to chart a common path on the way forward.

And I think what we heard in all those conversations is a desire for Great Britain to substantially step up its game in the Indo-Pacific.  I think the process of this next 18 months is to help chart out what exactly that means. 

Obviously, Great Britain has enormous responsibilities and interests in Europe and in the Middle East, but it also has deep historical ties to Asia.  I think they’ve indicated to us that they do want to do more going forward, and I think this is a clear and decisive next step in that arena.

I do want to say that these are three equal partners.  Great Britain has been a very strong strategic leader in this effort.  They have, in many respects, helped mediate and engage on all the critical issues.  And they are determined to play their role going forward.

Q    Hi.  Thank you for doing this, [senior administration official].  So, my question is — was related to China, but you sort of answered that in the first question.

President Biden talked about the EU Allies’ engagement with Indo-Pacific partners, and you just mentioned that as well.  This might be a little bit too early to talk about that, but will we see extension of this trilateral framework in the future?  You know, will we include New Zealand in this framework and France and other countries that might also be interested to have a say in the Indo-Pacific region and the United States may have interests there?  Thank you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yeah.  I do want to underscore: We see this as a very rare engagement between Australia, Great Britain, and the United States. 

We’ve done this only once before, as I indicated.  That was almost 70 years ago with Great Britain.  And, in fact, one of the reasons why we’ve done this with Australia with Great Britain is because of the experience, lessons learned, and history associated with this program, which will be extremely valuable in the engagement with Australia.

This technology is extremely sensitive.  This is, frankly, an exception to our policy in many respects.  I do not anticipate that this will be undertaken in other circumstances going forward.  We view this as a one-off.

We do believe that this is complementary to other forms of security and political engagement in the region.  I think the leaders of Australia and Great Britain will seek to underscore that this is meant to complement ongoing and existing security and political partnerships, and it’s meant to send a message of reassurance and a determination to maintain a strong deterrent stance into the 21st century.

Thanks.

Q    Thank you.

Q    (Inaudible.)  Can you just explain exactly how this is going to look, how it’s going to work at 5:00 p.m., given the nature of who you said is going to announce it?

And then, my big question, if you could — just be explicit: What is the message you are sending to China today?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So, let me just say, today, there will be a virtual session that will be live between the three leaders.  We’ll kick it off with a little opening, and then each of the leaders will lay out specifically what they want to accomplish, what their ambitions are, and I think it will be an opportunity for each of them to lay out their vision for the future and indicate the launch of this 18-month effort and how that effort to basically put the architecture around this ambitious partnership in place.

I do want to just underscore, very clearly: This partnership is not aimed or about any one country; it’s about advancing our strategic interests, upholding the international rules-based order, and promoting peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific.

And I would just say that this — I would view this in context of our ongoing efforts — bipartisan efforts, over decades, to continue to play this critical role.  The most dynamic, commercial, economic, most vibrant region in the world is the Indo-Pacific, but that vibrancy, that dynamism rests on confidence and peace and stability. 

The United States has been the bedrock on that effort, and I think what this partnership and alignment seeks to underscore is that we want to continue to help play that role, but that we want to play it not only individually with a strong American commitment, but in partnership with other countries as well.

And so, you’re going to see a number of things.  Again, you’ve seen very strong statements and engagements with Japan and South Korea and the Philippines to date; new engagements with countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. 

And then, next week, you’ll hear a discussion between leaders about how the Quad can deal with critical issues like the pandemic and infrastructure.  This is all about developing an integrated, effective web of engagement about sustaining the operating system of Asia, the rules-based order that has been so good for all of us over these many years, and we hope into the future.

Q    Hi, everyone.  How soon do you think Australia will actually be able to field nuclear submarines?  And how does this factor into their most recent order for new attack submarines?  Is this going to retrofit the project that’s already underway, modify that?  You know, what is the timeline and process?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So, look, I’m going to let Australia answer questions about their arrangement with France for conventional submarines.  I think that will be dealt with in the next couple of days.  I would view this as a unique endeavor that involves the three countries that we’ve laid out more clearly. 

I do want to just underscore that it’s very hard to overestimate how challenging and how important this endeavor will be.  Australia does not have a nuclear domestic infrastructure.  They have made a major commitment to go in this direction.  This will be a sustained effort over years. 

And everything that we’ve seen from Australia indicates that they’re determined to proceed on this course, and we have high confidence — complete confidence — that they will be effective in this pursuit.  But it will be lengthy and it will be detailed and it will be substantial. 

Q    Thank you so much for doing this call.  I understand that you’re saying that this move is — I understand that you’re saying that this move is not about any one country.  But, obviously, I would think that these are — these are submarines.  This is about national security, when you’re talking about enforcing rules and, you know, a rules-based order, and talking about having submarines that have more stealth capabilities. 

That clearly seems like this is about security matters and this is about military threat.  And it would seem like the only country that is not involved would be China.  So, I guess, can you talk more about — it seems like this is a military move aimed at China.  How can it not be?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Look, I have nothing further to add than what I’ve said.  This is not aimed at any one country.  This is about a larger effort to sustain the fabric of engagement and deterrence in the Indo-Pacific. 

We have a history of innovation, upgrading capabilities.  I would urge you to look at it in this context.  And I would simply say that I think one of the things that the United States has done most effectively in the Indo-Pacific is to secure peace and stability and to be the ultimate guarantor of that rules-based order. 

I think it’d be fair to say, over the last several years, there have been questions: Does the United States still have the stomach?  Do we have the wit and wisdom that we want to continue to play that role?

What President Biden is saying with this initiative is: Count us in.  We are all in for a deeper, sustained commitment to the Indo-Pacific, and we recognize that our — one of our critical roles is indeed the maintenance of peace and stability there. 

Q    Hi, thanks for doing this.  Can you say if President Biden discussed this new partnership with President Xi on their call earlier this week?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Not in any specific terms, but President Biden did underscore our determination to play a strong, strong role in the Indo-Pacific.  He reviewed some of the efforts that we’ve taken to date — engagements in Europe and the like.

I do want to just underscore that this effort, for obvious reasons — this is a huge deal in Australia — was undertaken with a high degree of discretion.  And indeed, you know, only today we are briefing and rolling out our engagements with a variety of leaders accordingly.

We will debrief all interested parties and explain clearly what we — what our intentions are in the Indo-Pacific, in Europe, international organizations like the IAEA and others. 

This is the intent to do this in a very straightforward, transparent way.  This is a partnership that we’re proud of, that we believe is reassuring and will have a positive impact on the Indo-Pacific. 

MODERATOR:  On that note, just a reminder, this call was on background, attributed to “senior administration officials,” and the contents are embargoed until 5:00 p.m. Eastern time. 

Thank you all. 9:29 A.M. EDT

----------

BRIEFING ROOM

Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials Previewing the Quad Leaders Summit and Bilateral Meeting with India

SEPTEMBER 24, 2021PRESS BRIEFINGS

Via Teleconference

(September 23, 2021)

5:47 P.M. EDT

MODERATOR:  Thanks a lot, Grace.  And thanks, everyone, for joining us this evening.

Just to set us off with some ground rules, this call is on background, attributed to “senior administration officials.”  And the contents of this call are embargoed until Friday, September 24th, at 6:00 a.m.  And by joining this call, you are hereby agreeing to these ground rules.

In terms of the topic, the briefing is to preview the Quad Leaders Summit tomorrow, as well as President Biden’s bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi of India.

For your awareness, our briefers today are [senior administration officials].  Here on out, they will be referred to as “senior administration officials.” 

With that, I will turn it over to [senior administration official] to start us off on the bilat for tomorrow.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Thanks.  Thanks very much.  So, President Biden is looking forward to his separate bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi in the Oval Office on Friday morning ahead of the Quad summit.

President Biden has spoken with Prime Minister Modi on the phone a number of times and has been in virtual summits, but this is their first in-person meeting and will cover a number of priority issues that India is really front and center of, including pandemic response, their response to climate change.  Will talk about technology issues, economic cooperation and trade, as well as Afghanistan and new areas of cooperation that both governments have been discussing. 

So, I’ll just give you — I’ll end with that overview and turn it over to talk about the Quad.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Thank you, [senior administration official].  And thanks, [senior administration official].  And thanks to all for joining today.  And we look forward to questions.

So, just very quickly, the President — the bilateral meeting will be in the morning with Prime Minister Modi.  In the afternoon, the President will welcome Prime Minister Modi, Prime Minister Morrison, and Prime Minister Suga to the White House for the first-ever Quad in-person meeting.

As you may recall, at the outset of the administration, the President indicated that he wanted to take this institution — that’s an informal gathering of leading democracies in the Indo-Pacific — and basically lift it both to the leader level and to ensure that we are working together to build better lines of communication and strengthening cooperation and habits of cooperation amongst us. 

So, we had our virtual Quad summit in March, in which the leaders agreed to take consequential steps on a variety of issues, most purposefully the commitment to deliver a billion doses by the end of 2022 to Southeast Asia, with investments in Indian vaccine capacity.  And we will have detailed updates on efforts to meet that goal and specific down payments for later this year.  We’ll talk more about that tomorrow.

It is also the case that I think the leaders are hopeful for an opportunity in an intimate setting to sit down and talk about issues of mutual interest and concern.  They’ll have discussions, as [senior administration official] indicated, on critical issues that are confronting the Indo-Pacific — issues associated with climate change, with matters relating to COVID.

They’ll also talk about hopes for how to advance infrastructure.  I think the Quad has been all about advancing areas of mutual interest, cyber related.  We will be announcing new working groups on space.  We will also announce a major fellowship that will bring students from India, from Japan, from Australia, and the United States — a hundred in total — over the course of the next year and a half to study in elite universities in the United States, in areas related to science and technology, as a clear signal of the importance of these issues to all of our countries’ futures.

I think you will also see that the leaders are determined to pool our unique capabilities, our resources, and our expertise to make common challenges. 

I do want to underscore that the Quad is an unofficial gathering, although we have a number of working groups and we are deepening cooperation on a very daily basis.  It is also the case that it is not a regional security organization.  We are going to address particular issues associated with the challenges confronting the Indo-Pacific in the current environment.  And I think that’s what the leaders want to focus on tomorrow.

I think it’s also the case that, you know, I think President Biden believes that too oftentimes, these kinds of discussions are scripted, and he really wants to be able to sit down and have a deeper conversation with all leaders in an environment where they can really share perspectives on what’s important to each of them as they go forward.

I don’t want to go on too long, but I do want to just underscore a critical point.  I think all of you will have seen or heard the President’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week when he underscored that, you know, we are coming out of a period of really long and consequential conflicts, and we are now doubling down on diplomacy. 

And what we are seeing is this is a clear and emblematic indication of that strategy.  It also indicates that the Biden administration understands that the challenges of the 21st century will largely play out in the Indo-Pacific, and we are doubling down on our efforts. 

This Quad is part of a larger fabric of engagement that you will see — that you’ve already seen evidence of with very high-level bilateral engagements with security partners, other steps that we’ve taken.  And we believe that the Quad will be a key and critical format and forum for discussion and joint purpose as we head into a challenging period ahead. 

So, all the leaders have arrived, and we’re very much looking forward to the discussion tomorrow. 

I think what I would recommend is we take some questions, and then I can go through a few of the deliverables as we go forward.  Does that make sense?

MODERATOR:  Sounds good.  We can open it up for questions, and Grace can give us instructions, please.

Q    Hey, guys, thanks for doing this call.  And I guess I am interested in some of those deliverables, especially as Bloomberg.  On the economic front, I know that there was talk during that virtual meeting of working together on semiconductors.  So I’m wondering if there’s deliverables on that front, but more broadly, what we can look forward to being announced tomorrow.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Sure.  Well, let me just say: On semiconductors, we will be announcing a supply chain initiative, and the effort is really a detailed joint initiative to map overall capacity; identify, you know, respective vulnerabilities; and to take critical steps to bolster supply chain security, particularly for semiconductors and all their vital components. 

I think the goal is to help ensure Quad partners help take their steps to support at least a somewhat diverse and competitive market that produces secure, critical technologies that are essential for digital economies globally.  

We’re also going to announce a 5G deployment and diversification effort.  And this is to support the critical role of Quad governments in fostering and promoting a diverse, resilient, secure telecommunications ecosystem.  And we’re launching an effort — sort of a 1.5 industry dialogue — on Open RAN development and adoption.  So this is actually a quite well-articulated game plan about how the four countries will work together. 

I’ve already talked a little bit about the Quad fellowship.  This fellowship is sponsored by private donors.  We will bring 100 students per year — 25 from each Quad country — to pursue either a master’s or doctoral degree at a leading STEM graduate university in the United States.  I think that’s a big deal for us, and that’s a signature initiative designed to indicate that we want and encourage Quad countries to send their best students to work with us and to build those lines of communication and coordination with young people.

We’ll have an initiative on space.  I think all four countries are determined to work on joint efforts. 

We’re going to share information on illegal fishing, on issues associated with maritime domain awareness. 

And, you know, we’ll also take steps to help monitor climate change and promote a variety of issues associated with estuaries and fisheries — fishing more generally. 

We have a robust cybersecurity effort underway with the State Department that’s going to be enhanced at the leader level.  We’re going to try to take steps to bolster critical infrastructure resilience against cyber threats — something that’s plagued all four of our countries.  And we are advancing a very high-level group on specific capabilities and technologies.  

We’ve got, you know, some specific steps that we’re taking in climate: green shipping network.  And this has to do with how to decarbonize what we call the shipping value chain.  And we’re also taking specific steps to work with ports in each of our countries to ensure that best practices are followed with respect to decarbonizing efforts there as well. 

I think we have a few things on infrastructure and health that we’re going to wait until tomorrow.  And obviously, the vaccine deliverable will be rolled out tomorrow afternoon.

Q    Yes, thank you very much.  I wanted to know why this call is only a background — is only a preview call with — on the bilat with Modi and not on the bilat with PM Suga as well. 

And then, PM Suga won’t seek reelection, effectively announcing his resignation. Will the return to the constant change of prime ministers impact the Quad in any way?  Thank you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So, no, we’ve already given a short readout on the meeting tomorrow.  I’m happy to give you some more information. 

First of all, the President was very grateful that Prime Minister Suga agreed to join this — what we think is a critical in-person Quad summit.  The President will meet Prime Minister Suga tomorrow in the White House.  He will be joined for part of that meeting by Dr. Jill Biden, who is returning early from a trip.  I think very much he wants to — she was hosted by Prime Minister Suga, very graciously, when she represented the United States in the Opening Ceremonies.  And it is her desire to join President Biden in doing several things. 

First, I think we want a serious conversation.  Prime Minister Suga has some issues that he’d like to discuss, including recent efforts by countries to potentially join CPTPP.  And I think he’d like to discuss that with the President.  And the President is interested to hear Japanese perspectives on next steps associated with economic engagement in Asia.

I think it is also the case that, in addition to substantive discussion, the President wants to thank Prime Minister Suga for being a terrific partner.  As you know, he was the first official visitor to the White House when President Biden invited leaders.  He has worked closely with Japan in every endeavor, and we — I think what the President wants to indicate is that he’s grateful for Prime Minister Suga’s leadership and will promise to continue to work with whoever is elected as his successor. 

So, you know, I think the President views this meeting as having a couple of purposes.  One is, obviously, to have a discussion also about COVID — the situation in Japan and the way forward — but just as importantly, the President is — you know, he is a deeply human, sentimental person, and I think it’s important to him to say to Prime Minister Suga directly how important that engagement with him has been. 

And, frankly, you know, the fact that the First Lady is coming back to meet with the Prime Minister, I think, speaks volumes. 

Does that — does that answer your question?

MODERATOR:  I think his line might be removed.  So we can go to the next question. 

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  That’s all right.  Thank you. 

Q    Yes.  Hi.  Thank you so much for doing this call.  Could you speak a little bit about the Quad relative to AUKUS?  And do you expect leaders to discuss AUKUS at the summit tomorrow?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So, look, I think it’s important to underscore these are two completely separate initiatives.  They really have nothing to do with one another, even though there is some overlap with Australia, obviously.

The Quad is a discussion and engagement effort around a number of practical matters, like — we’ve discussed COVID and issues associated with climate change.  There is not a military dimension to it or security dimension to it.  And it is an informal grouping. 

And the AUKUS, obviously, has been underscored and discussed in other venues.  I won’t go through those details here. 

I would expect that the discussions tomorrow will be wide ranging.  A number of issues will come up.  This is relatively recent, so I would imagine that leaders will be discussing a number of recent developments. 

I think we’ve purposely given the leaders some indication of issues that we think they should discuss, but at the same time, there will be a lot of, you know, improvisation and opportunities to talk on what is on particular leaders’ minds. 

Q    Hi.  Thank you so much for doing this call.  Maybe a quick question.  As you know, there are some countries in the region that are a bit suspicious of this Quad initiative; they see it as too aggressive against China.  In particular, how do you think the Quad can articulate who is ASEAN?  Will the two formats be in a competition?  How will that work in the future?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So I think all Quad leaders are united in a strong belief that the Quad is meant to be complementary to existing institutions.  We understand all the importance of ASEAN.  You will note that many of our initiatives are designed to support efforts across ASEAN, including our vaccine efforts. 

I think you will hear, tomorrow, the leaders each talking about the importance to remain open about all the things that we’re working on and to be quite clear about what things that we’re not engaged in.  As I’ve indicated, this is not a military alliance.  It’s an informal grouping of democratic states that are all committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific. 

I think over time, I think concerns have been dispelled.  And I believe at a general level, this initiative is welcome across the region. 

Q    Thank you for doing the call this afternoon.  One of the things that came up during the COVID summit at the White House and virtually the other day on the sidelines of the U.N. meetings was Prime Minister Modi mentioned the ongoing desire of India for the TRIPS waiver and for more access to be able to manufacture vaccines. 

I know that’s not obviously — it’s a decision the U.S. would support.  I know that’s the stated position of President Biden.  But is there anything more on that front that either will be announced or that the U.S. may be able to do to put pressure on?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  So, I apologize, but, by agreement with all four countries, the specific issues associated with what India is going to commit to do and our specific deliverables with respect to vaccines will be unveiled tomorrow at the Quad summit. 

So, I don’t really have anything further to say, but I agree that the issues that you laid out will be part of what we will discuss and advance.

Q    Yeah.  Hi, this is Andrea with NHK.  Thank you so much for taking my question.  I wanted to see if you could share any details on the timing of tomorrow’s meetings.  I know you said in the afternoon, but I’m wondering specifically about the length of the Quad summit and why that specific length will be chosen, given that it is four leaders meeting.

And then, additionally, you mentioned that the President is — will be hearing the Japanese Prime Minister’s perspective on TPP and econ engagement.  Can you share some of President Biden’s current thoughts on the applications from Taiwan and China to enter the partnership?  And what exactly does he want?  And what exactly does he hope to hear from the Prime Minister Suga?  Thank you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yeah, thanks.  I can give you some general sense.  It’s — normally, we don’t really go into great details about exact times.  I expect that the dialogue among the four leaders will take a good part of the afternoon tomorrow.  There will be time for a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Suga and the President and, as I indicated, with Dr. Biden.

Those sessions, frankly, are designed to be free flowing.  I think the President has indicated that he doesn’t want to necessarily put an artificial stop to them.  I think he wants to let them, you know, have sort of a natural progression. 

After the meeting with President Biden, the Quad members will meet with Vice President Harris for a detailed discussion on basically the capacities associated with resilience in each of our countries and compare notes on what we think is important as democracies go forward.

So, these will be substantial engagements.  And we’ve worked closely with our Quad friends on all the issues associated with the various details more generally. 

I think more than anything else, I think the President is interested to hear from Prime Minister Suga his views on Indo-Pacific developments.  I think he’s interested to hear exactly where he thinks Japan is going and his recommendations for the United States’ continuing engagement in the region, both in terms of specific diplomacy, infrastructure, economics, and trade as well.

Q    Thanks very much.  The Malabar exercises went forward, including all of the Quad members, and I wondered if at any point that might expand to infantry exercises, especially given India’s concern about China’s encroachment on what it considers its side of the border in Ladakh and other parts of its northern border.

I’d also just like to hear why you think the Chinese forces are doing that.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  [Senior administration official], why don’t you start, and I can jump in later?  If you would, please, [senior administration official].  Thank you.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Sure.  So, the Malabar exercise — you know, it’s a great area of cooperation — has expanded in recent years, regularized, and as you say, it includes all four countries.  I’m not aware of any current discussion to go to infantry.

But the point is, I think as [senior administration official] laid out at the top, developing these habits of cooperation and increasing just sort of communication and thinking about different areas of interoperability is quite important. 

[Senior administration official], do you want to take the second question?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yeah.  I wonder if she could repeat it again.  So is this the question about why — what do you think China is thinking?  I didn’t quite get that.  And maybe you could repeat it.  Thank you.

Q    What do you think the motivation is behind China’s encroachment on India’s northern border and other borders in the region?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Yeah.

Q    What is driving them?  Because Indian officials I speak to are like, “We really don’t know what they’re trying to get at here, other than making a point.”

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Well, look, I do want to just say that the — you know, that our conversation today really is about the Quad. 

In other conversations we’ve talked, we have seen actions by China that has ramped up tensions with neighbors.  It’s not unique to India; we’ve seen it in other circumstances as well and — with Australia, with the South China Sea.  And we’ve seen an increase in wolf warrior diplomacy in Europe. 

And so, it’s difficult to tell exactly what the motivation is, but I can assure you that Indian friends are very clear-eyed about both their desire to make sure that they are working closely with — in communication with China to try to avert these sorts of difficulties, but also remaining resolute as well.

Q    Thank you.

MODERATOR:  All right, folks, thanks so much.  I think that has to be our last question.  But thank you for joining us. 

And as a reminder on the ground rules: Today’s call is on background as “senior ministration officials.”  And it’s embargoed until tomorrow, Friday, 6:00 a.m. Eastern time.  Thank you.

6:14 P.M. EDT

 

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Remarks by President Biden on the End of the War in Afghanistan

AUGUST 31, 2021/SPEECHES AND REMARKS, State Dining Room,

3:28 P.M. EDT~3:54 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Last night in Kabul, the United States ended 20 years of war in Afghanistan the longest war in American history.

We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history, with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. That number is more than double what most experts thought were possible. No nation no nation has ever done anything like it in all of history. Only the United States had the capacity and the will and the ability to do it, and we did it today.

The extraordinary success of this mission was due to the incredible skill, bravery, and selfless courage of the United States military and our diplomats and intelligence professionals.

For weeks, they risked their lives to get American citizens, Afghans who helped us, citizens of our Allies and partners, and others onboard planes and out of the country. And they did it facing a crush of enormous crowds seeking to leave the country. And they did it knowing ISIS-K terrorists sworn enemies of the Taliban were lurking in the midst of those crowds.

And still, the men and women of the United States military, our diplomatic corps, and intelligence professionals did their job and did it well, risking their lives not for professional gains but to serve others; not in a mission of war but in a mission of mercy. Twenty servicemembers were wounded in the service of this mission. Thirteen heroes gave their lives.

I was just at Dover Air Force Base for the dignified transfer. We owe them and their families a debt of gratitude we can never repay but we should never, ever, ever forget.

In April, I made the decision to end this war. As part of that decision, we set the date of August 31st for American troops to withdraw. The assumption was that more than 300,000 Afghan National Security Forces that we had trained over the past two decades and equipped would be a strong adversary in their civil wars with the Taliban.                                                                                          That assumption that the Afghan government would be able to hold on for a period of time beyond military drawdown turned out not to be accurate.                                                                But I still instructed our national security team to prepare for every eventuality even that one. And that’s what we did.

So, we were ready when the Afghan Security Forces after two decades of fighting for their country and losing thousands of their own did not hold on as long as anyone expected.                        We were ready when they and the people of Afghanistan watched their own government collapse and their president flee amid the corruption and malfeasance, handing over the country to their enemy, the Taliban, and significantly increasing the risk to U.S. personnel and our Allies.

As a result, to safely extract American citizens before August 31st as well as embassy personnel, Allies and partners, and those Afghans who had worked with us and fought alongside of us for 20 years I had authorized 6,000 troops American troops to Kabul to help secure the airport.

As General McKenzie said, this is the way the mission was designed. It was designed to operate under severe stress and attack. And that’s what it did.

Since March, we reached out 19 times to Americans in Afghanistan, with multiple warnings and offers to help them leave Afghanistan all the way back as far as March. After we started the evacuation 17 days ago, we did initial outreach and analysis and identified around 5,000 Americans who had decided earlier to stay in Afghanistan but now wanted to leave.

Our Operation Allied Rescue [Allies Refuge] ended up getting more than 5,500 Americans out. We got out thousands of citizens and diplomats from those countries that went into Afghanistan with us to get bin Laden. We got out locally employed staff of the United States Embassy and their families, totaling roughly 2,500 people. We got thousands of Afghan translators and interpreters and others, who supported the United States, out as well.

Now we believe that about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan with some intention to leave. Most of those who remain are dual citizens, long-time residents who had earlier decided to stay because of their family roots in Afghanistan.

The bottom line: Ninety [Ninety-eight] percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave.

And for those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out. Secretary of State Blinken is leading the continued diplomatic efforts to ensure a safe passage for any American, Afghan partner, or foreign national who wants to leave Afghanistan.

In fact, just yesterday, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution that sent a clear message about what the international community expects the Taliban to deliver on moving forward, notably freedom of travel, freedom to leave. And together, we are joined by over 100 countries(193개 회원국의 절반 정도만 지지했다는 말!) that are determined to make sure the Taliban upholds those commitments.

It will include ongoing efforts in Afghanistan to reopen the airport, as well as overland routes, allowing for continued departure to those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

The Taliban has made public commitments, broadcast on television and radio across Afghanistan, on safe passage for anyone wanting to leave, including those who worked alongside Americans. We don’t take them by their word alone but by their actions, and we have leverage to make sure those commitments are met.

Let me be clear: Leaving August the 31st is not due to an arbitrary deadline; it was designed to save American lives.

My predecessor, the former President, signed an agreement with the Taliban to remove U.S. troops by May the 1st, just months after I was inaugurated. It included no requirement that the Taliban work out a cooperative governing arrangement with the Afghan government, but it did authorize the release of 5,000 prisoners last year, including some of the Taliban’s top war commanders, among those who just took control of Afghanistan.

And by the time I came to office, the Taliban was in its strongest military position since 2001, controlling or contesting nearly half of the country.

The previous administration’s agreement said that if we stuck to the May 1st deadline that they had signed on to leave by, the Taliban wouldn’t attack any American forces, but if we stayed, all bets were off.

So we were left with a simple decision: Either follow through on the commitment made by the last administration and leave Afghanistan, or say we weren’t leaving and commit another tens of thousands more troops going back to war.

That was the choice the real choice between leaving or escalating.

I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not extending a forever exit. The decision to end the military airlift operations at Kabul airport was based on the unanimous recommendation of my civilian and military advisors the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and all the service chiefs, and the commanders in the field.

Their recommendation was that the safest way to secure the passage of the remaining Americans and others out of the country was not to continue with 6,000 troops on the ground in harm’s way in Kabul, but rather to get them out through non-military means.

In the 17 days that we operated in Kabul after the Taliban seized power, we engaged in an around-the-clock effort to provide every American the opportunity to leave. Our State Department was working 24/7 contacting and talking, and in some cases, walking Americans into the airport.

Again, more than 5,500 Americans were airlifted out. And for those who remain, we will make arrangements to get them out if they so choose.

As for the Afghans, we and our partners have airlifted 100,000 of them. No country in history has done more to airlift out the residents of another country than we have done. We will continue to work to help more people leave the country who are at risk. And we’re far from done.

For now, I urge all Americans to join me in grateful prayer for our troops and diplomats and intelligence officers who carried out this mission of mercy in Kabul and at tremendous risk with such unparalleled results: an airma- an airlift that evacuated tens of thousands to a network of volunteers and veterans who helped identifies [identify] those needing evacuation, guide them to the airport, and provided them for their support along the way.

We’re going to continue to need their help. We need your help. And I’m looking forward to meeting with you.

And to everyone who is now offering or who will offer to welcome Afghan allies to their homes around the world, including in America: We thank you.

I take responsibility for the decision. Now, some say we should have started mass evacuations sooner and “Couldn’t this have be done have been done in a more orderly manner?” I respectfully disagree.

Imagine if we had begun evacuations in June or July, bringing in thousands of American troops and evacuating more than 120,000 people in the middle of a civil war. There still would have been a rush to the airport, a breakdown in confidence and control of the government, and it still would have been a very difficult and dangerous mission.

The bottom line is: There is no evacuatio- evacuation from the end of a war that you can run without the kinds of complexities, challenges, and threats we faced. None.

There are those who would say we should have stayed indefinitely for years on end. They ask, “Why don’t we just keep doing what we were doing? Why did we have to change anything?”

The fact is: Everything had changed. My predecessor had made a deal with the Taliban. When I came into office, we faced a deadline May 1. The Taliban onslaught was coming.

We faced one of two choices: Follow the agreement of the previous administration and extend it to have or extend to more time for people to get out; or send in thousands of more troops and escalate the war.

To those asking for a third decade of war in Afghanistan, I ask: What is the vital national interest? In my view, we only have one(national interest): to make sure Afghanistan can never be used again to launch an attack on our homeland.

Remember why we went to Afghanistan in the first place? Because we were attacked by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda on September 11th, 2001, and they were based in Afghanistan.

We delivered justice to bin Laden on May 2nd, 2011 over a decade ago. Al Qaeda was decimated.

I respectfully suggest you ask yourself this question: If we had been attacked on September 11, 2001, from Yemen instead of Afghanistan, would we have ever gone to war in Afghanistan even though the Taliban controlled Afghanistan in 2001? I believe the honest answer is “no.” That’s because we had no vital national interest in Afghanistan other than to prevent an attack on America’s homeland and their fr- our friends. And that’s true today.

We succeeded in what we set out to do in Afghanistan over a decade ago. Then we stayed for another decade. It was time to end this war.

This is a new world. The terror threat has metastasized across the world, well beyond Afghanistan. We face threats from al-Shabaab(in Somalia); al Qaeda affiliates(in Syria and the Arabian Peninsula); and ISIS(attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq, and establishing affiliates across Africa and Asia).

The fundamental obligation of a President, in my opinion, is to defend and protect America not against threats of 2001, but against the threats of 2021 and tomorrow.

That is the guiding principle behind my decisions about Afghanistan. I simply do not believe that the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops and spending billions of dollars a year in Afghanistan.

But I also know that the threat from terrorism continues( in its pernicious and evil nature). But it’s changed, expanded to other countries. Our strategy has to change too.

We will maintain the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan and other countries. We just don’t need to fight a ground war to do it. We have what’s called over-the-horizon capabilities, which means we can strike terrorists and targets without American boots on the ground or very few, if needed.

We’ve shown that capacity just in the last week. We struck ISIS-K remotely, days after they murdered 13 of our servicemembers and dozens of innocent Afghans.

And to ISIS-K: We are not done with you yet.

As Commander-in-Chief, I firmly believe the best path to guard our safety and our security lies in a tough, unforgiving, targeted, precise strategy that goes after terror where it is today, not where it was two decades ago. That’s what’s in our national interest.

And here’s a critical thing to understand: The world is changing. We’re engaged in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia. We’re confronted with cyberattacks and nuclear proliferation.

We have to shore up America’s competitive[ness] to meet these new challenges in the competition for the 21st century. And we can do both: fight terrorism and take on new threats that are here now and will continue to be here in the future.

And there’s nothing China or Russia would rather have, would want more in this competition than the United States to be bogged down another decade in Afghanistan.

As we turn the page on the foreign policy that has guided our nat- our nation the last two decades, we’ve got to learn from our mistakes.

To me, there are two that are paramount. First, we must set missions with clear, achievable goals not ones we’ll never reach. And second, we must stay clearly focused on the fundamental national security interest of the United States of America.

This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.

We saw a mission of counterterrorism in Afghanistan getting the terrorists and stopping attacks morph into a counterinsurgency, nation building trying to create a democratic, cohesive, and unified Afghanistan -something that has never been done over the many centuries of Afghans’ [Afghanistan’s] history.

Moving on from that mindset and those kind of large-scale troop deployments will make us stronger and more effective and safer at home.

And for anyone who gets the wrong idea, let me say it clearly. To those who wish America harm, to those that engage in terrorism against us and our allies, know this: The United States will never rest. We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down to the ends of the Earth, and we will you will pay the ultimate price.

And let me be clear: We will continue to support the Afghan people through diplomacy, international influence, and humanitarian aid. We’ll continue to push for regional diplomacy and engagement to prevent violence and instability. We’ll continue to speak out for basic rights of the Afghan people, especially women and girls, as we speak out for women and girls all around the globe. And I’ve been clear that human rights will be the center of our foreign policy.

But the way to do that is not through endless military deployments, but through diplomacy, economic tools, and rallying the rest of the world for support.

My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over. I’m the fourth President who has faced the issue of whether and when to end this war. When I was running for President, I made a commitment to the American people that I would end this war. And today, I’ve honored that commitment. It was time to be honest with the American people again. We no longer had a clear purpose in an open-ended mission in Afghanistan.

After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, I refused to send another generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago.

After more than $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan a cost that researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a day for 20 years in Afghanistan for two decades yes, the American people should hear this: $300 million a day for two decades.

If you take the number of $1 trillion, as many say, that’s still $150 million a day for two decades. And what have we lost as a consequence in terms of opportunities? I refused to continue in a war that was no longer in the service of the vital national interest of our people.

And most of all, after 800,000 Americans serving in Afghanistan I’ve traveled that whole country brave and honorable service; after 20,744 American servicemen and women injured, and the loss of 2,461 American personnel, including 13 lives lost just this week, I refused to open another decade of warfare in Afghanistan.

We’ve been a nation too long at war. If you’re 20 years old today, you have never known an America at peace.

So, when I hear that we could’ve, should’ve continued the so-called low-grade effort in Afghanistan, at low risk to our service members, at low cost, I don’t think enough people understand how much we have asked of the 1 percent of this country who put that uniform on, who are willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation.

Maybe it’s because my deceased son, Beau, served in Iraq for a full year, before that. Well, maybe it’s because of what I’ve seen over the years as senator, vice president, and president traveling these countries.

A lot of our veterans and their families have gone through hell deployment after deployment, months and years away from their families; missed birthdays, anniversaries; empty chairs at holidays; financial struggles; divorces; loss of limbs; traumatic brain injury; posttraumatic stress.

We see it in the struggles many have when they come home. We see it in the strain on their families and caregivers. We see it in the strain of their families when they’re not there. We see it in the grief borne by their survivors. The cost of war they will carry with them their whole lives.

Most tragically, we see it in the shocking and stunning statistic that should give pause to anyone who thinks war can ever be low-grade, low-risk, or low-cost: 18 veterans, on average, who die by suicide every single day in America not in a far-off place, but right here in America.(전역군인들이 매일 18명씩 자살하는 나라)

There’s nothing low-grade or low-risk or low-cost about any war. It’s time to end the war in Afghanistan.

As we close 20 years of war and strife and pain and sacrifice, it’s time to look to the future, not the past to a future that’s safer, to a future that’s more secure, to a future that honors those who served and all those who gave what President Lincoln called their “last full measure of devotion.”

I give you my word: With all of my heart, I believe this is the right decision, a wise decision, and the best decision for America.

Thank you. Thank you. And may God bless you all. And may God protect our troops.

 

Statement by President Joe Biden

AUGUST 30, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

I want to thank our commanders and the men and women serving under them for their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled – in the early morning hours of August 31, Kabul time – with no further loss of American lives. The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States. They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended.

Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond August 31. For now, I will report that it was the unanimous recommendation of the Joint Chiefs and of all of our commanders on the ground to end our airlift mission as planned. Their view was that ending our military mission was the best way to protect the lives of our troops, and secure the prospects of civilian departures for those who want to leave Afghanistan in the weeks and months ahead.

I have asked the Secretary of State to lead the continued coordination with our international partners to ensure safe passage for any Americans, Afghan partners, and foreign nationals who want to leave Afghanistan. This will include work to build on the UN Security Council Resolution passed this afternoon that sent the clear message of what the international community expects the Taliban to deliver on moving forward, notably freedom of travel(유엔에 넘긴 후속조치). The Taliban has made commitments on safe passage and the world will hold them to their commitments. It will include ongoing diplomacy in Afghanistan and coordination with partners in the region to reopen the airport allowing for continued departure for those who want to leave and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

For now, I urge all Americans to join me in grateful prayer tonight for three things. First, for our troops and diplomats who carried out this mission of mercy in Kabul and at tremendous risk with such unparalleled results: an airlift that evacuated tens of thousands more people than any imagined possible. Second, to the network of volunteers and veterans who helped identify those needing evacuation, guide them to the airport, and provide support along the way. And third, to everyone who is now – and who will – welcome our Afghan allies to their new homes around the world, and in the United States.

Finally, I want to end with a moment of gratitude for the sacrifice of the 13 service members in Afghanistan who gave their lives last week to save tens of thousands: Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Marine Corps Sgt. Johanny Rosariopichardo, Marine Corps Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Marine Corps Cpl. Hunter Lopez, Marine Corps Cpl. Daegan W. Page, Marine Corps Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Navy Hospitalman Maxton W. Soviak and Army Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss.

 

Remarks by President Biden on Afghanistan

AUGUST 16, 2021SPEECHES AND REMARKS

East Room

카불이 함락되던 주말(14~15일) 캠프 데이비드에서 휴일보낸 뒤 백악관 복귀 성명

4:02 P.M. EDT  

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  I want to speak today to the unfolding situation in Afghanistan: the developments that have taken place in the last week and the steps we’re taking to address the rapidly evolving events.

My national security team and I have been closely monitoring the situation on the ground in Afghanistan and moving quickly to execute the plans we had put in place to respond to every constituency, including — and contingency — including the rapid collapse we’re seeing now.

I’ll speak more in a moment about the specific steps we’re taking, but I want to remind everyone how we got here and what America’s interests are in Afghanistan.

We went to Afghanistan almost 20 years ago with clear goals: get those who attacked us on September 11th, 2001, and make sure al Qaeda could not use Afghanistan as a base from which to attack us again.
We did that.  We severely degraded al Qaeda in Afghanistan. We never gave up the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and we got him.  That was a decade ago. 

Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building.  It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy.(그렇다면, 한국 등에 요구했던 파르완주의 PRT는 무엇인가. PRT 역시 대테러작전의 일환이었다는 말인가)

Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.

I’ve argued for many years that our mission should be narrowly focused on counterterrorism — not counterinsurgency or nation building.  That’s why I opposed the surge when it was proposed in 2009 when I was Vice President.

And that’s why, as President, I am adamant that we focus on the threats we face today in 2021 — not yesterday’s threats.

Today, the terrorist threat has metastasized well beyond Afghanistan: al Shabaab in Somalia, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Nusra in Syria, ISIS attempting to create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia.  These threats warrant our attention and our resources.

We conduct effective counterterrorism missions against terrorist groups in multiple countries where we don’t have a permanent military presence.
If necessary, we will do the same in Afghanistan.  We’ve developed counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on any direct threats to the United States in the region and to act quickly and decisively if needed.
When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban.  Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021 — just a little over three months after I took office.
U.S. forces had already drawn down during the Trump administration from roughly 15,500 American forces to 2,500 troops in country, and the Taliban was at its strongest militarily since 2001.

The choice I had to make, as your President, was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season.
There would have been no ceasefire after May 1.  There was no agreement protecting our forces after May 1.  There was no status quo of stability without American casualties after May 1.
There was only the cold reality( of either following through on the agreement to withdraw our forces or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more American troops back into combat in Afghanistan, lurching into the third decade of conflict.) 
I stand squarely behind my decision.  After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.
That’s why we were still there.  We were clear-eyed about the risks.  We planned for every contingency.

But I always promised the American people that I will be straight with you.  The truth is: This did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.
So what’s happened?  Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country.  The Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight.
If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision. 
American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.  We spent over a trillion dollars.  We trained and equipped an Afghan military force of some 300,000 strong — incredibly well equipped — a force larger in size than the militaries of many of our NATO allies. 

We gave them every tool they could need.  We paid their salaries(한국 역시 미국의 요청에 따라 MB정권 5억달러, 박근혜정부 3억달러, 문재인정부 *억달러 지출), provided for the maintenance of their air force — something the Taliban doesn’t have.  Taliban does not have an air force.  We provided close air support. 
We gave them every chance to determine their own future.  What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future.
There’s some very brave and capable Afghan special forces units and soldiers, but if Afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the Taliban now, there is no chance that 1 year — 1 more year, 5 more years, or 20 more years of U.S. military boots on the ground would’ve made any difference.

And here’s what I believe to my core: It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces would not.  If the political leaders of Afghanistan were unable to come together for the good of their people, unable to negotiate for the future of their country when the chips were down, they would never have done so while U.S. troops remained in Afghanistan bearing the brunt of the fighting for them.

And our true strategic competitors — China and Russia — would love nothing more than the United States to continue to funnel billions of dollars in resources and attention into stabilizing Afghanistan indefinitely.

When I hosted President Ghani and Chairman Abdullah at the White House in June and again when I spoke by phone to Ghani in July, we had very frank conversations.  We talked about how Afghanistan should prepare to fight their civil wars after the U.S. military departed, to clean up the corruption in government so the government could function for the Afghan people.  We talked extensively about the need for Afghan leaders to unite politically. 
They failed to do any of that.
I also urged them to engage in diplomacy, to seek a political settlement with the Taliban.  This advice was flatly refused.  Mr. Ghani insisted the Afghan forces would fight, but obviously he was wrong.

So I’m left again to ask of those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghans — Afghanistan’s civil war when Afghan troops will not?   How many more lives — American lives — is it worth?  How many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery?

I’m clear on my answer: I will not repeat the mistakes we’ve made in the past — the mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of the United States, of doubling down on a civil war in a foreign country, of attempting to remake a country through the endless military deployments of U.S. forces.
Those are the mistakes we cannot continue to repeat, because we have significant vital interests in the world that we cannot afford to ignore.

I also want to acknowledge how painful this is to so many of us.  The scenes we’re seeing in Afghanistan, they’re gut-wrenching, particularly for our veterans, our diplomats, humanitarian workers, for anyone who has spent time on the ground working to support the Afghan people.
For those who have lost loved ones in Afghanistan and for Americans who have fought and served in the country — serve our country in Afghanistan — this is deeply, deeply personal.

It is for me as well.  I’ve worked on these issues as long as anyone.  I’ve been throughout Afghanistan during this war — while the war was going on — from Kabul to Kandahar to the Kunar Valley.

I’ve traveled there on four different occasions.  (I met with the people.  I’ve spoken to the leaders.  I spent time with our troops.  ) And I came to understand firsthand what was and was not possible in Afghanistan.

So, now we’re fercus [sic] — focused on what is possible. 

We will continue to support the Afghan people.  We will lead with our diplomacy, our international influence, and our humanitarian aid.
We’ll continue to push for regional diplomacy and engagement to prevent violence and instability.
We’ll continue to speak out for the basic rights of the Afghan people — of women and girls — just as we speak out all over the world.

I have been clear that human rights must be the center of our foreign policy, not the periphery.  But the way to do it is not through endless military deployments; it’s with our diplomacy, our economic tools, and rallying the world to join us. 

Now, let me lay out the current mission in Afghanistan.  I was asked to authorize — and I did — 6,000 U.S. troops to deploy to Afghanistan for the purpose of assisting in the departure of U.S. and Allied civilian personnel from Afghanistan, and to evacuate our Afghan allies and vulnerable Afghans to safety outside of Afghanistan.

Our troops are working to secure the airfield and to ensure continued operation of both the civilian and military flights.  We’re taking over air traffic control
We have safely shut down our embassy and transferred our diplomats.  Our dip- — our diplomatic presence is now consolidated at the airport as well.
Over the coming days, we intend to transport out thousands of American citizens who have been living and working in Afghanistan.
We’ll also continue to support the safe departure of civilian personnel — the civilian personnel of our Allies who are still serving in Afghanistan.
Operation Allies Refugee [Refuge], which I announced back in July, has already moved 2,000 Afghans who are eligible for Special Immigration Visas and their families to the United States.
In the coming days, the U.S. military will provide assistance to move more SIV-eligible Afghans and their families out of Afghanistan.
We’re also expanding refugee access to cover other vulnerable Afghans who worked for our embassy: U.S. non-governmental agencies — or the U.S. non-governmental organizations; and Afghans who otherwise are at great risk; and U.S. news agencies.

I know that there are concerns about why we did not begin evacuating Afghans — civilians sooner.  Part of the answer is some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier — still hopeful for their country.  And part of it was because the Afghan government and its supporters discouraged us from organizing a mass exodus to avoid triggering, as they said, “a crisis of confidence.”
American troops are performing this mission as professionally and as effectively as they always do, but it is not without risks.

As we carry out this departure, we have made it clear to the Taliban: If they attack our personnel or disrupt our operation, the U.S. presence will be swift and the response will be swift and forceful.  We will defend our people with devastating force if necessary.

Our current military mission will be short in time, limited in scope, and focused in its objectives: Get our people and our allies to safety as quickly as possible. 
And once we have completed this mission, we will conclude our military withdrawal.  We will end America’s longest war after 20 long years of bloodshed.

The events we’re seeing now are sadly proof that no amount of military force would ever deliver a stable, united, and secure Afghanistan — as known in history as the “graveyard of empires.”
What is happening now could just as easily have happened 5 years ago or 15 years in the future.  We have to be honest: Our mission in Afghanistan has taken many missteps — made many missteps over the past two decades. 

I’m now the fourth American President to preside over war in Afghanistan — two Democrats and two Republicans.  I will not pass this responsibly on — responsibility on to a fifth President.(한국 역시 3개의 민주당 정부와 2개의 새누리-한나라당 정권이었다!)

I will not mislead the American people by claiming that just a little more time in Afghanistan will make all the difference.  Nor will I shrink from my share of responsibility for where we are today and how we must move forward from here.

I am President of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me.

I am deeply saddened by the facts we now face.  But I do not regret my decision to end America’s warfighting in Afghanistan and maintain a laser-focus on our counterterrorism missions there and in other parts of the world.
Our mission to degrade the terrorist threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan and kill Osama bin Laden was a success.
Our decades-long effort to overcome centuries of history and permanently change and remake Afghanistan was not, and I wrote and believed it never could be.
I cannot and I will not ask our troops to fight on endlessly in another — in another country’s civil war, taking casualties, suffering life-shattering injuries, leaving families broken by grief and loss.
This is not in our national security interest.  It is not what the American people want.  It is not what our troops, who have sacrificed so much over the past two decades, deserve.

I made a commitment to the American people when I ran for President that I would bring America’s military involvement in Afghanistan to an end.  And while it’s been hard and messy — and yes, far from perfect — I’ve honored that commitment.
More importantly, I made a commitment to the brave men and women who serve this nation that I wasn’t going to ask them to continue to risk their lives in a military action that should have ended long ago. 

Our leaders did that in Vietnam when I got here as a young man.  I will not do it in Afghanistan.

I know my decision will be criticized, but I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another President of the United States — yet another one — a fifth one. 

Because it’s the right one — it’s the right decision for our people.  The right one for our brave service members who have risked their lives serving our nation.  And it’s the right one for America. 

So, thank you.  May God protect our troops, our diplomats, and all of the brave Americans serving in harm’s way.

4:21 P.M. EDT

-------------------

Statement by President Joe Biden on Afghanistan

AUGUST 14, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

Over the past several days, I have been in close contact with my national security team to give them direction on how to protect our interests and values as we end our military mission in Afghanistan.

First, based on the recommendations of our diplomatic, military, and intelligence teams, I have authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 U.S. troops to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of U.S. personnel and other allied personnel, and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance.

Second, I have ordered our Armed Forces and our Intelligence Community to ensure that we will maintain the capability and the vigilance to address future terrorist threats from Afghanistan.

Third, I have directed the Secretary of State to support President Ghani and other Afghan leaders as they seek to prevent further bloodshed and pursue a political settlement. Secretary Blinken will also engage with key regional stakeholders.

Fourth, we have conveyed to the Taliban representatives in Doha, (via our Combatant Commander, )that any action on their part on the ground in Afghanistan, that puts U.S. personnel or our mission at risk there, will be met with a swift and strong U.S. military response.

Fifth, I have placed Ambassador Tracey Jacobson in charge of a whole-of-government effort to process, transport, and relocate Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other Afghan allies. Our hearts go out to the brave Afghan men and women who are now at risk. We are working to evacuate thousands of those who helped our cause and their families.

That is what we are going to do. Now let me be clear about how we got here.

America went to Afghanistan 20 years ago to defeat the forces that attacked this country on September 11th. That mission resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden over a decade ago and the degradation of al Qaeda. And yet, 10 years later, when I became President, a small number of U.S. troops still remained on the ground, in harm’s way, with a looming deadline to withdraw them or go back to open combat.

Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in U.S. history. One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.

When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. Forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. Forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500. Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies’ Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict. I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.

---------

Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Call with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan

JULY 23, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke today with President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan.  President Biden and President Ghani discussed the situation in Afghanistan and reaffirmed their commitment to an enduring bilateral partnership.  President Biden emphasized continued U.S. support, including development and humanitarian aid, for the Afghan people, including women, girls, and minorities.  President Biden and President Ghani agreed that the Taliban’s current offensive is in direct contradiction to the movement’s claim to support a negotiated settlement of the conflict.  President Biden also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to continue supporting the Afghan security forces to defend themselves. The FY2022 request to Congress for $3.3 billion for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund prioritizes:

  1. $1 billion to ensure the Afghan Air Force and Special Mission Wing have the capabilities and maintenance to support ongoing combat operations, including by delivering additional aircraft, such as the three newly-refurbished UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters delivered to Kabul on July 16;
  2. $1 billion to purchase and deliver key supplies for Afghan forces such as fuel, ammunition, and spare parts; and
  3. $700 million to fund continued payment of salaries for Afghan soldiers.

They deplored the loss of innocent Afghan lives, including through continued targeted killings, as well as displacement of the civilian population, looting and burning of buildings, destruction of vital infrastructure, and damage to communication networks. The United States recently announced more than $266 million in additional humanitarian assistance and released $300 million in development and other non-humanitarian assistance to help the Afghan people. The President has also requested an additional $364 million in development and other non-humanitarian assistance for the State Department and USAID for FY2022.  

President Biden urged continued work for unity among Afghan leaders on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the values on which it is based.  The two leaders discussed the importance of Afghans coming together to support their common interest in security and peace, and President Biden underscored continued U.S. diplomatic engagement in support of a durable and just political settlement. 

--------------

Remarks by President Biden on the Drawdown of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan

JULY 08, 2021SPEECHES AND REMARKS

East Room 

2:09 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  Earlier today, I was briefed by our senior military and national security leaders on the status of the drawdown of U.S. forces and allied forces in Afghanistan.   

When I announced our drawdown in April, I said we would be out by September, and we’re on track to meet that target.

Our military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31st.  The drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way, prioritizing the safety of our troops as they depart.  

Our military commanders advised me that once I made the decision to end the war, we needed to move swiftly to conduct the main elements of the drawdown.  And in this context, speed is safety. 

And thanks to the way in which we have managed our withdrawal, no one — no one U.S. forces or any forces have — have been lost.  Conducting our drawdown differently would have certainly come with a increased risk of safety to our personnel.   

To me, those risks were unacceptable.  And there was never any doubt that our military would perform this task efficiently and with the highest level of professionalism.  That’s what they do.  And the same is true of our NATO Allies and partners who have supported — we are supporting, and supporting us as well, as they conclude their retrograde.   

I want to be clear: The U.S. military mission in Afghanistan continues through the end of August.  We remain — we retain personnel and capacities in the country, and we maintain some authority — excuse me, the same authority under which we’ve been operating for some time.

As I said in April, the United States did what we went to do in Afghanistan: to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and to deliver justice to Osama Bin Laden, and to degrade the terrorist threat to keep Afghanistan from becoming a base from which attacks could be continued against the United States.  We achieved those objectives.  That’s why we went.

We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build.  And it’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.   

Together, with our NATO Allies and partners, we have trained and equipped over three hu- — nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military — of the Afghan National Security Force, and many beyond that who are no longer serving.  Add to that, hundreds of thousands more Afghan National Defense and Security Forces trained over the last two decades.

We provided our Afghan partners with all the tools — let me emphasize: all the tools, training, and equipment of any modern military.  We provided advanced weaponry.  And we’re going to continue to provide funding and equipment.   And we’ll ensure they have the capacity to maintain their air force.

But most critically, as I stressed in my meeting just two weeks ago with President Ghani and Chairman Abdullah, Afghan leaders have to come together and drive toward a future that the Afghan people want and they deserve.

In our meeting, I also assured Ghani that U.S. support for the people of Afghanistan will endure.  We will continue to provide civilian and humanitarian assistance, including speaking out for the rights of women and girls.

I intend to maintain our diplomatic presedence [presence] in Afghanistan, and we are coordinating closely with our international partners in order to continue to secure the international airport. 

And we’re going to engage in a determined diplomacy to pursue peace and a peace agreement that will end this senseless violence. 

I’ve asked Secretary of State Blinken and our Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation to work vigorously with the parties in Afghanistan, as well as the regional and international stakeholders to support a negotiated solution.   

To be clear — to be clear: Countries in the region have an essential role to play in supporting a peaceful settlement.   We’ll work with them, and they should help step up their efforts as well.   

We’re going to continue to work for the release of detained Americans, including Mark — excuse me — Fre– Frerichs — I want to pronounce the name correctly; I mis- — I misspoke — so that he can return to his family safely.

We’re also going to continue to make sure that we take on the Afghan nationals who work side-by-side with U.S. forces, including interpreters and translators — since we’re no longer going to have military there after this; we’re not going to need them and they have no jobs — who are also going to be vital to our efforts so they — and they’ve been very vital — and so their families are not exposed to danger as well.

We’ve already dramatically accelerated the procedure time for Special Immigrant Visas to bring them to the United States.   

Since I was inaugurated on January 20th, we’ve already approved 2,500 Special Immigrant Visas to come to the United States.  Up to now, fewer than half have exercised their right to do that.  Half have gotten on aircraft and com — commercial flights and come, and the other half believe they want to stay — at least thus far.

We’re working closely with Congress to change the authorization legislation so that we can streamline the process of approving those visas.  And those who have stood up for the operation to physically relocate thousands of Afghans and their families before the U.S. military mission concludes so that, if they choose, they can wait safely outside of Afghanistan while their U.S. visas are being processed.

The operation has identified U.S. facilities outside of the continental United States, as well as in third countries, to host our Afghan allies, if they ch- — if they so choose.  And, starting this month, we’re going to begin to re- — re- — reloc- — we’re going to begin relocation flights for Afghanistan SIV applicants and their families who choose to leave.   

We have a point person in the White House and at the State Department-led task force coordinating all these efforts. 

But our message to those women and men is clear: There is a home for you in the United States if you so choose, and we will stand with you just as you stood with us.

When I made the decision to end the U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan, I judged that it was not in the national interest of the United States of America to continue fighting this war indefinitely.  I made the decision with clear eyes, and I am briefed daily on the battlefield updates. 

But for those who have argued that we should stay just six more months or just one more year, I ask them to consider the lessons of recent history. 

In 2011, the NATO Allies and partners agreed that we would end our combat mission in 2014.  In 2014, some argued, “One more year.”  So we kept fighting, and we kept taking casualties.  In 2015, the same.  And on and on.

Nearly 20 years of experience has shown us that the current security situation only confirms that “just one more year” of fighting in Afghanistan is not a solution but a recipe for being there indefinitely.   

It’s up to Afghans to make the decision about the future of their country.

Others are more direct.  Their argument is that we should stay with the Afghan — in Afghanistan indefinitely.  In doing so, they point to the fact that we — we have not taken losses in this last year, so they claim that the cost of just maintaining the status quo is minimal.

But that ignores the reality and the facts that already presented on the ground in Afghanistan when I took office: The Taliban was at its strongest mil- — is at its strongest militarily since 2001.

The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan had been reduced to a bare minimum.  And the United States, in the last administration, made an agreement that the — with the Taliban to remove all our forces by May 1 of this past — of this year.  That’s what I inherited.  That agreement was the reason the Taliban had ceased major attacks against U.S. forces. 

If, in April, I had instead announced that the United States was going to back — going back on that agreement made by the last administration — [that] the United States and allied forces would remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future — the Taliban would have again begun to target our forces.

The status quo was not an option.  Staying would have meant
U.S. troops taking casualties; American men and women back in the middle of a civil war.  And we would have run the risk of having to send more troops back into Afghanistan to defend our remaining troops.

Once that agreement with the Taliban had been made, staying with a bare minimum force was no longer possible.

So let me ask those who wanted us to stay: How many more — how many thousands more of America’s daughters and sons are you willing to risk?  How long would you have them stay?

Already we have members of our military whose parents fought in Afghanistan 20 years ago.  Would you send their children and their grandchildren as well?  Would you send your own son or daughter?

After 20 years — a trillion dollars spent training and equipping hundreds of thousands of Afghan National Security and Defense Forces, 2,448 Americans killed, 20,722 more wounded, and untold thousands coming home with unseen trauma to their mental health — I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan with no reasonable expectation of achieving a different outcome.

The United States cannot afford to remain tethered to policies creating a response to a world as it was 20 years ago.  We need to meet the threats where they are today.

Today, the terrorist threat has metastasized beyond Afghanistan.  So, we are repositioning our resources and adapting our counterterrorism posture to meet the threats where they are now significantly higher: in South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

But make no mistake: Our military and intelligence leaders are confident they have the capabilities to protect the homeland and our interests from any resurgent terrorist challenge emerging or emanating from Afghanistan. 

We are developing a counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability that will allow us to keep our eyes firmly fixed on any direct threats to the United States in the region, and act quickly and decisively if needed.

And we also need to focus on shoring up America’s core strengths to meet the strategic competition with China and other nations that is really going to determine — determine our future. 

We have to defeat COVID-19 at home and around the world, make sure we’re better prepared for the next pandemic or biological threat. 

We need to establish international norms for cyberspace and the use of emergenc- — emerging technologies.

We need to take concerted action to fight existential threats of climate change.

And we will be more formidable to our adversaries and competitors over the long run if we fight the battles of the next 20 years, not the last 20 years.

Finally, I want to recognize the incredible sacrifice and dedication that the U.S. military and civilian personnel, serving alongside our Allies and partners, have made over the last two decades in Afghanistan. 

I want to honor the significance of what they’ve accomplished and the great personal risk they encountered and the incredible cost to their families: pursuing the terrorist threat in some of the most unforgiving terrain on the planet — and I’ve been almost throughout that entire country; ensuring there hasn’t been another attack on the homeland from Afghanistan for the last 20 years; taking out Bin Laden.

I want to thank you all for your service and the dedication to the mission so many of you have given, and to the sacrifices that you and your families have made over the long course of this war. 

We’ll never forget those who gave the last full measure of devotion for their country in Afghanistan, nor those whose lives have been immeasurably altered by wounds sustained in service to their country.

We’re ending America’s longest war, but we’ll always, always honor the bravery of the American patriots who served in it.

May God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.  Thank you.

Q    Mr. President — do you trust the Taliban, Mr. President?

Q    Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, it is not.

Q    Why?

THE PRESIDENT:  Because you — the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban.  It is not inevitable.

Q    Do you trust the Taliban, Mr. President?  Do you trust the Taliban, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  You — is that a serious question?

Q    It is absolutely a serious question.  Do you trust the Taliban? 

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I do not.

Q    Do you trust handing over the country to the Taliban?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, I do not trust the Taliban. 

Q    So why are you handing the country over?

Q    Mr. President, is the U.S. responsible for the deaths of Afghans after you leave the country?

Q    Mr. President, will you amplify that question, please?  Will you amplify your answer, please — why you don’t trust the Taliban?

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s a — it’s a silly question.  Do I trust the Taliban?  No.  But I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more re- — more competent in terms of conducting war. 

Yes, ma’am.

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Given the amount of money that has been spent and the number of lives that have been lost, in your view, with making this decision, were the last 20 years worth it?

THE PRESIDENT:  You know my record.  I can tell by the way you asked the question.

I opposed permanently having American forces in Afghanistan.  I argued, from the beginning, as you may recall — it came to light after the administration was over, last — our administration — no nation has ever unified Afghanistan.  No nation.  Empires have gone there and not done it.

The focus we had — and I strongly support it — and you may remember I physically went to Afghanistan.  I was up in that pass where Osama bin Laden was — allegedly escaped or — out of harm’s way.

We went for two reasons: one, to bring Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, as I said at the time.  The second reason was to eliminate al Qaeda’s capacity to deal with more attacks on the United States from that territory.  We accomplished both of those objectives — period.

That’s what I believed, from the beginning, why we should be and why we should have gone to Afghanistan.  That job had been over for some time.  And that’s why I believe that this is the right decision and, quite frankly, overdue.

Q    Mr. President, has the civilian government hailed the people of Afghanistan?

Q    Mr. President, thank you very much.  Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse.

THE PRESIDENT:  That is not true. 

Q    Is it — can you please clarify what they have told you about whether that will happen or not? 

THE PRESIDENT:  That is not true.  They did not — they didn’t — did not reach that conclusion. 

Q    So what is the level of confidence that they have that it will not collapse? 

THE PRESIDENT:  The Afghan government and leadership has to come together.  They clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place.  The question is: Will they generate the kind of cohesion to do it?  It’s not a question of whether they have the capacity.  They have the capacity.  They have the forces.  They have the equipment.  The question is: Will they do it? 

And I want to make clear what I made clear to Ghani: that we are not going just sus- — walk away and not sustain their ability to maintain that force.  We are.  We’re going to also work to make sure we help them in terms of everything from food necessities and other things in — in the region.  But — but, there’s not a conclusion that, in fact, they cannot defeat the Taliban. 

I believe the only way there’s going to be — this is now Joe Biden, not the intelligence community — the only way there’s ultimately going to be peace and security in Afghanistan is that they work out a modus vivendi with the Taliban and they make a judgment as to how they can make peace. 

And the likelihood there’s going to be one unified government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.

Q    Mr. President, thank you.  But we have talked to your own top general in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller.  He told ABC News the conditions are so concerning at this point that it could result in a civil war.  So, if Kabul falls to the Taliban, what will the United States do about it?

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, you’ve said two things — one, that if it could result in a civil war — that’s different than the Taliban succeeding, number one.  Number two, the question of what will be done is going to be implicated — is going to implicate the entire region as well.  There’s a number of countries who have a grave concern about what’s going to happen in Afghanistan relative to their security. 

The question is: How much of a threat to the United States of America and to our allies is whatever results in terms of a government or an agreement?  That’s when that judgement will be made. 

Q    Mr. President, some Vietnamese veterans see echoes of their experience in this withdrawal in Afghanistan.  Do you see any parallels between this withdrawal and what happened in Vietnam, with some people feeling —

THE PRESIDENT:  None whatsoever.  Zero.  What you had is — you had entire brigades breaking through the gates of our embassy — six, if I’m not mistaken. 

The Taliban is not the south — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability.  There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan.  It is not at all comparable. 

Q    And, Mr. President —

Q    Mr. President, can I —

THE PRESIDENT:  I’ll take him and then I’ll — and then I’ll go — I’ll go to the other side.  Hang on a second.

Q    Mr. President, how serious was the corruption among the Afghanistan government to this mission failing there?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, first of all, the mission hasn’t failed, yet.  There is in Afghanistan — in all parties, there’s been corruption.  The question is, can there be an agreement on unity of purpose?  What is the objective? 

For example, it started off — there were going to be negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan government.  That — that of — it didn’t come to — it didn’t come to fruition. 

So the question now is, where do they go from here?  That — the jury is still out.  But the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely. 

Yes, ma’am.

Q    Mr. President, will the United States be responsible for the loss of Afghan civilian lives that could happen after a —

THE PRESIDENT:  No.

Q    — military exit?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, no.  It’s up to the people of Afghanistan to decide on what government they want, not us to impose the government on them.  No country has ever been able to do that. 

Keep in mind, as a student of history, as I’m sure you are, never has Afghanistan been a united country, not in all of its history.  Not in all of its history.

Q    Mr. President, if this isn’t a “mission accomplished” moment, what is it, in your view?

THE PRESIDENT:  No, there’s no “mission accomplished.” 

Q    How would you describe it?

THE PRESIDENT:  The mission was accomplished in that we get — got Osama bin Laden, and terrorism is not emanating from that part of the world.

Q    Mr. President, if “speed is safety,” as you just said in your remarks, are you satisfied with the timeline of relocating Afghan nationals?  Is it happening quickly enough to your satisfaction, if it may not happen until next month, at the end?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, much of it has already happened.  There’s already been people — about a thousand people have gotten on aircraft and come home — come to the United States already on commercial aircraft.  So, as I said, there’s over 2,500 people that as — from January to now, have gotten those visas.  And only half decided that they wanted to leave. 

The point is that I think the whole process has to be speeded up, period, in terms of being able to get these visas.

Q    Why can’t the U.S. evacuate these Afghan translators to the United States to await their visa processing as some immigrants at the southern border have been allowed to do?

THE PRESIDENT:  Because the law doesn’t allow that to happen.  And that’s why we’re asking the Congress to consider changing the law. 

But in the meantime, we can guarantee their safety, if they wish to leave, by taking them to third countries and/or, while the wait is taking place, to come to — to — and hopefully, while they’re waiting there, to be able to bring them back to the United States, if that’s what they choose to do.

Q    And what do you make — and what do you make, sir, of the Taliban being in Russia today?

Q    Mr. President, I’m from Afghanistan.  I am Afghan (inaudible) woman.  Any message — good message for Afghan women in future?  Because they have achievement — they are really concerned about their achievement. 

THE PRESIDENT:  They are very concerned, with good reason. 

Q    Yes.

THE PRESIDENT:  When I was in Afghanistan — I’ve been there a number of times — I remember being in a school outside and — and, by the way, the schools in Afghanistan are not fundamentally unlike schools in the West Coast, where they have, you know, a — an area in the middle that is sort of like — it looks like a playground and single-story buildings connected around it. 

And I remember saying to — speaking to a group of young women — I guess they were roughly — don’t hold me to this — they look like they’d be 14, 15 years old.  And they’re in school, and there’s a tiered classroom with single light bulbs hanging from the ceiling, as I know you know. 

And I said, “You know, the United States came here to make sure that we got this terrorist, Osama bin Laden, and that terrorists didn’t amass again to — to go after our country.  And then we’re going to have to leave.”  And a young woman said, “You can’t leave.  You can’t leave.”  It was — it was heartbreaking.  “You can’t leave,” she said.  “I want to be a doctor.  I want to be a doctor.  I want to be a doctor.  If you leave, I’ll never be able to be a doctor.”  Well, that’s why we spent so much time and money training the Afghan Security Forces to do the work of defending that.  If every work —

Well, anyway — so, yes, I’m aware. 

I’m going to take one more question.

Q    Mr. President, have you spoken with any Taliban officials about the withdrawal?

Q    (Inaudible) the Taliban being in Russia today — the Taliban —

Q    Mr. — Mr. President, I — thank you.  I wanted to ask: With the benefit of hindsight, you’ve spoken to the fact that the Taliban are sort of at their militarily strongest point that you’ve seen in 20 years.  How do you feel personally about that, with the benefit of hindsight and all of the dollars and investments and American troops that were sent there?

THE PRESIDENT:  Relative to the training and capacity of the ANSF and the training of the federal police, they’re not even close in terms of their capacity. 

I was making the point — the point was that here we were; I was — the argument is, “Well, we could stay because no one was dying.  No Americans are being shot.  So why leave?”  Once the agreement was made by the last administration that we were going to leave by May 1st, it was very clear that a Taliban that had always been a problem was even a more sophisticated problem than they were than before.  Not more sophisticated than the ANSF, the government.  More than they were.

The point being that it would have increased the prospect that they would have been able to take more lives of Americans if they decided we weren’t going to go after them.  That was the point I was making. 

Thank you all so very much.  Thank you.

2:34 P.M. EDT

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Readout of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. Meeting with President Ghani and Chairman Abdullah of Afghanistan

JUNE 25, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

President Biden met with President Ashraf Ghani and High Council for National Reconciliation Chairman Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan. President Biden emphasized enduring United States support for the Afghan people, including Afghan women, girls, and minorities, through civilian, development, and humanitarian aid, as well as the continued provision of security assistance to support Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. President Biden expressed his concern about the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Afghanistan, and noted additional emergency U.S. assistance, including three million doses of vaccines, to help the Afghan government respond to the pandemic. President Biden, President Ghani, and Chairman Abdullah concurred on the need for unity among Afghan leaders in support of peace and stability, and President Biden reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to fully support intra-Afghan negotiations. The U.S. and Afghan leaders firmly agreed that although U.S. troops are leaving Afghanistan, the strong bilateral partnership will continue.

 

Remarks by President Biden and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Before Bilateral Meeting

JUNE 25, 2021SPEECHES AND REMARKS

Oval Office

4:15 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, it’s good to see two old friends. We met many, many times in Afghanistan for long hours. And they’re welcome here. They’ve had a chance to meet with the — all the major players of the administration — from the Secretary of Defense, to the CIA — across the board. And it’s good to have them here in the White House.

The partnership between Afghanistan and the United States is not ending. It’s — it’s going to be sustained. And, you know, our troops may be leaving, but support for Afghanistan is not ending, in terms of support and maintenance of their — helping maintain their military, as well as economic and political support.

And they’ve both got very difficult jobs. Every time I think I’ve got a tough job, I think, Mr. President —

PRESIDENT GHANI: (Laughs.)

PRESIDENT BIDEN: But, seriously, I — they’re doing important work of trying to bring about unity among Afghan leaders up — across the board.

And — and they have to — Afghans are going to have to decide their future of what they — what they want. What they want. But it won’t be for lack of us being a help. There’s going to be a — and the senseless violence that has to stop, but it’s going to be very difficult.

But we’re going to stick with you. And we’re going to do our best to see to it you have the tools you need.

PRESIDENT GHANI: Well, thank you, Mr. President. First of all, let me pay tribute to the 2,448 Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice, over a million American veterans who have served with honor and dignity for your security and our freedom.

The United States has not spared any effort in blood or treasure during these years. And as a grateful nation, I want to acknowledge that and ask you —

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Thank you.

PRESIDENT GHANI: — to thank the Gold Star families.

Second, President Biden’s decision has been historic. It has made everybody recalculate and reconsider. We are here to respect it and support it.

Third, we are entering into a new chapter of our relationship where the partnership with the United States would not be military, but comprehensive, regarding our mutual interest. And we’re very encouraged and satisfied that this partnership is taking place. Thank you for ordering the priorities.

The Afghan nation is in 1861 moment, like President Lincoln, rallying to the defense of the republic, determined that the republic is defended. It’s a choice of values — the values of an exclusionary system or an inclusionary system.

We’re determined to have unity, coherence, national sense of sacrifice, and will not spare anything.

Just for your information: Today, the Afghan Defense and Security Forces have retaken six districts, both in the south and the north. It’s showing our determination. So I hope that nobody does the Bernard Shaw on us — exaggerating our death before something has happened.

Let us understand that in moments of great transition, things happen. But you will see that with determination, with unity, and with the partnership, we will overcome all odds. Thank you, Mr. President.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Thank you. Thank you all. Appreciate it. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, do you have any reaction to Derek Chauvin being sentenced to twenty-two and a half years in prison?

PRESIDENT BIDEN: I’ve not been able to hear anything about what’s happened. How long has he been sentenced?

Q Twenty-two and a half years.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, I — I don’t know all the circumstances that were considered, but it seems to me — under the guidelines — that seems to be appropriate.

Thank you.

4:20 P.M. EDT

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FACT SHEET: Continued U.S. Support for a Peaceful, Stable Afghanistan

JUNE 25, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

The United States continues to use its full diplomatic, economic, and assistance toolkit to support a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Today, President Biden welcomed Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr. Abdullah Abdullah to the White House to discuss enduring United States support, including through security assistance to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, development and humanitarian assistance to support the Afghan people, and diplomatic engagement in support of peace.

Our strong support and partnership is designed to prevent Afghanistan from ever again being used as a safe haven for terrorism; maintain Afghan stability and build self-reliance; promote economic growth; preserve social gains in education, health and women’s empowerment and the rule of law; protect the rights of women, girls, and minorities; bolster Afghan civil society; and respond to humanitarian needs.  Since 2002, the United States has provided nearly $88 billion in security assistance, $36 billion in civilian assistance, including $787 million specifically intended to support Afghan women and girls, and nearly $3.9 billion in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.

The United States will continue to provide assistance through its enduring partnership with Afghanistan to promote a peaceful and stable future that the Afghan people want and deserve.  This includes:

Providing COVID-19 vaccines to the Afghan people.  As part of our work to end the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, and in response to a recent surge in COVID cases in Afghanistan, the United States will donate three million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccine to the people of Afghanistan through COVAX. COVAX is working to ship those doses to Afghanistan.

Providingcritical emergency medical assistance to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. USAID is also supporting Afghan efforts to respond to the critical shortfalls in oxygen and medical ventilation support by providing emergency and structural assistance. USAID has ordered over 300 oxygen cylinders and several months’ worth of ventilator consumables to be shipped to Afghanistan as quickly as possible.  Additionally, USAID plans to install oxygen plants in four hospitals that will serve smaller facilities in the surrounding areas. USAID previously announced that they are investing $3.7 million to train clinicians to manage severe cases in the five hardest hit urban cities and provide critical expertise for vaccine deployment. 

Providing needed assistance to help with the pandemic’s impacts. This is in addition to in the past year, the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have provided $40 million to directly help Afghanistan respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, expedited $90 million in other COVID-related development assistance through the World Bank, and reoriented other U.S. development assistance to support Afghan efforts to deal with the pandemic’s consequences.  And, USAID recently committed $38 million in emergency COVID-19 supplemental funding to the UN World Food Program (WFP) to address the food and nutrition needs of approximately 1.2 million COVID-impacted vulnerable people in Afghanistan.  WFP will reach over a million people most affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 with in-kind food assistance to help them meet their food needs for four months. Additionally, with this funding, WFP will reach more than 164,000 children and nearly 28,000 pregnant and lactating women with essential moderate acute malnutrition treatment.

Contributing lifesaving humanitarian assistance to Afghans in need. The U.S. recently announced more than $266 million in new humanitarian assistance to address the pressing needs of an estimated 18 million people in Afghanistan, including more than 4.8 million internally displaced Afghans.  This funding will allow our partners to provide lifesaving protection, shelter, livelihood opportunities, essential health care, emergency food aid, water, sanitation, and hygiene services to respond to the needs generated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Furthermore, this assistance will help to address protection needs for the most vulnerable Afghans.  This includes women and girls facing particular risks, including gender-based violence, as a result of decades of conflict and the pandemic.

Continuing security assistance.  The Department of Defense’s Afghanistan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) will provide financial support to the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, Afghan Air Force and the Afghan Special Security Forces, including the Special Mission Wing.  Congress appropriated over $3 billion to ASFF in 2021 and the President has requested over $3.3 billion for 2022. 

Sustaining development assistance to support a secure, stable, unified, democratic, and self-reliant Afghanistan that is at peace with itself and its neighbors.  As part of our commitment to invest in and support the Afghan people, the United States has recently announced an additional $300 million in civilian assistance for Afghanistan in 2021 through both the Department of State and USAID.  The President has also requested an additional $364 million in development assistance for the State Department and USAID for 2022.

This assistance demonstrates our enduring support for the Afghan people.  The funding will be targeted at sustaining the gains of the past 20 years by improving access to essential services for Afghan citizens, promoting economic growth, fighting corruption and the narcotics trade, improving health and education service delivery, supporting women’s empowerment, enhancing conflict resolution mechanisms, supporting the Afghan-led peace process and bolstering Afghan civil society.

Mobilizing diplomatic support for peace and stability. The United States continues to press for a just and durable peace in Afghanistan. The United States recognizes that the best way to protect our interests and the interests of the Afghan people is through an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led negotiated settlement. Following intensive efforts by the State Department and a number of our key allies and partners, formal Afghanistan Peace Negotiations started last year for the first time since 2001. We continue to urge all Afghan parties to engage urgently and meaningfully in peace talks aimed at achieving a just and durable settlement that includes protections for the rights of all Afghans, including women and minorities.  The appointment of Mr. Jean Arnault as the United Nations Secretary General’s personal representative on Afghanistan and regional issues reflects the critical role of the United Nations in bringing together Afghan sides and regional stakeholders to end Afghanistan’s more than 40-year war.

Standing with Partners in Support of the Afghan people.  Building on the broad international support for the Afghan people, the United States will encourage our partners to continue their security and development assistance, including through the Afghan National Army Trust Fund (ANATF), Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), and the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF).  The United States will also work closely with other major donors to ensure continued development and humanitarian assistance to help the Afghan people.

 

Statement by White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki on the Visit of President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation

JUNE 20, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

President Biden looks forward to welcoming Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, to the White House on June 25, 2021. The visit by President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah will highlight the enduring partnership between the United States and Afghanistan as the military drawdown continues. The United States is committed to supporting the Afghan people by providing diplomatic, economic, and humanitarian assistance to support the Afghan people, including Afghan women, girls and minorities. The United States will remain deeply engaged with the Government of Afghanistan to ensure the country never again becomes a safe haven for terrorist groups who pose a threat to the U.S. homeland. The United States continues to fully support the ongoing peace process and encourages all Afghan parties to participate meaningfully in negotiations to bring an end to the conflict.

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Letter to Certain Congressional Committees Regarding Afghanistan

JUNE 08, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

Dear Mr. Chairman:

Consistent with section 1215(d) of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (Public Law 116-283), I have determined that a waiver of the limitation under subsection 1215(a) is important to the national security interests of the United States.

As I announced on April 14, 2021, after almost 20 years, it is time to end America’s longest war and bring our troops home.  I reached this conclusion after conducting a rigorous policy review process and consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, and with the President of Afghanistan and many other leaders around the world.

We went to Afghanistan in 2001 for a clear and just purpose:  to apprehend those who attacked our country on September 11, 2001; to root out al-Qa’ida; and to prevent future attacks against the United States from Afghanistan.  As a Senator, I supported sending our military to Afghanistan for those reasons.  Our original mission had overwhelming support in the Congress and our allies and partners rallied to our side and stood with us in Afghanistan.

We have long since accomplished the objectives that sent us to Afghanistan.  It has been 10 years since we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.  The terrorist threat from al-Qa’ida in Afghanistan is significantly degraded.

Over the last 20 years, however, the terrorist threat to the United States has become more dispersed around the globe.  Keeping thousands of troops concentrated on the ground in Afghanistan no longer makes sense as the most effective counterterrorism strategy when the threat has metastasized across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.  Our focus and posture need to adapt accordingly.

As we draw down United States troops, we will not take our eye off the terrorist threat in Afghanistan.  The United States will reorganize our counterterrorism capabilities and assets in the region to prevent the reemergence of a terrorist threat in Afghanistan.  We will hold the Taliban and the Afghan government accountable to their commitments not to allow terrorists to threaten the United States or its allies from Afghan soil.  And we will refine our national strategy to monitor and disrupt terrorist threats wherever they arise.

Over the past few decades, the United States and our partners have trained hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops.  The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces currently number close to 300,000, and they will continue to fight valiantly to protect the Afghan citizens.  With the support of the Congress, we will continue to support the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.  We will also continue to support the rights of Afghan women and girls and to maintain significant humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan.

We will continue to pursue diplomacy and fully support peace talks between the Government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, facilitated by the United Nations.  And we will encourage other nations in the region, especially Pakistan, to do more to support Afghanistan and to support stability in the country.  But we will not allow United States troops to be a bargaining chip between warring parties in other countries.  That is a recipe for staying indefinitely in Afghanistan. 

We will withdraw responsibly, deliberately, and safely, in full coordination with our allies and partners.  Our NATO allies and operational partners, who have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us for almost 20 years and who have also made great sacrifices, will now withdraw alongside our forces as we stand by our enduring principle of “in together, out together.”

Finally, I want to acknowledge the tremendous debt of gratitude we owe as a Nation to the women and men who have served honorably in Afghanistan since 2001.  They and their families have made incredible sacrifices for our Nation that we can never fully repay. I look forward to working with the Congress to continue supporting our forces and veterans and on countering the challenges our Nation faces across the globe.

        Sincerely,

       JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

----------------

Remarks by President Biden on the Way Forward in Afghanistan

APRIL 14, 2021SPEECHES AND REMARKS

Treaty Room

2:29 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  I’m speaking to you today from the Roosevelt — the Treaty Room in the White House.  The same spot where, on October of 2001, President George W. Bush informed our nation that the United States military had begun strikes on terrorist training camps in Afghanistan.  It was just weeks — just weeks after the terrorist attack on our nation that killed 2,977 innocent souls; that turned Lower Manhattan into a disaster area, destroyed parts of the Pentagon, and made hallowed ground of a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and sparked an American promise that we would “never forget.”

We went to Afghanistan in 2001 to root out al Qaeda, to prevent future terrorist attacks against the United States planned from Afghanistan.  Our objective was clear.  The cause was just.  Our NATO Allies and partners rallied beside us.  And I supported that military action, along with overwhelming majority of the members of Congress.

More than seven years later, in 2008, weeks before we swore the oath of office — President Obama and I were about to swear — President Obama asked me to travel to Afghanistan and report back on the state of the war in Afghanistan.  I flew to Afghanistan, to the Kunar Valley — a rugged, mountainous region on the border with Pakistan.  What I saw on that trip reinforced my conviction that only the Afghans have the right and responsibility to lead their country, and that more and endless American military force could not create or sustain a durable Afghan government. 

I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again.  We did that.  We accomplished that objective. 

I said, among — with others, we’d follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell if need be.  That’s exactly what we did, and we got him.  It took us close to 10 years to put President Obama’s commitment to — into form.  And that’s exactly what happened; Osama bin Laden was gone. 

That was 10 years ago.  Think about that.  We delivered justice to bin Laden a decade ago, and we’ve stayed in Afghanistan for a decade since.  Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan are becoming increasingly unclear, even as the terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved.

Over the past 20 years, the threat has become more dispersed, metastasizing around the globe: al-Shabaab in Somalia; al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; al-Nusra in Syria; ISIS attempting to create a califit [caliphate] in Syria and Iraq, and establishing affiliates in multiple countries in Africa and Asia. 

With the terror threat now in many places, keeping thousands of troops grounded and concentrated in just one country at a cost of billions each year makes little sense to me and to our leaders.  We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdrawal, and expecting a different result. 

I’m now the fourth United States President to preside over American troop presence in Afghanistan: two Republicans, two Democrats.  I will not pass this responsibility on to a fifth.

After consulting closely with our allies and partners, with our military leaders and intelligence personnel, with our diplomats and our development experts, with the Congress and the Vice President, as well as with Mr. Ghani and many others around the world, I have concluded that it’s time to end America’s longest war.  It’s time for American troops to come home. 

When I came to office, I inherited a diplomatic agreement, duly negotiated between the government of the United States and the Taliban, that all U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, just three months after my inauguration.  That’s what we inherited — that commitment. 

It is perhaps not what I would have negotiated myself, but it was an agreement made by the United States government, and that means something.  So, in keeping with that agreement and with our national interests, the United States will begin our final withdrawal — begin it on May 1 of this year. 

We will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit.  We’ll do it — we’ll do it responsibly, deliberately, and safely.  And we will do it in full coordination with our allies and partners, who now have more forces in Afghanistan than we do. 
And the Taliban should know that if they attack us as we draw down, we will defend ourselves and our partners with all the tools at our disposal. 

Our allies and partners have stood beside us shoulder-to-shoulder in Afghanistan for almost 20 years, and we’re deeply grateful for the contributions they have made to our shared mission and for the sacrifices they have borne.

The plan has long been “in together, out together.”  U.S. troops, as well as forces deployed by our NATO Allies and operational partners, will be out of Afghanistan before we mark the 20th anniversary of that heinous attack on September 11th. 

But — but we’ll not take our eye off the terrorist threat.  We’ll reorganize our counterterrorism capabilities and the substantial assets in the region to prevent reemergence of terrorists — of the threat to our homeland from over the horizon.  We’ll hold the Taliban accountable for its commitment not to allow any terrorists to threaten the United States or its allies from Afghan soil.  The Afghan government has made that commitment to us as well.  And we’ll focus our full attention on the threat we face today. 

At my direction, my team is refining our national strategy to monitor and disrupt significant terrorist threats not only in Afghanistan, but anywhere they may arise — and they’re in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere. 

I spoke yesterday with President Bush to inform him of my decision. (While he and I have had many disagreements over policies throughout the years, )we’re absolutely united in our respect and support for the valor, courage, and integrity of the women and men of the United States Armed Forces who served.  I’m immensely grateful for the bravery and backbone that they have shown through nearly two decades of combat deployments.  We as a nation are forever indebted to them and to their families. 

You all know that less than 1 percent of Americans serve in our armed forces.  The remaining 99 percent of them — we owe them.  We owe them.  They have never backed down from a single mission that we’ve asked of them.

I’ve witnessed their bravery firsthand during my visits to Afghanistan.  They’ve never wavered in their resolve.  They’ve paid a tremendous price on our behalf.  And they have the thanks of a grateful nation.

While we will not stay involved in Afghanistan militarily, our diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue.  We’ll continue to support the government of Afghanistan.  We will keep providing assistance to the Afghan National Defenses and Security Forces. 

And along with our partners, we have trained and equipped a standing force of over 300,000 Afghan personnel today and hundreds of thousands over the past two decades.  And they’ll continue to fight valiantly, on behalf of the Afghans, at great cost.  They’ll support peace talks, as we will support peace talks between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban, facilitated by the United Nations.  And we’ll continue to support the rights of Afghan women and girls by maintaining significant humanitarian and development assistance.

And we’ll ask other countries — other countries in the region — to do more to support Afghanistan, especially Pakistan, as well as Russia, China, India, and Turkey.  They all have a significant stake in the stable future for Afghanistan. 

And over the next few months, we will also determine what a continued U.S. diplomatic presence in Afghanistan will look like, including how we’ll ensure the security of our diplomats.

Look, I know there are many who will loudly insist that diplomacy cannot succeed without a robust U.S. military presence to stand as leverage.  We gave that argument a decade.  It’s never proved effective — not when we had 98,000 troops in Afghanistan, and not when we were down to a few thousand.

Our diplomacy does not hinge on having boots in harm’s way — U.S. boots on the ground.  We have to change that thinking.  American troops shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip between warring parties in other countries.  You know, that’s nothing more than a recipe for keeping American troops in Afghanistan indefinitely. 

I also know there are many who will argue that we should stay — stay fighting in Afghanistan because withdrawal would damage America’s credibility and weaken America’s influence in the world.  I believe the exact opposite is true. 

We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago.  That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021. 

Rather than return to war with the Taliban, we have to focus on the challenges that are in front of us.  We have to track and disrupt terrorist networks and operations that spread far beyond Afghanistan since 9/11.

We have to shore up American competitiveness to meet the stiff competition we’re facing from an increasingly assertive China.  We have to strengthen our alliances and work with like-minded partners to ensure that the rules of international norms that govern cyber threats and emerging technologies that will shape our future are grounded in our democratic values — values — not those of the autocrats. 

We have to defeat this pandemic and strengthen the global health system to prepare for the next one, because there will be another pandemic. 

You know, we’ll be much more formidable to our adversaries and competitors over the long term if we fight the battles for the next 20 years, not the last 20. 

And finally, the main argument for staying longer is what each of my three predecessors have grappled with: No one wants to say that we should be in Afghanistan forever, but they insist now is not the right moment to leave. 

In 2014, NATO issued a declaration affirming that Afghan Security Forces would(, from that point on, )have full responsibility for their country’s security by the end of that year.  That was seven years ago. 

So when will it be the right moment to leave?  One more year, two more years, ten more years?  Ten, twenty, thirty billion dollars more above the trillion we’ve already spent? 

“Not now” — that’s how we got here.  And in this moment, there’s a significant downside risk to staying beyond May 1st without a clear timetable for departure. 

If we instead pursue the approach where America — U.S. exit is tied to conditions on the ground, we have to have clear answers to the following questions: Just what conditions require to — be required to allow us to depart?  By what means and how long would it take to achieve them, if they could be achieved at all?  And at what additional cost in lives and treasure?

I’m not hearing any good answers to these questions.  And if you can’t answer them, in my view, we should not stay.  The fact is that, later today, I’m going to visit Arlington National Cemetery, Section 60, and that sacred memorial to American sacrifice. 

Section sisty [sic] — Section 60 is where our recent war dead are buried, including many of the women and men who died fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.  There’s no — there’s no comforting distance in history in Section 60.  The grief is raw.  It’s a visceral reminder of the living cost of war. 

For the past 12 years, ever since I became Vice President, I’ve carried with me a card that reminds me of the exact number of American troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. That exact number, not an approximation or rounded-off number — because every one of those dead are sacred human beings who left behind entire families.  An exact accounting of every single solitary one needs to be had. 

As of the day — today, there are two hundred and forty- — 2,488 [2,448] U.S. troops and personnel who have died in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel — our Afghanistan conflicts.  20,722 have been wounded. 

I’m the first President in 40 years who knows what it means to have a child serving in a warzone.  And throughout this process, my North Star has been remembering what it was like when my late son, Beau, was deployed to Iraq — how proud he was to serve his country; how insistent he was to deploy with his unit; and the impact it had on him and all of us at home. 

We already have service members doing their duty in Afghanistan today whose parents served in the same war.  We have service members who were not yet born when our nation was attacked on 9/11. 

War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi-generational undertaking.  We were attacked.  We went to war with clear goals.  We achieved those objectives.  Bin Laden is dead, and al Qaeda is degraded in Iraq — in Afghanistan.  And it’s time to end the forever war. 

Thank you all for listening.  May God protect our troops.  May God bless all those families who lost someone in this endeavor.

2:45 P.M. EDT


                               

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Today (July 1), China’s Communist Party celebrates its 100th anniversary. For the occasion, Chinese president and party chairman Xi Jinping gave a speech on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, which is translated into English in the transcript below, provided by the party to Nikkei Asia via Xinhua News Agency:

“Comrades and friends,

Today, the first of July, is a great and solemn day in the history of both the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese nation. We gather here to join all party members and Chinese people of all ethnic groups around the country in celebrating the centenary of the Party, looking back on the glorious journey the party has traveled over 100 years of struggle, and looking ahead to the bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

To begin, let me extend warm congratulations to all party members on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.

On this special occasion, it is my honor to declare on behalf of the party and the people that through the continued efforts of the whole party and the entire nation, we have realized the first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. This means that we have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, and we are now marching in confident strides toward the second centenary goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. This is a great and glorious accomplishment for the Chinese nation, for the Chinese people, and for the Communist Party of China!

Comrades and friends,

The Chinese nation is a great nation. With a history of more than 5,000 years, China has made indelible contributions to the progress of human civilization. After the Opium War of 1840, however, China was gradually reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society and suffered greater ravages than ever before. The country endured intense humiliation, the people were subjected to great pain, and the Chinese civilization was plunged into darkness. Since that time, national rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation.

To save the nation from peril, the Chinese people put up a courageous fight. As noble-minded patriots sought to pull the nation together, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Movement, the Reform Movement of 1898, the Yihetuan Movement, and the Revolution of 1911 rose one after the other, and a variety of plans were devised to ensure national survival, but all of these ended in failure. China was in urgent need of new ideas to lead the movement to save the nation and a new organization to rally revolutionary forces.

With the salvoes of Russia’s October Revolution in 1917, Marxism-Leninism was brought to China. Then in 1921, as the Chinese people and the Chinese nation were undergoing a great awakening and Marxism-Leninism was becoming closely integrated with the Chinese workers’ movement, the Communist Party of China was born. The founding of a communist party in China was an epoch-making event, which profoundly changed the course of Chinese history in modern times, transformed the future of the Chinese people and nation, and altered the landscape of world development.

 

Since the very day of its founding, the party has made seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation its aspiration and mission. All the struggle, sacrifice, and creation through which the party has united and led the Chinese people over the past hundred years has been tied together by one ultimate theme-bringing about the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

To realize national rejuvenation, the party united and led the Chinese people in fighting bloody battles with unyielding determination, achieving great success in the new-democratic revolution.

Through the Northern Expedition, the Agrarian Revolutionary War, the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, and the War of Liberation, we fought armed counter-revolution with armed revolution, toppling the three mountains of imperialism, feudalism, and bureaucrat-capitalism and establishing the People’s Republic of China, which made the people masters of the country. We thus secured our nation’s independence and liberated our people.

 

The victory of the new-democratic revolution put an end to China’s history as a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society, to the state of total disunity that existed in old China, and to all the unequal treaties imposed on our country by foreign powers and all the privileges that imperialist powers enjoyed in China. It created the fundamental social conditions for realizing national rejuvenation.

Through tenacious struggle, the party and the Chinese people showed the world that the Chinese people had stood up, and that the time in which the Chinese nation could be bullied and abused by others was gone forever.

To realize national rejuvenation, the party united and led the Chinese people in endeavoring to build a stronger China with a spirit of self-reliance, achieving great success in socialist revolution and construction.

 

By carrying out socialist revolution, we eliminated the exploitative and repressive feudal system that had persisted in China for thousands of years, and established socialism as our basic system. In the process of socialist construction, we overcame subversion, sabotage, and armed provocation by imperialist and hegemonic powers, and brought about the most extensive and profound social changes in the history of the Chinese nation. This great transformation of China from a poor and backward country in the East with a large population into a socialist country laid down the fundamental political conditions and the institutional foundations necessary for realizing national rejuvenation.

Through tenacious struggle, the party and the Chinese people showed the world that the Chinese people were capable of not only dismantling the old world, but also building a new one, that only socialism could save China, and that only socialism with Chinese characteristics could develop China.

To realize national rejuvenation, the party united and led the Chinese people in freeing the mind and forging ahead, achieving great success in reform, opening up, and socialist modernization.

 

We established the Party’s basic line for the primary stage of socialism, resolutely advanced reform and opening up, overcame risks and challenges from every direction, and founded, upheld, safeguarded, and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics, thus bringing about a major turn with far-reaching significance in the history of the party since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This enabled China to transform itself from a highly centralized planned economy to a socialist market economy brimming with vitality, and from a country that was largely isolated to one that is open to the outside world across the board. It also enabled China to achieve the historic leap from a country with relatively backward productive forces to the world’s second largest economy, and to make the historic transformation of raising the living standards of its people from bare subsistence to an overall level of moderate prosperity, and then ultimately to moderate prosperity in all respects. These achievements fueled the push toward national rejuvenation by providing institutional guarantees imbued with new energy as well as the material conditions for rapid development.

Through tenacious struggle, the party and the Chinese people showed the world that by pursuing reform and opening up, a crucial move in making China what it is today, China had caught up with the times in great strides.

To realize national rejuvenation, the party has united and led the Chinese people in pursuing a great struggle, a great project, a great cause, and a great dream through a spirit of self-confidence, self-reliance, and innovation, achieving great success for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Following the Party’s 18th National Congress, socialism with Chinese characteristics entered a new era. In this new era, we have upheld and strengthened the Party’s overall leadership, ensured coordinated implementation of the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy, upheld and improved the system of socialism with Chinese characteristics, modernized China’s system and capacity for governance, remained committed to exercising rule-based governance over the Party, and developed a sound system of intraparty regulations. We have overcome a long list of major risks and challenges, fulfilled the first centenary goal, and set out strategic steps for achieving the second centenary goal. All the historic achievements and changes in the cause of the party and the country have provided the cause of national rejuvenation with more robust institutions, stronger material foundations, and a source of inspiration for taking greater initiative.

Through tenacious struggle, the party and the Chinese people have shown the world that the Chinese nation has achieved the tremendous transformation from standing up and growing prosperous to becoming strong, and that China’s national rejuvenation has become a historical inevitability.

Over the past hundred years, the party has united and led the Chinese people in writing the most magnificent chapter in the millennia-long history of the Chinese nation, embodying the dauntless spirit that Mao Zedong expressed when he wrote, “Our minds grow stronger for the martyrs’ sacrifice, daring to make the sun and the moon shine in the new sky.” The great path we have pioneered, the great cause we have undertaken, and the great achievements we have made over the past century will go down in the annals of the development of the Chinese nation and of human civilization.

Comrades and friends,

A hundred years ago, the pioneers of Communism in China established the Communist Party of China and developed the great founding spirit of the Party, which is comprised of the following principles: upholding truth and ideals, staying true to our original aspiration and founding mission, fighting bravely without fear of sacrifice, and remaining loyal to the party and faithful to the people. This spirit is the Party’s source of strength.

Over the past hundred years, the party has carried forward this great founding spirit. Through its protracted struggles, it has developed a long line of inspiring principles for Chinese Communists and tempered a distinct political character. As history has kept moving forward, the spirit of the party has been passed on from generation to generation. We will continue to promote our glorious traditions and sustain our revolutionary legacy, so that the great founding spirit of the party will always be kept alive and carried forward.

Comrades and friends,

We owe all that we have achieved over the past hundred years to the concerted efforts of the Chinese Communists, the Chinese people, and the Chinese nation. Chinese Communists, with comrades Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao as their chief representatives, have made tremendous and historic contributions to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. To them, we express our highest respect.

Let us take this moment to cherish the memory of comrades Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Liu Shaoqi, Zhu De, Deng Xiaoping, Chen Yun, and other veteran revolutionaries who contributed greatly to China’s revolution, construction, and reform, and to the founding, consolidation, and development of the Communist Party of China; let us cherish the memory of the revolutionary martyrs who bravely laid down their lives to establish, defend, and develop the People’s Republic; let us cherish the memory of those who dedicated their lives to reform, opening up, and socialist modernization; and let us cherish the memory of all the men and women who fought tenaciously for national independence and the liberation of the people in modern times. Their great contributions to our motherland and our nation will be immortalized in the annals of history, and their noble spirit will live on forever in the hearts of the Chinese people.

The people are the true heroes, for it is they who create history. On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, I would like to pay my highest respects to workers, farmers, and intellectuals across the country; to other political parties, public figures without party affiliation, people’s organizations, and patriotic figures from all sectors of society; to all members of the People’s Liberation Army, the People’s Armed Police Force, the public security police, and the fire and rescue services; to all socialist working people; and to all members of the united front. I would like to extend my sincere greetings to compatriots in the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and in Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese. And I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to people and friends from around the world who have shown friendship to the Chinese people and understanding and support for China’s endeavors in revolution, development, and reform.

Comrades and friends,

Though our Party’s founding mission is easy to define, ensuring that we stay true to this mission is a more difficult task. By learning from history, we can understand why powers rise and fall. Through the mirror of history, we can find where we currently stand and gain foresight into the future. Looking back on the Party’s 100-year history, we can see why we were successful in the past and how we can continue to succeed in the future. This will ensure that we act with greater resolve and purpose in staying true to our founding mission and pursuing a better future on the new journey that lies before us.

As we put conscious effort into learning from history to create a bright future, we must bear the following in mind:

We must uphold the firm leadership of the Party. China’s success hinges on the Party. The more than 180-year-long modern history of the Chinese nation, the 100-year-long history of the Party, and the more than 70-year-long history of the People’s Republic of China all provide ample evidence that without the Communist Party of China, there would be no new China and no national rejuvenation. The party was chosen by history and the people. The leadership of the party is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and constitutes the greatest strength of this system. It is the foundation and lifeblood of the party and the country, and the crux upon which the interests and wellbeing of all Chinese people depend.

On the journey ahead, we must uphold the Party’s overall leadership and continue to enhance its leadership. We must be deeply conscious of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Pparty leadership. We must stay confident in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must uphold the core position of the general secretary on the party central committee and in the party as a whole, and uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership. Bearing in mind the country’s most fundamental interests, we must enhance the Party’s capacity to conduct sound, democratic, and law-based governance, and ensure that it fully exerts its core role in providing overall leadership and coordinating the efforts of all sides.

We must unite and lead the Chinese people in working ceaselessly for a better life. This country is its people; the people are the country. As we have fought to establish and consolidate our leadership over the country, we have in fact been fighting to earn and keep the people’s support. The party has in the people its roots, its lifeblood, and its source of strength. The party has always represented the fundamental interests of all Chinese people; it stands with them through thick and thin and shares a common fate with them. The party has no special interests of its own-it has never represented any individual interest group, power group, or privileged stratum. Any attempt to divide the party from the Chinese people or to set the people against the party is bound to fail. The more than 95 million party members and the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people will never allow such a scenario to come to pass.

On the journey ahead, we must rely closely on the people to create history. Upholding the Party’s fundamental purpose of wholeheartedly serving the people, we will stand firmly with the people, implement the Party’s mass line, respect the people’s creativity, and practice a people-centered philosophy of development. We will develop whole-process people’s democracy, safeguard social fairness and justice, and resolve the imbalances and inadequacies in development and the most pressing difficulties and problems that are of great concern to the people. In doing so, we will make more notable and substantive progress toward achieving well-rounded human development and common prosperity for all.

We must continue to adapt Marxism to the Chinese context. Marxism is the fundamental guiding ideology upon which our party and country are founded; it is the very soul of our party and the banner under which it strives. The Communist Party of China upholds the basic tenets of Marxism and the principle of seeking truth from facts. Based on China’s realities, we have developed keen insights into the trends of the day, seized the initiative in history, and made painstaking explorations. We have thus been able to keep adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times, and to guide the Chinese people in advancing our great social revolution. At the fundamental level, the capability of our party and the strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics are attributable to the fact that Marxism works.

On the journey ahead, we must continue to uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and fully implement the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. We must continue to adapt the basic tenets of Marxism to China’s specific realities and its fine traditional culture. We will use Marxism to observe, understand, and steer the trends of our times, and continue to develop the Marxism of contemporary China and in the 21st century.

We must uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must follow our own path-this is the bedrock that underpins all the theories and practices of our Party. More than that, it is the historical conclusion our party has drawn from its struggles over the past century. Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a fundamental achievement of the party and the people, forged through innumerable hardships and great sacrifices, and it is the right path for us to achieve national rejuvenation. As we have upheld and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics and driven coordinated progress in material, political, cultural-ethical, social, and ecological terms, we have pioneered a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization, and created a new model for human advancement.

On the journey ahead, we must adhere to the Party’s basic theory, line, and policy, and implement the five-sphere integrated plan and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy. We must deepen reform and opening up across the board, ground our work in this new stage of development, fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy, and foster a new pattern of development. We must promote high-quality development and build up our country’s strength in science and technology. We must ensure it is our people who run the country, continue to govern based on the rule of law, and uphold the core socialist values. We must ensure and enhance public wellbeing in the course of development, promote harmony between humanity and nature, and take well-coordinated steps toward making our people prosperous, our nation strong, and our country beautiful.

The Chinese nation has fostered a splendid civilization over more than 5,000 years of history. The party has also acquired a wealth of experience through its endeavors over the past 100 years and during more than 70 years of governance. At the same time, we are also eager to learn what lessons we can from the achievements of other cultures, and welcome helpful suggestions and constructive criticism. We will not, however, accept sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us. The party and the Chinese people will keep moving confidently forward in broad strides along the path that we have chosen for ourselves, and we will make sure the destiny of China’s development and progress remains firmly in our own hands.

We must accelerate the modernization of national defense and the armed forces. A strong country must have a strong military, as only then can it guarantee the security of the nation. At the point that it was engaged in violent struggle, the party came to recognize the irrefutable truth that it must command the gun and build a people’s military of its own. The people’s military has made indelible achievements on behalf of the party and the people. It is a strong pillar for safeguarding our socialist country and preserving national dignity, and a powerful force for protecting peace in our region and beyond.

On the journey ahead, we must fully implement the Party’s thinking on strengthening the military in the new era as well as our military strategy for the new era, maintain the Party’s absolute leadership over the people’s armed forces, and follow a Chinese path to military development. We will take comprehensive measures to enhance the political loyalty of the armed forces, to strengthen them through reform and technology and the training of competent personnel, and to run them in accordance with the law. We will elevate our people’s armed forces to world-class standards so that we are equipped with greater capacity and more reliable means for safeguarding our national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

We must continue working to promote the building of a human community with a shared future. Peace, concord, and harmony are ideas the Chinese nation has pursued and carried forward for more than 5,000 years. The Chinese nation does not carry aggressive or hegemonic traits in its genes. The party cares about the future of humanity, and wishes to move forward in tandem with all progressive forces around the world. China has always worked to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and preserve international order.

On the journey ahead, we will remain committed to promoting peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit, to an independent foreign policy of peace, and to the path of peaceful development. We will work to build a new type of international relations and a human community with a shared future, promote high-quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative through joint efforts, and use China’s new achievements in development to provide the world with new opportunities. The party will continue to work with all peace-loving countries and peoples to promote the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom. We will continue to champion cooperation over confrontation, to open up rather than closing our doors, and to focus on mutual benefits instead of zero-sum games. We will oppose hegemony and power politics, and strive to keep the wheels of history rolling toward bright horizons.

We Chinese are a people who uphold justice and are not intimidated by threats of force. As a nation, we have a strong sense of pride and confidence. We have never bullied, oppressed, or subjugated the people of any other country, and we never will. By the same token, we will never allow any foreign force to bully, oppress, or subjugate us. Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.

We must carry out a great struggle with many contemporary features. Having the courage to fight and the fortitude to win is what has made our party invincible. Realizing our great dream will require hard work and persistence. Today, we are closer, more confident, and more capable than ever before of making the goal of national rejuvenation a reality. But we must be prepared to work harder than ever to get there.

On the journey ahead, we must demonstrate stronger vigilance and always be prepared for potential danger, even in times of calm. We must adopt a holistic approach to national security that balances development and security imperatives, and implement the national rejuvenation strategy within a wider context of the once-in-a-century changes taking place in the world. We need to acquire a full understanding of the new features and requirements arising from the change to the principal contradiction in Chinese society and the new issues and challenges stemming from a complicated international environment. We must be both brave and adept in carrying out our struggle, forging new paths and building new bridges wherever necessary to take us past all risks and challenges.

We must strengthen the great unity of the Chinese people. In the course of our struggles over the past century, the party has always placed the united front in a position of importance. We have constantly consolidated and developed the broadest possible united front, united all the forces that can be united, mobilized all positive factors that can be mobilized, and pooled as much strength as possible for collective endeavors. The patriotic united front is an important means for the party to unite all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation, both at home and abroad, behind the goal of national rejuvenation.

On the journey ahead, we must ensure great unity and solidarity and balance commonality and diversity. We should strengthen theoretical and political guidance, build broad consensus, bring together the brightest minds, and expand common ground and the convergence of interests, so that all Chinese people, both at home and overseas, can focus their ingenuity and energy on the same goal and come together as a mighty force for realizing national rejuvenation.

We must continue to advance the great new project of party building. A hallmark that distinguishes the Communist Party of China from other political parties is its courage in undertaking self-reform. An important reason why the party remains so vital and vibrant despite having undergone so many trials and tribulations is that it practices effective self-supervision and full and rigorous self-governance. It has thus been able to respond appropriately to the risks and tests of different historical periods, to ensure that it always remains at the forefront of the times even as profound changes sweep the global landscape, and to stand firm as the backbone of the nation throughout the process of meeting various risks and challenges at home and abroad.

On the journey ahead, we must keep firmly in mind the old adage that it takes a good blacksmith to make good steel. We must demonstrate greater political awareness of the fact that full and rigorous self-governance is a never-ending journey. With strengthening the party politically as our overarching principle, we must continue advancing the great new project of party building in the new era. We must tighten the Party’s organizational system, work hard to train high-caliber officials who have both moral integrity and professional competence, remain committed to improving party conduct, upholding integrity, and combating corruption, and root out any elements that would harm the Party’s advanced nature and purity and any viruses that would erode its health. We must ensure that the party preserves its essence, color, and character, and see that it always serves as the strong leadership core in the course of upholding and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

Comrades and friends,

We will stay true to the letter and spirit of the principle of One Country, Two Systems, under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong, and the people of Macao administer Macao, both with a high degree of autonomy. We will ensure that the central government exercises overall jurisdiction over Hong Kong and Macao, and implement the legal systems and enforcement mechanisms for the two special administrative regions to safeguard national security. While protecting China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, we will ensure social stability in Hong Kong and Macao, and maintain lasting prosperity and stability in the two special administrative regions.

Resolving the Taiwan question and realizing China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China. It is also a shared aspiration of all the sons and daughters of the Chinese nation. We will uphold the one-China principle and the 1992 Consensus, and advance peaceful national reunification. All of us, compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, must come together and move forward in unison. We must take resolute action to utterly defeat any attempt toward “Taiwan independence,” and work together to create a bright future for national rejuvenation. No one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Comrades and friends,

The future belongs to the young people, and our hopes also rest with them. A century ago, a group of young progressives held aloft the torch of Marxism and searched assiduously in those dark years for ways to rejuvenate the Chinese nation. Since then, under the banner of the Communist Party of China, generation after generation of young Chinese have devoted their youth to the cause of the party and the people, and remained in the vanguard of the drive to rejuvenate the nation.

In the new era, our young people should make it their mission to contribute to national rejuvenation and aspire to become more proud, confident, and assured in their identity as Chinese people so that they can live up to the promise of their youth and the expectations of our times, our party, and our people.

Comrades and friends,

A century ago, at the time of its founding, the Communist Party of China had just over 50 members. Today, with more than 95 million members in a country of more than 1.4 billion people, it is the largest governing party in the world and enjoys tremendous international influence.

A century ago, China was in decline and withering away in the eyes of the world. Today, the image it presents to the world is one of a thriving nation that is advancing with unstoppable momentum toward rejuvenation.

Over the past century, the Communist Party of China has secured extraordinary historical achievements on behalf of the people. Today, it is rallying and leading the Chinese people on a new journey toward realizing the second centenary goal.

To all party members,

The Central Committee calls on every one of you to stay true to our party’s founding mission and stand firm in your ideals and convictions. Acting on the purpose of the party, you should always maintain close ties with the people, empathize and work with them, stand with them through good times and bad, and continue working tirelessly to realize their aspirations for a better life and to bring still greater glory to the party and the people.

Comrades and friends,

Today, a hundred years on from its founding, the Communist Party of China is still in its prime, and remains as determined as ever to achieve lasting greatness for the Chinese nation. Looking back on the path we have traveled and forward to the journey that lies ahead, it is certain that with the firm leadership of the party and the great unity of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, we will achieve the goal of building a great modern socialist country in all respects and fulfill the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Long live our great, glorious, and correct party!

Long live our great, glorious, and heroic people!”

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June 16, 2021   19:40,  Geneva 

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon.

I am at your service. I think there is no need for long opening remarks since everyone is familiar with the topics of discussion in general: strategic stability, cyber security, regional conflicts, and trade relations. We also covered cooperation in the Arctic. This is pretty much what we discussed.

With that, I will take your questions.

Question: Good evening, Perhaps, you can name the topics that were discussed especially closely? In particular, Ukraine is of great interest. In what context was it touched upon, was the situation in Donbass and the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO discussed?

One more thing: before the talks, there were great expectations about the ambassadors of the two countries returning to their stations in the respective capitals. In particular, your assistant, Yury Ushakov, said that this was possible. Have these decisions been made? How did the talks go in general?

Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: With regard to the ambassadors returning to their stations – the US ambassador to Moscow, and the Russian ambassador to Washington, we agreed on this matter, and they will be returning to their permanent duty stations. When exactly – tomorrow or the day after tomorrow – is a purely technical issue.

We also agreed that the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation and the US State Department would begin consultations on the entire range of cooperation on the diplomatic track. There are things to discuss, and an enormous backlog [of unresolved issues] has piled up. I think both sides, including the American side, are committed to looking for solutions.

With regard to Ukraine, indeed, this issue was touched upon. I cannot say that it was done in great detail, but as far as I understood President Biden, he agreed that the Minsk agreements should be the basis for a settlement in southeastern Ukraine.

As for Ukraine’s potential accession to NATO, this issue was touched upon(in passing). I suppose there is nothing to discuss in this respect. This is how it was in general terms.

Question: Mr President, you said strategic stability was one of the topics. Could you tell us in more detail what decisions were made on this issue? Will Russia and the United States resume or start talks on strategic stability and disarmament, and, in particular, on the New START Treaty? Do they plan to start talks on extending New START, perhaps revising its parameters or signing a new treaty altogether? Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: The United States and the Russian Federation bear special responsibility for global strategic stability, at least because we are the two biggest nuclear powers – in terms of the amount of ammunition and warheads, the number of delivery vehicles, the level of sophistication and quality of nuclear arms. We are aware of this responsibility.

I think it is obvious to everyone that President Biden made a responsible and, we believe, timely decision to extend New START for five years, that is, until 2024.

Of course, it would be natural to ask what next. We agreed to start interdepartmental consultations under the aegis of the US Department of State and the Foreign Ministry of Russia. Colleagues will determine at the working level the line-up of these delegations, the venues and frequency of meetings.

Question: Hi, Matthew Chance from CNN. Thank you very much for giving me this question. First of all, could you characterise the dynamic between yourself and President Biden? Was it hostile or was it friendly? And secondly, throughout these conversations did you commit to ceasing carrying out cyberattacks on the United States? Did you commit to stopping threatening Ukraine’s security? And did you commit to stop cracking down on the opposition in Russia?

Vladimir Putin: I will begin with a general assessment. I believe there was no hostility at all. Quite the contrary. Our meeting was, of course, a principled one, and our positions diverge on many issues, but I still think that both of us showed a willingness to understand each other and look for ways of bringing our positions closer together. The conversation was quite constructive.

As for cyber security, we have agreed to start consultations on this issue. I consider this very important.

Now about the commitments each side must make. I would like to tell you about things that are generally known, but not to the public at large. American sources – I am simply afraid to mix up the names of organisations (Mr Peskov will give them to you later) – have said that most cyberattacks in the world come from US cyberspace. Canada is second. It is followed by two Latin American countries and then the United Kingdom. As you can see, Russia is not on the list of these countries from whose cyberspace the most cyberattacks originate. This is the first point.

Now the second point. In 2020 we received 10 inquiries from the United States about cyberattacks on US facilities – as our colleagues say – from Russian cyberspace. Two more requests were made this year. Our colleagues received exhaustive responses to all of them, both in 2020 and this year.

In turn, Russia sent 45 inquiries to the relevant US agency last year and 35 inquiries in the first half of this year. We have not yet received a single response. This shows that we have a lot to work on.

The question of who, on what scale and in what area must make commitments should be resolved during negotiations. We have agreed to start such consultations. We believe that cyber security is extremely important in the world in general, for the United States in particular, and to the same extent for Russia.

For example, we are aware of the cyberattacks on the pipeline company in the United States. We are also aware of the fact that the company had to pay 5 million to the cybercriminals. According to my information, a portion of the money has been returned from the e-wallets. What do Russia’s public authorities have to do with this?

We face the same threats. For example, there was an attack on the public healthcare system of a large region in the Russian Federation. Of course, we see where the attacks are coming from, and we see that these activities are coordinated from US cyberspace. I do not think that the United States, official US authorities, are interested in this kind of manipulation. What we need to do is discard all the conspiracy theories, sit down at the expert level and start working in the interests of the United States and the Russian Federation. In principle, we have agreed to this, and Russia is willing to do so.

Give them a microphone – part of the question remained unanswered.

Remark: That’s correct and thank you very much for coming back to me, sir. So, there were two other parts to the question. The first one is: did you commit in these meetings to stop threatening Ukraine? Remember the reason this summit was called in the first place, or the timing of it, was when Russia was building up lots of forces close to border. And the second part of the question, third part of the question was: did you commit to stopping your crackdown against the opposition groups inside Russia led by Alexei Navalny?

Vladimir Putin: I did not hear that part of the question – either it was not translated, or you just decided to ask a second question.

With regard to our obligations regarding Ukraine, we have only one obligation which is to facilitate the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. If the Ukrainian side is willing to do this, we will take this path, no questions asked.

By the way, I would like to note the following. Back in November 2020, the Ukrainian delegation presented its views about how it was planning to implement the Minsk Agreements. Please take a look at the Minsk Agreements – they are not a confidential document. They say that, first, it is necessary to submit proposals on the political integration of Donbass into the Ukrainian legal system and the Constitution. To do so, it is necessary to amend the Constitution – this is spelled out in the agreements. This is the first point. And second, the border between the Russian Federation and Ukraine along the Donbass line will begin to be occupied by the border troops of Ukraine on the day following election day – Article 9.

What has Ukraine come up with? The first step it proposed was to move Ukraine’s armed forces back to their permanent stations. What does this mean? This means Ukrainian troops would enter Donbass. This is the first point. Second, they proposed closing the border between Russia and Ukraine in this area. Third, they proposed holding elections three months after these two steps.

You do not need a legal background or any special training to understand that this has nothing to do with the Minsk Agreements. This completely contradicts the Minsk Agreements. Therefore, what kind of additional obligations can Russia assume? I think the answer is clear.

With regard to military exercises, we conduct them on our territory, just like the United States conducts many of its exercises on its territory. But we are not bringing our equipment and personnel closer to the state borders of the United States of America when we conduct our exercises. Unfortunately, this is what our US partners are doing now. So, the Russian side, not the American side, should be concerned about this, and this also needs to be discussed, and our respective positions should be clarified.

With regard to our non-systemic opposition and the citizen you mentioned, first, this person knew that he was breaking applicable Russian law. He needed to check in with the authorities as someone who was twice sentenced to a suspended prison time. (Fully cognisant of what he was doing, I want to emphasise this, and disregarding this legal requirement,) this gentleman went abroad for medical treatment, and the authorities did not ask him to check in while he was in treatment. As soon as he left the hospital and posted his videos online, the requirements were reinstated. He did not appear; he disregarded the law – and was put on the wanted list. He knew that going back to Russia. I believe he deliberately decided to get arrested. He did what he wanted to do. So, what is there to be discussed?

With regard to the people like him and the systemic opposition in general, unfortunately, the format of a news conference precludes a detailed discussion, but I would like to say the following. Look, I think I will not say anything complicated, it will be clear for everyone. If you find it possible to objectively convey this message to your viewers and listeners, I would be very grateful to you.

So, the United States declared Russia an enemy and an adversary. Congress did this in 2017. US legislation was amended to include provisions that the United States must maintain democratic governance rules and order in our country and support political organisations. This is in your law, US law. Now let's ask ourselves a question: if Russia is an enemy, what kind of organisations will the United States support in Russia? I think not the ones that make the Russian Federation stronger, but the ones that hold it back, since this is the goal of the United States, something that has been announced publicly. So, these are the organisations and the people who are instrumental in the implementation of the United States' policy on Russia.

How should we feel about this? I think it is clear: we must be wary. But we will act exclusively within the framework of Russian law.

To be continued.

Question: Pavel Zarubin, VGTRK.                                                                                    I wanted to continue with this subject. We still see that the Americans keep talking about the so-called political prisoners in Russia. Did you discuss the matter of Navalny at all during your talks with President Biden? In what manner did you discuss it, if at all?

Here is one more important topic. We are all aware, of course, that, let’s say, a new stage in Russia-US relations after President Biden took office began with a very harsh statement aimed at you. Have you settled this matter in any way?  Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: President Biden touched upon the matter of human rights and those who, as they believe, represent these issues in the Russian Federation. Yes, we talked about that at his initiative. This is the first thing.

Second, regarding harsh statements. What can I say? All of us are aware of these statements. President Biden called me after that and we discussed the matter. I accepted his explanation. He also suggested that we meet – it was his initiative. We have met, and, as I have already mentioned, we had a very constructive conversation. I saw once again that President Biden is an experienced person, which is absolutely obvious. Our face-to-face discussion lasted almost two hours. It is not with all leaders that such a detailed conversation can be held face to face.

As for all kinds of accusations, you may recall that his predecessor was asked the same question, and he evaded answering it. The incumbent US President decided to reply in this manner, and his reply was different from Mr Trump’s answer.

Generally speaking, responsibility for everything that takes place in our countries ultimately rests with the political leadership and top officials, that is, regarding who is guilty of what and who is the killer. You see, people(, including the leaders of various organisations, )are killed in American cities every day. You can barely say a word there, before you are shot in the face or in the back, regardless of who is nearby, children or other adults. I recall a situation when a woman left her car and started running, and she was shot in the back. All right, these are criminal matters. Take a look at Afghanistan: as many as 120 people were killed there in one blow; entire wedding parties were wiped out. Yes, this could have been a mistake; such things happen. But using drones to shoot people who are obviously civilians in Iraq – what was that? Who is responsible? Who is the killer?

Or take human rights. Listen, Guantanamo is still open. This is contrary to all imaginable rules, to international law or American laws, but it is still functioning. The CIA prisons that were opened in many countries, including in Europe, where they subjected people to torture, – what is this? Is this respect for human rights? I don’t think so, do you?

Hardly anyone in this room will agree that this is how human rights must be protected. But this is the existing political practice. Taking into account this practice and knowing that this was done and can still be done / shapes our attitude to what I have mentioned here, and to the people who receive foreign funding to protect the interests of those who pay them.

Question: Pavel Zarubin, VGTRK.

I wanted to continue with this subject. We still see that the Americans keep talking about the so-called political prisoners in Russia. Did you discuss the matter of Navalny at all during your talks with President Biden? In what manner did you discuss it, if at all?

Here is one more important topic. We are all aware, of course, that, let’s say, a new stage in Russia-US relations after President Biden took office began with a very harsh statement aimed at you. Have you settled this matter in any way?

Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: President Biden touched upon the matter of human rights and those who, as they believe, represent these issues in the Russian Federation. Yes, we talked about that at his initiative. This is the first thing.

Second, regarding harsh statements. What can I say? All of us are aware of these statements. President Biden called me after that and we discussed the matter. I accepted his explanation. He also suggested that we meet – it was his initiative. We have met, and, as I have already mentioned, we had a very constructive conversation. I saw once again that President Biden is an experienced person, which is absolutely obvious. Our face-to-face discussion lasted almost two hours. It is not with all leaders that such a detailed conversation can be held face to face.

As for all kinds of accusations, you may recall that his predecessor was asked the same question, and he evaded answering it. The incumbent US President decided to reply in this manner, and his reply was different from Mr Trump’s answer.

Generally speaking, responsibility for everything that takes place in our countries ultimately rests with the political leadership and top officials, that is, regarding who is guilty of what and who is the killer. You see, people, including the leaders of various organisations, are killed in American cities every day. You can barely say a word there before you are shot in the face or in the back, regardless of who is nearby, children or other adults. I recall a situation when a woman left her car and started running, and she was shot in the back. All right, these are criminal matters. Take a look at Afghanistan: as many as 120 people were killed there in one blow; entire wedding parties were wiped out. Yes, this could have been a mistake; such things happen. But using drones to shoot people who are obviously civilians in Iraq – what was that? Who is responsible? Who is the killer?

Or take human rights. Listen, Guantanamo is still open. This is contrary to all imaginable rules, to international law or American laws, but it is still functioning. The CIA prisons that were opened in many countries, including in Europe, where they subjected people to torture, – what is this? Is this respect for human rights? I don’t think so, do you?

Hardly anyone in this room will agree that this is how human rights must be protected. But this is the existing political practice. Taking into account this practice and knowing that this was done and can still be done shapes our attitude to what I have mentioned here, and to the people who receive foreign funding to protect the interests of those who pay them.

Question: Murad Gazdiev, RT.

I have a question about the Arctic. You mentioned that you discussed it.

The United States and its allies have been accusing Russia of militarising the Arctic for a long time. Just recently, in May, we heard US Secretary of State Antony Blinken voice his concern over the actions of Russia’s military. What exactly did you discuss?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, we discussed this issue in a broad format and in some detail. This is a highly important and interesting issue as the development of the entire Arctic region and the Northern Sea Route in particular has tremendous economic significance for many countries in the region and beyond it.

The US concerns regarding militarisation are absolutely groundless. We are not doing anything new there compared to the Soviet era. We are restoring the local infrastructure that was lost and demolished completely some time ago. Yes, we are doing this using up-to-date technology. We are restoring the military and border control infrastructure, and we are creating nature conservation infrastructure, which has never been done in the past. We are creating a relevant base for the Emergencies Ministry, which will give us the opportunity to conduct high-seas rescue missions in case of emergency and to protect the environment.

I told our colleagues that I see no concerns here. On the contrary, I am deeply convinced that we can and should work together in this field. (Just like the United States,) Russia is one of the eight Arctic Council members. This year, Russia chairs the Arctic Council. Moreover, Alaska and Chukotka are separated by a well-known strait, with the United States on one side and Russia on the other. All this taken together should motivate us to pool our efforts.

The use of the Northern Sea Route is regulated by international law. In fact, there are two main laws: the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Polar Code, which consists of several documents and was ratified in 2017. I drew our partners’ attention to the fact that Russia intends to fully honour these international legal norms. We have never violated anything.

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Russian-US talks

Talks between Vladimir Putin and President of the United States Joseph Biden took place in Geneva.

June 16, 2021       18:30              Geneva

 

 

8 of 16

With President of the United States of America Joseph Biden. Photo: TASS

Russian-American consultations began with a restricted-format meeting that included Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

After that the talks continued in an expanded format.

Following the summit, the US – Russia Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability was adopted.

* * *

Beginning of Russian-US talks in restricted format

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

I would like to thank you for your initiative to meet today.

I know that you have had a long trip, and a lot of work. Nevertheless, there is a backlog of issues in Russian-US relations that require discussion at the highest level, and I hope our meeting will be productive.

President of the United States of America Joseph Biden:Thank you.

As I said outside, I think it’s always better to meet face to face. We will try to determine where we have mutual interests and we can cooperate. And where we don’t, establish a predictable and rational way in which we disagree. Two great powers.

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Meeting with President of Switzerland Guy Parmelin

During his working visit to the Swiss Confederation, Vladimir Putin met with President of Switzerland Guy Parmelin.

June 16, 2021       20:00              Geneva

President of Switzerland Guy Parmelin (retranslated): Mr President, Thank you again for the opportunity to hold a discussion here in Geneva. I hope that discussions with your American counterpart were successful. I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity to communicate with you now and to discuss issues that are of interest to both our countries. It is my pleasure to do so.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, first, I would like to thank you for providing such a wonderful venue for the Russia-US summit here in Geneva.

Geneva has always been hospitable. I remember my visit exactly 10 years ago to an event hosted by the International Labour Organisation.

The 75th anniversary of our diplomatic relations was marked in March. We have many areas of interaction with 200 Swiss companies and other companies with Swiss participation operating in the Russian market. Unfortunately, last year, our trade numbers fell in the wake of the pandemic, but I think that we will improve the situation soon.

Thank you very much again.

Guy Parmelin: Thank you very much, Mr President, for the kind words.

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U.S.-Russia Presidential Joint Statement on Strategic Stability

JUNE 16, 2021STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

We, President of the United States of America Joseph R. Biden and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, note the United States and Russia have demonstrated that, even in periods of tension, they are able to make progress on our shared goals of ensuring predictability in the strategic sphere, reducing the risk of armed conflicts and the threat of nuclear war.

The recent extension of the New START Treaty exemplifies our commitment to nuclear arms control. Today, we reaffirm the principle that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.

Consistent with these goals, the United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust. Through this Dialogue, we seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.

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(크렘닌)Beginning of Russian-US talks in restricted format

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President,

I would like to thank you for your initiative to meet today.

I know that you have had a long trip, and a lot of work. Nevertheless, there is a backlog of issues in Russian-US relations that require discussion at the highest level, and I hope our meeting will be productive.

President of the United States of America Joseph Biden:Thank you.

As I said outside, I think it’s always better to meet face to face. We will try to determine where we have mutual interests and we can cooperate. And where we don’t, establish a predictable and rational way in which we disagree. Two great powers.

Remarks by President Biden in Press Conference

JUNE 16, 2021SPEECHES AND REMARKS

Hôtel du Parc des Eaux-Vives
Geneva, Switzerland, 7:20 P.M. CEST

THE PRESIDENT:  It’s been a long day for you all.  (Laughs.)  I know it was easy getting into the — the pre-meeting.  There was no problem getting through those doors, was it — was there? 
 Anyway, hello, everyone.  Well, I’ve just finished the — the last meeting of this week’s long trip, the U.S.-Russian Summit.
 And I know there were a lot of hype around this meeting, but it’s pretty straightforward to me — the meeting.  One, there is no substitute(, as those of you who have covered me for a while know, )for a face-to-face dialogue between leaders.  None.  And President Putin and I had a — share a unique responsibility to manage the relationship between two powerful and proud countries — a relationship that has to be stable and predictable.  And it should be able to — we should be able to cooperate where it’s in our mutual interests.
 
And where we have differences(, I wanted President Putin to understand why I say what I say and why I do what I do, )and how we’ll respond to specific kinds of actions that harm America’s interests.
 
Now, I told President Putin my agenda is not against Russia or anyone else; it’s for the American people: fighting COVID-19; rebuilding our economy; reestablishing our relationships around the world with our allies and friends; and protecting our people.  That’s my responsibility as President. 
 
I also told him that no President of the United States could keep faith with the American people if they did not speak out to defend our democratic values, to stand up for the universal rights and fundamental freedoms that all men and women have, in our view.  That’s just part of the DNA of our country. 
 
So, human rights is going to always be on the table, I told him.  It’s not about just going after Russia when they violate human rights; it’s about who we are.  How could I be the President of the United States of America and not speak out against the violation of human rights?
 
I told him that(, unlike other countries, including Russia, )we’re uniquely a product of an idea.  You’ve heard me say this before, again and again, but I’m going to keep saying it.  What’s that idea?  We don’t derive our rights from the government; we possess them because we’re born — period.  And we yield them to a government.
 
And so, at the forum, I pointed out to him that that’s why we’re going raise our concerns about cases like Aleksey Navalny I made it clear to President Putin that we’ll continue to raise issues of fundamental human rights because that’s what we are, that’s who we are.  The idea is: “We hold these truths self-evident that all men and women…”  We haven’t lived up to it completely, but we’ve always widened the arc of commitment and included more and more people.
 
And I raised the case of two wrongfully imprisoned American citizens: Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed.
I also raised the ability of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty to operate, and the importance of a free press and freedom of speech.
I made it clear that we will not tolerate attempts to violate our democratic sovereignty or destabilize our democratic elections, and we would respond.
The bottom line is, I told President Putin that we need to have some basic rules of the road that we can all abide by.
 
I also said there are areas where there’s a mutual interest for us to cooperate, for our people — Russian and American people — but also for the benefit of the world and the security of the world.  One of those areas is strategic stability. 
You asked me many times what was I going to discuss with Putin.  Before I came, I told you I only negotiate with the individual.  And now I can tell you what I was intending to do all along, and that is to discuss and raise the issue of strategic stability and try to set up a mechanism whereby we dealt with it.
 
We discussed in detail the next steps our countries need to take on arms control measures — the steps we need to take to reduce the risk of unintended conflict.
And I’m pleased that he agreed today to launch a bilateral strategic stability dialogue — diplomatic speak for saying, get our military experts and our — our diplomats together to work on a mechanism that can lead to control of new and dangerous and sophisticated weapons that are coming on the scene now that reduce the times of response, that raise the prospects of accidental war.  And we went into some detail of what those weapons systems were.
 
Another area we spent a great deal of time on was cyber and cybersecurity.  I talked about the proposition that certain critical infrastructure should be off limits to attack — period — by cyber or any other means.  I gave them a list, if I’m not mistaken — I don’t have it in front of me — 16 specific entities; 16 defined as critical infrastructure under U.S. policy, from the energy sector to our water systems.
Of course, the principle is one thing.  It has to be backed up by practice.  Responsible countries need to take action against criminals who conduct ransomware activities on their territory. 
So we agreed to task experts in both our — both our countries to work on specific understandings about what’s off limits and to follow up on specific cases that originate in other countries — either of our countries.
 
There is a long list of other issues we spent time on, from the urgent need to preserve and reopen the humanitarian corridors in Syria so that we can get food — just simple food and basic necessities to people who are starving to death; how to build it and how it is in the interest of both Russia and the United States to ensure that Iran — Iran — does not acquire nuclear weapons.  We agreed to work together there because it’s as much interest — Russia’s interest as ours. 

And to how we can ensure the Arctic remains a region of cooperation rather than conflict.
I caught part of President’s — Putin’s press conference, and he talked about the need for us to be able to have some kind of modus operandi where we dealt with making sure the Arctic was, in fact, a free zone.
 
And to how we can each contribute to the shared effort of preventing a resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan.  It’s very much in — in the interest of Russia not to have a resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan.
 
There are also areas that are more challenging.  I communicated the United States’ unwavering commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine
We agreed to pursue diplomacy related to the Minsk Agreement.  And I shared our concerns about BelarusHe didn’t disagree with what happened; he just has a different perspective of what to do about it.
 
But I know you have a lot of questions, so let me close with this: It was important to meet in person so there can be no mistake about or misrepresentations about what I wanted to communicate. 
I did what I came to do: Number one, identify areas of practical work our two countries can do to advance our mutual interests and also benefit the world.
Two, communicate directly — directly — that the United States will respond to actions that impair our vital interests or those of our allies.
And three, to clearly lay out our country’s priorities and our values so he heard it straight from me. 
 
And I must tell you, the tone of the entire meetings — I guess it was a total of four hours — was — was good, positive.  There wasn’t any — any strident action taken.  Where we disagreed — I disagreed, stated where it was.  Where he disagreed, he stated.  But it was not done in a hyperbolic atmosphere.  That is too much of what’s been going on.

Over this last week, I believe — I hope — the United States has shown the world that we are back, standing with our Allies.  We rallied our fellow democracies to make concert — concerted commitments to take on the biggest challenges our world faces.

And now we’ve established a clear basis on how we intend to deal with Russia and the U.S.-Russia relationship. There’s more work ahead.  I’m not suggesting that any of this is done, but we’ve gotten a lot of business done on this trip.
 
And before I take your questions, I want to say one last thing.  Folks, look, this is about — this about how we move from here.  This is — I listened to, again, a significant portion of what President Putin’s press conference was, and as he pointed out, this is about practical, straightforward, no-nonsense decisions that we have to make or not make. 
 
We’ll find out within the next six months to a year whether or not we actually have a strategic dialogue that matters.  We’ll find out whether we work to deal with everything from release of people in Russian prisons or not.  We’ll find out whether we have a cybersecurity arrangement that begins to bring some order. 
Because, look, the countries that most are likely to be damaged — failure to do that — are the major countries.  For example, when I talked about the pipeline that cyber hit for $5 million — that ransomware hit in the United States, I looked at him and I said, “Well, how would you feel if ransomware took on the pipelines from your oil fields?”  He said it would matter.
This is not about just our self-interest; it’s about a mutual self-interest.
 
I’ll take your questions.  And as usual, folks, they gave me a list of the people I’m going to call on. 
So, Jonathan, Associated Press.

Q    Thank you, sir.  U.S. intelligence has said that Russia tried to interfere in the last two presidential elections, and that Russia groups are behind hacks like SolarWinds and some of the ransomware attacks you just mentioned.  Putin, in his news conference just now, accepted no responsibility for any misbehavior.  Your predecessor opted not to demand that Putin stop these disruptions.  So what is something concrete, sir, that you achieved today to prevent that from happening again?  And what were the consequences you threatened?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Whether I stopped it from happening again — he knows I will take action, like we did when — this last time out.  What happened was: We, in fact, made it clear that we were not going to continue to allow this to go on.  The end result was we ended up withdrawing — they went withdrawing ambassadors, and we closed down some of their facilities in the United States, et cetera.  And he knows there are consequences. 
Now, look, one of the consequences that I know — I don’t know; I shouldn’t say this; it’s unfair of me — I suspect you may all think doesn’t matter, but I’m confidence it matters to him — confident it matter to him and other world leaders of big nations: his credibility worldwide shrinks.
Let’s get this straight: How would it be if the United States were viewed by the rest of the world as interfering with the elections directly of other countries, and everybody knew it?  What would it be like if we engaged in activities that he is engaged in?  It diminishes the standing of a country that is desperately trying to make sure it maintains its standing as a major world power. 
And so it’s not just what I do; it’s what the actions that other countries take — in this case, Russia — that are contrary to international norms.  It’s the price they pay.  They are not — they are not able to dictate what happens in the world.  There are other nations of significant consequence — i.e. the United States of America being one of them.
 
Q    Mr. President, just a quick follow on the same theme of consequences.  You said, just now, that you spoke to him a lot about human rights.  What did you say would happen if opposition leader Aleksey Navalny dies?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I made it clear to him that I believe the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia. 
I’ll go back to the same point: What do you think happens when he’s saying, “It’s not about hurting Navalny,” this — you know, all the stuff he says to rationalize the treatment of Navalny — and then he dies in prison? 
I pointed out to him that it matters a great deal when a country, in fact — and they asked me why I thought that it was important to continue to have problems with the President of Syria.  I said, “Because he’s in violation of an international norm.  It’s called a Chemical Weapons Treaty.  Can’t be trusted.”
It’s about trust.  It’s about their ability to influence other nations in a positive way.
Look, would you like to trade our economy for Russia’s economy?  Would you like to trade?  And, by the way, we talked about trade.  I don’t have any problem with doing business with Russia, as long as they do it based upon international norms. It’s in our interest to see the Russian people do well economically.  I don’t have a problem with that. 
But if they do not act according to international norms, then guess what?  That will not — that only won’t it happen with us, it will not happen with other nations.  And he kind of talked about that — didn’t he, today? — about how the need to reach out to other countries to invest in Russia.  They won’t as long as they are convinced that, in fact, the violations —
For example, the American businessman who was in house arrest.  And I pointed out, “You want to get American business to invest?  Let him go.  Change the dynamic.”  Because American businessmen, they’re not — they’re not ready to show up.  They don’t want to hang around in Moscow. 
I mean, I — look, guys, I know we make foreign policy out to be this great, great skill that somehow is, sort of, like a secret code.  Pract- — all foreign policy is, is a logical extension of personal relationships.  It’s the way human nature functions. 
And understand, when you run a country that does not abide by international norms, and yet you need those international norms to be somehow managed so that you can participate in the benefits that flow from them, it hurts you.  That’s not a satisfying answer: “Biden said he’d invade Russia.”  You know, it is not — you know.  By the way, that was a joke.  That’s not true.  
But my generic point is, it is — it is more complicated than that.
 
David Sanger.  I thought I saw David.  There he is.
Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  In the run-up to this discussion, there’s been a lot of talk about the two countries spilling down into a Cold War.  And I’m wondering if there was anything that you emerged from in the discussion that made you think that he —
THE PRESIDENT:  With your permission, I’m going to take my coat off.  The sun is hot.
Q    — anything that would make you think that Mr. Putin has decided to move away from his fundamental role as a disrupter, particularly a disrupter of NATO and the United States? 
And if I could also just follow up on your description of how you gave him a list of critical infrastructure in the United States.  Did you lay out very clearly what it was that the penalty would be for interfering in that critical infrastructure?  Did you leave that vague?  Did he respond in any way to it?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Let me answer your first — well, I’ll second question, first. 
I pointed out to him that we have significant cyber capability.  And he knows it.  He doesn’t know exactly what it is, but it’s significant.  And if, in fact, they violate these basic norms, we will respond with cyber.  He knows.
Q    In the cyber way.
THE PRESIDENT:  In the cyber way.
Number two, I — I think that the last thing he wants now is a Cold War.  Without quoting him — which I don’t think is appropriate — let me ask a rhetorical question: You got a multi-thousand-mile border with China.  China is moving ahead, hellbent on election, as they say, seeking to be the most powerful economy in the world and the largest and the most powerful military in the world.
You’re in a situation where your economy is struggling, you need to move it in a more aggressive way, in terms of growing it.  And you — I don’t think he’s looking for a Cold War with the United States. 
I don’t think it’s about a — as I said to him, I said, “Your generation and mine are about 10 years apart.  This is not a ‘kumbaya’ moment, as you used to say back in the ’60s in the United States, like, ‘Let’s hug and love each other.’  But it’s clearly not in anybody’s interest — your country’s or mine — for us to be in a situation where we’re in a new Cold War.”  And I truly believe he thinks that — he understands that. 
But that does not mean he’s ready to, quote, figuratively speaking, “lay down his arms,” and say, “Come on.”  He still, I believe, is concerned about being, quote, “encircled.”  He still is concerned that we, in fact, are looking to take him down, et cetera.  He still has those concerns, but I don’t think they are the driving force as to the kind of relationship he’s looking for with the United States. 
 
Jennifer.  Jennifer Jacobs.
Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Is there a particular reason why the summit lasted only about three hours?  We know you had maybe allotted four to five hours.  Was there any reason it ran shorter?
Also, did — President Putin said that there were no threats or scare tactics issued.  Do you agree with that assessment, that there were no threats or scare tactics?
THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.
Q    And also, did you touch on Afghanistan and the safe withdrawal of troops?

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.  Yes, yes, and yes.  Let me go back to the first part.
The reason it didn’t go longer is: When is the last time two heads of state have spent over two hours in direct conversation across a table, going into excruciating detail?  You may know of a time; I don’t.  I can’t think of one. 
So we didn’t need, as we got through, when we brought in the larger group — our defense, our intelligence, and our foreign — well, our — my foreign minister — wasn’t the foreign minister — my Secretary of State was with me the whole time — our ambassador, et cetera.  We brought everybody in.  We had covered so much. 
And so there was a summary done by him and by me of what we covered.  Lavrov and Blinken talked about what we had covered.  We raised things that required more amplification or made sure we didn’t have any misunderstandings.  And — and so it was — it was — kind of, after two hours there, we looked at each other like, “Okay, what next?” 
What is going to happen next is we’re going to be able to look back — look ahead in three to six months, and say, “Did the things we agreed to sit down and try to work out, did it work?  Do we — are we closer to a major strategic stability talks and progress?  Are we further along in terms of…” — and go down the line.  That’s going to be the test.
I’m not sitting here saying because the President and I agreed that we would do these things, that all of a sudden, it’s going to work.  I’m not saying that.  What I’m saying is I think there’s a genuine prospect to significantly improve relations between our two countries without us giving up a single, solitary thing based on principle and/or values. 
 
Q    There were no threats issued?
THE PRESIDENT:  No, no, no.  No.  There were no threats.  There were — as a matter of fact, I heard he quoted my mom and quoted other people today.  There was — it was very, as we say — which will shock you, coming from me — somewhat colloquial.  And we talked about basic, basic, fundamental things.  There was a — it was — and you know how I am: I explain things based on personal basis.  “What happens if,” for example. 
And so, there are no threats, just simple assertions made.  And no “Well, if you do that, then we’ll do this” — wasn’t anything I said.  It was just letting him know where I stood; what I thought we could accomplish together; and what, in fact — if it was — if there were violations of American sovereignty, what would we do.
 
Q    Can you share what you asked him about Afghanistan?  What was your particular request for Afghanistan and the U.S. troops?
THE PRESIDENT:  No, he asked us about Afghanistan.  He said that he hopes that we’re able to maintain some peace and security, and I said, “That has a lot to do with you.”  He indicated that he was prepared to, quote, “help” on Afghanistan — I won’t go into detail now; and help on — on Iran; and help on — and, in return, we told him what we wanted to do relative to bringing some stability and economic security or physical security to the people of Syria and Libya.
So, we had those discussions. 
 
Yamiche. 
Q    Thanks so much, Mr. President.  Did you — you say that you didn’t issue any threats.  Were there any ultimatums made when it comes to ransomware?  And how will you measure success, especially when it comes to these working groups on Russian meddling and on cybersecurity?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, it’s going to be real easy.  They either — for example, on cybersecurity, are we going to work out where they take action against ransomware criminals on Russian territory?  They didn’t do it.  I don’t think they planned it, in this case.  And they — are they going to act?  We’ll find out. 
Will we commit — what can we commit to act in terms of anything affecting violating international norms that negatively affects Russia?  What are we going to agree to do? 
And so, I think we have real opportunities to — to move.  And I think that one of the things that I noticed when we had the larger meeting is that people who are very, very well-informed started thinking, “You know, this could be a real problem.”  What happens if that ransomware outfit were sitting in Florida or Maine and took action, as I said, on their — their single lifeline to their economy: oil?  That would be devastating.  And they’re like — you could see them kind of go, “Oh, we do that,” but like, “Whoa.”
So it’s in — it’s in everybody’s interest that these things be acted on.  We’ll see, though, what happens from these groups we put together. 
 
Q    Can I ask a quick follow-up question?
THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  The third one, yes.  Go ahead.
Q    Mr. President, when President Putin was questioned today about human rights, he said the reason why he’s cracking down on opposition leaders is because he doesn’t want something like January 6th to happen in Russia.  And he also said he doesn’t want to see groups formed like Black Lives Matter.  What’s your response to that, please?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  My response is kind of what I communicated — that I think that’s a — that’s a ridiculous comparison.  It’s one thing for literally criminals to break through cordon, go into the Capitol, kill a police officer, and be held unaccountable than it is for people objecting and marching on the Capitol and saying, “You are not allowing me to speak freely.  You are not allowing me to do A, B, C, or D.” 
And so, they’re very different criteria. 
 
Steve.  Steve Holland, Reuters. 
Q    President — sorry — President Putin said he was satisfied with the answer about your comment about him being a “killer.”  Could you give us your side on this?  What did you tell him?
THE PRESIDENT:  He’s satisfied.  Why would I bring it up again?  (Laughs.)
Q    And now that you’ve talked to him, do you believe you can trust him?
THE PRESIDENT:  Look, this is not about trust; this is about self-interest and verification of self-interest.  That’s what it’s about.  So, I — virtually almost — almost anyone that I would work out an agreement with that affected the American people’s interests, I don’t say, “Well, I trust you.  No problem.”  Let’s see what happens. 
You know, as that old expression goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”  We’re going to know shortly. 
 
Igor, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
Q    Hello, Mr. President.  Hello, Mr. President —
THE PRESIDENT:  You want to go on the shade?  You can’t — can you see?
Q    Thank you.  Yeah.  Yeah, yeah.  (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT:  All right. 
Q    Yeah.  So, I think you know attacks in civil society and the free — free press continue inside Russia.
THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.
Q    For example, Radio Free Europe —
THE PRESIDENT:  Yes.
Q    — Radio Liberty; Voice of America; Current Time TV channel, where I work, are branded foreign agents — and several other independent media.  So, we are essentially being forced out in Russia 30 years after President Yeltsin invited us in. 
My question is: After your talks with President Putin, how interested do you think he is in improving the media climate in Russia? 
 
THE PRESIDENT:  I wouldn’t put it that way, in terms of improving the climate.  I would, in fact, put it in terms of how much interest does he have in burnishing Russia’s reputation that is not — is viewed as not being contrary to democratic principles and free speech. 
That’s a judgment I cannot make.  I don’t know.  But it’s not because I think he — he is interested in changing the nature of a closed society or closed government’s actions relative to what he thinks is the right of government to do what it does; it’s a very different approach. 
And, you know, there’s a couple of really good biogra- — I told him I read a couple — I read most everything he’s written and the speeches he’s made.  And — and I’ve read a couple of very good biographies, which many of you have as well. 
And I think I pointed out to him that Russia had an opportunity — that brief shining moment after Gorbachev and after things began to change drastically — to actually generate a democratic government.  But what happened was it failed and there was a great, great race among Russian intellectuals to determine what form of government would they choose and how would they choose it. 
And based on what I believe, Mr. Putin decided was that Russia has always been a major international power when it’s been totally united as a Russian state, not based on ideology — whether it was going back to Tsar and Commissar, straight through to the — the revolution — the Russian Revolution, and to where they are today. 
And I think that it’s clear to me — and I’ve said it — that I think he decided that the way for Russia to be able to sustain itself as a great — quote, “great power” is to in fact unite the Russian people on just the strength of the government — the government controls — not necessarily ideologically, but the government. 
And I think that’s the — that’s the choice that was made.  I think it — I — I’m not going to second guess whether it could have been fundamentally different.  But I do think it does not lend itself to Russia maintaining itself as one of the great powers in the world.
 
Q    Sir, one more question —
Q    One more on COVID — on COVID-19, Mr. President —
Q    Sir, could we ask you one more question, please, sir?  Thank you, sir.  Did military response ever come up in this conversation today?  Did you — in terms of the red lines that you laid down, is military response an option for a ransomware attack?
And President Putin had called you, in his press conference, an “experienced person.”  You famously told him he didn’t have a soul.  Do you now have a deeper understanding of him after this meeting?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you very much.
Q    Mr. President —
Q    But on the military — military response, sir?
THE PRESIDENT:  No, we didn’t talk about military response.
Q    In the spirit, Mr. President, of you saying that there is no substitute for face-to-face dialogue, and also with what you said at NATO that the biggest problems right now are Russia and China — you’ve spoken many times about how you have spent perhaps more time with President Xi than any other world leader. 
So is there going to become a time where you might call him, old friend to old friend, and ask him to open up China to the World Health Organization investigators who are trying to get to the bottom of COVID-19?
THE PRESIDENT:  Let’s get something straight.  We know each other well; we’re not old friends.  It’s just pure business.
 
Q    So, I guess, my question would be that you’ve said that you were going to press China.  You signed on to the G7 communiqué that said you — the G7 were calling on China to open up to let the investigators in.  But China basically says they don’t want to be interfered with anymore.  So, what happens now?
 
THE PRESIDENT:  The impact — the world’s attitude toward China as it develops.  China is trying very hard to project itself as a responsible and — and a very, very forthcoming nation; that they are trying very hard to talk about how they’re taking and helping the world in terms of COVID-19 and vaccines.  And they’re trying very hard. 
Look, certain things you don’t have to explain to the people of the world.  They see the results.  Is China really actually trying to get to the bottom of this? 
One thing we did discuss, as I told you, in the EU and at the G7 and with NATO: What we should be doing and what I’m going to make an effort to do is rally the world to work on what is going to be the physical mechanism available to detect, early on, the next pandemic and have a mechanism by which we can respond to it and respond to it early.  It’s going to happen.  It’s going to happen.  And we need to do that. 
Thank you. 
 
Q    Any progress on the detained Americans, sir?
Q    What did Putin say about Paul Whelan and Trevor Reed?
Q    Sir, what do you say to the families of the detained Americans?
Q    President Biden, why are you so confident Russia —
THE PRESIDENT:  The families of the detained Americans, I have hope for.
Q    Say it again; we can’t hear you.
THE PRESIDENT:  I said the families of the detained Americans came up and we discussed it.  We’re going to follow through with that discussion.  I am — I am not going to walk away on that issue.
 
Q    Why are you so confident he’ll change his behavior, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT:  I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior.  Where the hell — what do you do all the time?  When did I say I was confident?  I said —
Q    You said in the next six months you’ll be able to determine —
THE PRESIDENT:  I said — what I said was — let’s get it straight.  I said: What will change their behavior is if the rest of world reacts to them and it diminishes their standing in the world.  I’m not confident of anything; I’m just stating a fact.
 
Q    But given his past behavior has not changed and, in that press conference, after sitting down with you for several hours, he denied any involvement in cyberattacks; he downplayed human rights abuses; he even refused to say Aleksey Navalny’s name.  So how does that account to a constructive meeting, as President — President Putin framed it?
THE PRESIDENT:  If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.
Thank you.
 
7:53 P.M. CEST

---------------------

Remarks by President Biden Before Air Force One Departure

JUNE 16, 2021  SPEECHES AND REMARKS Geneva Airport Geneva, Switzerland 8:21 P.M. CEST

THE PRESIDENT: I owe my last question an apology. I shouldn’t have I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy with the last answer I gave.

Anyway, thanks for being here. And most of you have been here the whole route. I really do think not me, but I think we, the country, has put a different face on where we’ve been and where we’re going. And I feel good about it. I feel

You know, one of things that I think, understandably, there was a good deal of skepticism about: would the G7 sign on and give America back it’s, sort of, leadership role. I think it did. It wasn’t me, but it meant they’re glad America is back. They’re glad America is back, and they acted that way.

And then, when we went to NATO, I think it was the same thing. We had really good meetings there and real response, as well as the EU. I didn’t get one single person not one of the world leaders said to us anything other than thanking me for arranging a meeting with Putin. And I thought, quite frankly, I was in a much better position to represent the West, after the previous three meetings with Putin, that knowing that the rest of the West was behind us. And so, I think so I owe them all a debt of gratitude.

Q Mr. President, since you’re now heading home, can I just ask you briefly about two domestic issues?

THE PRESIDENT: I’m not sure I can answer them, but

Q If you could. First would be this fate of the infrastructure bill. There’s now a bipartisan group that has a new offer. Have you had time to review it?

THE PRESIDENT: I haven’t seen it. No, I I’m not being I honestly haven’t seen it. I don’t know what the details are. I know that my Chief of Staffs thinks there’s some room that there may be a means by which to get this done. And I know that Schumer and Nancy have moved forward on a reconciliation provision as well. So I’m still hoping we could put together the two bookends here.

Q And the second issue is: Yesterday or earlier this week, Mitch McConnell said that if Republicans were to take back the Senate in 2022, he did not see a way that you could get a Supreme Court justice confirmed. Do you have a response to that?

THE PRESIDENT: Uh

Q This would be next year.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I know. I know. The answer is: Mitch is Mitch has been nothing but “no” for a long time. And I’m sure he means exactly what he says, but we’ll see.

Q Mr. President, did you talk with President Putin about the Iran nuclear deal?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes.

Q Did you make find a way? What did you discuss, and did you find a way to make some progress?

THE PRESIDENT: It was about how we would jointly work, and I’m not going to discuss what we discussed.

Q Mr. President, Kaitlan’s question that you answered at the very end there, that you came over to talk about, I think at the heart of it was this question of whether or not you seem overly optimistic, given that what we all listened to President Putin essentially say the same, old things that he’s said forever. He you know, rejecting all responsibility for all that stuff.

And I guess the question that she was trying to get, and maybe you could take another stab at it, is: What concrete evidence do you have from these three three plus hours that suggest that any movement has been made?

And I don’t I don’t mean that to be I’m not it’s not meant to be a (inaudible)

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no. No. I know, but you’re all

Q (inaudible) question.

THE PRESIDENT: Look, to be a good reporter, you got to be negative. You got to have a negative view of life okay? it seems to me, the way you all you never ask a positive question.

Why, in fact, having agreement we’ll find out. We have an agreement to work on a major arms control agreement. I started on working on arms control agreements back all the way during the Cold War. If we could do one when the Cold War, why couldn’t we do one now? We’ll see. We will see whether or not it happens.

But what do you I mean, the thing that always amazes me about the questions and I apologize for having been short on this before. If you were in my position, would you say, “Well, I don’t think, man, anything is going to happen. This is  going to be really rough. I think it’s going to really be bad”? You’d guarantee nothing happens. You’d guarantee nothing happens. And so, so far

Q So, there’s a value to

THE PRESIDENT: There’s a value to being realistic and put on an optimistic front, an optimistic face.

Look, you all said the same thing about the, you know, what was going to happen when we had the first meeting of the of of the seven. “Oh, Biden they’re not going to they’re not going to buy Biden’s stuff. They’re really not really

Any of you find that? Did that happen? Any of it? A little bit? Just a little sliver of it?

When I went to meet with NATO “Oh boy, they’re not going to be happy. They’re all going to be against Biden meeting with Putin. They’re not going to want that.” Did you hear a single, solitary syllable?  Now, what would have happen if I had said, before I went into those negotiations, “You know, I think it’s going to be really hard. I think it’s going to be really difficult. I’m not so optimistic about I don’t see anybody really changing”?

And the same way when I met with the EU. “The EU is not going to like the way Biden is operating.”

Q But this is Vladimir Putin. I mean, can you be optimistic about his change?

THE PRESIDENT: Sure, it’s Vladimir Putin. But, look, it was also I don’t want to compare him to Putin, but it was the French President said he will never go for more money for NATO. Guess what? He’s agreed. Every I mean, look, guys, I’m going to drive you all crazy because I know you want me to always put a negative thrust on things, particularly in public, and negotiate in public.

I don’t have to trust somebody we didn’t have to trust somebody to get START II. It wasn’t a about our trust “Well, I trust the Russians. I can tell, man, they’re really they’re I can look in his eye, and they’re really very, very truthful.” It’s not that at all.

You have to figure out what the other guy’s self-interest is. Their self-interest. I don’t trust anybod- look, I’ve got to get in the plane, but I’ll say it you’ll hear me say this more than once.

Q It’s your plane. You can go when you want. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, no, but no, but here’s the thing: Folks, I I don’t see any benefit ever to begin a negotiation as and, I mean, you’re the brightest people in the country. You’re the most informed people on detail. I’m not being solicitous; you are. But it makes no sense for me to negotiate with you. It makes no sense for me to tell you what I’m about to do. It makes not because I want to hide anything from you. Why would I telegraph that?

Q Did he do anything that surprised you, sir?

AIDE: Sir, we need to go. Sir, we really have to go.

Q Was there any moment that you were really surprised by?

AIDE: Sir thank you, guys. Thank you, guys.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I wasn’t surprised because I was convinced that let me choose my words. Russia is in a very, very difficult spot right now. They are being squeezed by China. They want desperately to remain a major power. You all are writing about, not illegitimately, “Biden already gave Putin what he wants: legitimacy, standing in the world stage with the President of the United States.” They desperately want to have be relevant.

They have and they don’t want to be known as, as some critics have pointed and said, you know, the “Upper Volta with nuclear weapons.” It matters. And I found it matters to almost every world leader no matter where they’re from how they’re perceived, their standing in the world. It matters to them. It matters to them in terms of their support at home as well.

And so I think that there is I’m trying to think how to shorten this so I can get in the plane.

I’m of the view that, in the last three to five years, the world has reached a fundamental inflection point about what it’s going to look like 10 years from now. I mean it literally. It’s not hyperbole. It’s not like I’m trying to pump it up. I think it’s a genuine reality.

And so each of the countries in around the world, particularly those who had real power at one time or still do, are wondering: What how do I maintain and sustain our leadership in the world? That’s what the United States is going through right now. How do we sustain us being the leading, the most powerful, and most democratic country in the world? A lot is going on.

I don’t know about you, I never anticipated, notwithstanding no matter how persuasive President Trump was, that we’d have people attacking and breaking down the doors of the United States Capitol. I didn’t think that would happen. I didn’t think we’d I’d see that in my lifetime. But it’s reinforced what I’ve always known and what I got taught by my political science professors and by the senior members of the Senate that I admired when I got there: that every generation has to re-establish the basis of its fight for democracy. I mean, for real, literally have to do it.

And I’ve never seen, including during since the Civil War, such an outward assault on voting rights. I mean, just a flat assault. I didn’t anticipate that happening four years ago, but it’s happening now.

So, there’s a lot at stake. Each of the countries, we have our own concerns and problems, but we still as long as I’m President, we are going to stick to the notion that we’re open, accountable, and transparent. And I think that’s an important message to send the world. Thank you all so much.

8:31 P.M. CEST

 

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EEAS homepage > EEAS > EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific

19/04/2021 - 11:11  News stories

eeas.europa.eu/sites/default/files/eu-indo-pacific_factsheet_2021-04_v.5.pdf

유럽연합(EU)과 회원국들은 아프리카 동부 연안에서 태평양 도서국가에 이르는 인도·태평양 지역 파트너들과 오랜 기간 광범위하고 포괄적인 관계를 맺어왔다. 코로나19 팬데믹으로부터의 사회·경제적 회복이 진행되는 가운데, 역내 지전략적(geostrategic) 불확실성이 증대되며 현재 인도·태평양 지역에 전세계의 관심이 집중되고 있다.  

EU 27개 회원국 외교장관들이 채택한 인도·태평양 협력에 관한 EU 전략을 담고 있는 EU각료이사회 결정문은 점차 증대되는 인도·태평양 지역의 중요성에 대한 EU의 인식과 역내 파트너 국가들과의 협력에 있어 EU의 역할을 강화하겠다는 다짐을 반영하고 있다.

인도·태평양 지역은 세계 경제의 중심 무대이자 전략적 요충지역이다. 전 세계 인구의 60%가 거주하고, 전 세계 GDP의 60%를 차지하고 있는 이 지역은 현재 글로벌 경제 성장의 3분의 2에 기여하고 있다. 2030년까지 전 세계 신흥 중산층 24억명의 압도적 다수인 90%가 인도·태평양에 거주할 것으로 예상되고 있다.  

유엔의 지속가능발전목표 달성을 포함한 국제사회의 글로벌 의제를 이행하는 데 있어 인도·태평양 역내 협력은 긴요하다. 지난 몇 년간,  EU는 개발 협력 및 인도적 지원, 기후변화 대응, 생명다양성 상실 및 오염, 인권과 항행의 자유를 비롯한 국제법 옹호 활동 등에 있어서 일관성을 가지고 상당히 많은 기여를 해왔다.

따라서 EU는 인도·태평양 지역에 상당한 이해관계를 갖고 있으며, 개방적이며 규범에 기반한 지역 체제의 유지에 큰 이해관계가 걸려있을 수 밖에 없다. 하지만, 현재 인도·태평양의 역학구조는 심각한 지정학적 경쟁관계를 초래했으며, 이는 무역과 공급망에 대한 압력 증대와 기술·정치·안보 분야에서의 긴장 고조로 이어지고 있다.  인권의 보편성도 도전 받고 있다. 전 세계 해상 무역의 60%가 인도·태평양 해역을 통해 이뤄지고 있으며, 그 가운데 3분의 1은 남중국해를 통과한다. 물동량 통과가 계속해서 자유롭고, 개방적인  방식으로 이뤄져야 할 것이다.

상기 이유로 EU의 외교장관들은 이 지역에 대한 EU의 전략적 초점을 강화하고, 역내 EU의 입지와 활동을 강화하기로 결정한 것이다. EU는 원칙에 입각해 장기적인 관점을 갖고, 민주주의·법치주의·인권·국제법을 증진하며 역내 안정과 안보, 번영 및 지속가능한 발전에 기여하는 것을 목표로 하는 접근 및 관여 방식을 취하게 될 것이다.  

인도·태평양 지역에 대한 EU의 새로운 전략은 EU와 협력하고자 하는 모든 파트너 국가들에게 문을 열어두고 있다. EU는 파트너 국가들이 공통의 원칙과 가치 또는 상호 이익을 바탕으로 공통분모를 찾을 수 있는 구체적인 정책 분야에 대해 적응하고 협력을 강화해 나갈 수 있도록 본 전략을 실용적이고, 유연하며 다양한 측면에서 적용될 수 있도록 고안했다.  

EU 특히 인도·태평양 전략을 이미 발표한 파트너 국가들과 인도·태평양 지역에 대한 관여를 강화해 나갈 계획이다.   

EU 각료이사회의 결정문 채택으로 EU는 인도·태평양 국가들과 해양 거버넌스와 보건, 연구 및 기술, 안보 및 국방, 연결성과 같은 다양한 분야에서 협력을 더욱 확대해 나가고, 기후변화와 같은 전 세계적인 도전과제에 있어 협력을 강화할 수 있게 되었다.

EU 코로나19 위기로 인한 엄청난 인적·경제적 피해 완화, 지속가능하며 포용적이며, 친환경적인 사회·경제적 회복, 보다 회복력 있는 보건 시스템 구축과 같은 세계 공동 문제를 비롯해 모든 영역에서 파트너 국가들과 협력할 수 있기를 기대한다.

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Remarks by President Biden in Address to a Joint Session of Congress

APRIL 29, 2021  SPEECHES AND REMARKS

U.S. Capitol (April 28, 2021)

 **See correction below, marked by an asterisk.

9:06 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you.  Good to be back.  And Mitch and Chuck will understand it’s good to be almost home, down the hall.  Anyway, thank you all.

Madam Speaker, Madam Vice President — (applause) — no President has ever said those words from this podium.  No President has ever said those words, and it’s about time.  (Applause.)

First Lady — (applause) — I’m her husband; Second Gentleman; Chief Justice; members of the United States Congress and the Cabinet; distinguished guests; my fellow Americans: While the setting tonight is familiar, this gathering is just a little bit different — a reminder of the extraordinary times we’re in.

Throughout our history, Presidents have come to this chamber to speak to Congress, to the nation, and to the world to declare war, to celebrate peace, to announce new plans and possibilities.

Tonight, I come to talk about crisis and opportunity, about rebuilding the nation, revitalizing our democracy, and winning the future for America.

I stand here tonight, one day shy of the 100th day
of my administration — 100 days since I took the oath of office and lifted my hand off our family Bible and inherited a nation — we all did — that was in crisis.

The worst pandemic in a century.  The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.

Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again — (applause) — turning peril into possibility, crisis to opportunity, setbacks into strength.

We all know life can knock us down.  But in America, we never, ever, ever stay down.  Americans always get up.  Today, that’s what we’re doing: America is rising anew, choosing hope over fear, truth over lies, and light over darkness.

After 100 days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for takeoff, in my view.  We’re working again, dreaming again, discovering again, and leading the world again.

We have shown each other and the world that there’s no quit in America — none.

One hundred days ago, America’s house was on fire.  We had to act.  And thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Speaker Pelosi; Malor- — Majority Leader Schumer; and the overwhelming support of the American people — Democrats, independents, and Republicans — we did act.

Together we passed the American Rescue Plan — one of the most consequential rescue packages in American history.  We’re already seeing the results.  (Applause.)   We’re already seeing the results. 

After I promised we’d get 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots into people’s arms in 100 days, we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in those 100 days.  (Applause.)

Thanks to all the help of all of you, we’re marshalling — with your help, everyone’s help — we’re marshalling every federal resource.  We’ve gotten vaccines to nearly 40,000
pharmacies and over 700 Community Health Centers where the poorest of the poor can be reached.  We’re setting up community vaccination sites, developing mobile units to get to hard-to-reach communities.

Today, 90 percent of Americans now live within five miles of a vaccination site.  Everyone over the age of 16 — everyone
is now eligible to get vaccinated right now, right away.  (Applause.)  Go get vaccinated, America.  Go and get the vaccination.  They’re available.  You’re eligible now.

When I was sworn in on January 20th, less than 1 percent of the seniors in America were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  One hundred days later, 70 percent of seniors in America over 65 are protected — fully protected.  

Senior deaths from COVID-19 are down 80 percent since January — down 80 percent because of all of you.  And more than half of all the adults in America have gotten at least one shot.

At a mass vaccination center in Glendale, Arizona, I asked a nurse — I said, “What’s it like?”  She looked at me and she said, “It’s like every shot is giving a dose of hope” — was the phrase.  “A dose of hope.”

A dose of hope for an educator in Florida who has a child suffering from an autoimmune disease — wrote to me, said she’s worried — that she was worrying about bringing the virus home.  She said she then got vaccinated at a — at a large site, in her car.  She said she sat in her car, when she got vaccinated, and just cried — cried out of joy and cried out of relief.

Parents see the smiles on their kids’ faces, for those who are able to go back to school because the teachers and school bus drivers and cafeteria workers have been vaccinated.

Grandparents hugging their children and grandchildren instead of pressing hands against a window to say goodbye.

It means everything.  Those things mean everything.

You know, there’s still — you all know it; you know it better than any group of Americans — there’s still more work to do to beat this virus.  We can’t let our guard down.

But tonight I can say it: Because of you, the American people, our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history has been one of the greatest logistical achievements — logistical achievements this country has ever seen.

What else have we done in those first 100 days?

We kept our commitment — Democrats and Republicans — of sending $1,400 rescue checks to 85 percent of American households.  We’ve already sent more than one — 160 million checks out the door.  It’s making the difference.  You all know it when you go home.  For many people, it’s making all the difference in the world.

A single mom in Texas who wrote to me, she said she couldn’t work, but she said the relief check put food on the table and saved her and her son from eviction from their apartment.

A grandmother in Virginia who told me she immediately took her granddaughter to the eye doctor — something she said she put off for months because she didn’t have the money. 

One of the defining images, at least from my perspective, of this crisis has been cars lined up — cars lined up for miles.  And not — not people who just barely ever start those cars — nice cars lined up for miles, waiting for a box of food to be put in their trunk.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t ever think I’d see that in America.  And all of this is through no fault of their own.  No fault of their own these people are in this position.

That’s why the Rescue Plan is delivering food and nutrition assistance to millions of Americans facing hunger, and hunger is down sharply already. 

We’re also providing rental assistance — you all know this, but the American people, I want to make sure they understand — keeping people from being evicted from their homes, providing loans to small businesses to reopen and keep their employees on the job.

During these 100 days, an additional 800,000 Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act when I established the special sign-up period to do that — 800,000 in that period.

We’re making one of the largest one-time ever investments — ever — in improving healthcare for veterans.  Critical investments to address the opioid crisis.  And, maybe most importantly, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we’re on track to cut child poverty in America in half this year.  (Applause.)

And in the process, while this was all going on, the economy created more than 1,300,000 new jobs in 100 days — more jobs in the first — (applause) — more jobs in the first 100 days than any President on record.

The International Monetary Fund — (applause) — the International Monetary Fund is now estimating our economy will grow at a rate of more than 6 percent this year.  That will be the fastest pace of economic growth in this country in nearly four decades.

America is moving — moving forward — but we can’t stop now.  We’re in competition with China and other countries to win the 21st Century.  We’re at a great inflection point in history.

We have to do more than just build back better — I mean “build back.”  We have to build back better.  We have to compete more strenuously than we have.

Throughout our history, if you think about it, public investment and infrastructure has literally transformed America — our attitudes, as well as our opportunities.

The transcontinental railroad, the interstate highways united two oceans and brought a totally new age of progress to the United States of America.

Universal public schools and college aid opened wide the doors of opportunity.

Scientific breakthroughs took us to the Moon — now we’re on Mars; discovering vaccines; gave us the Internet and so much more.

These are the investments we made together as one country, and investments that only the government was in a position to make.  Time and again, they propel us into the future.

That’s why I proposed the American Jobs Plan — a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself.  This is the largest jobs plan since World War Two.

It creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure; jobs modernizing our roads, bridges, highways; jobs building ports and airports, rail corridors, transit lines. 

It’s clean water.  And, today, up to 10 million homes in America and more than 400,000 schools and childcare centers have pipes with lead in them, including in drinking water — a clear and present danger to our children’s health.

The American Jobs Plan creates jobs replacing 100 percent of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines so every American can drink clean water.  (Applause.)

And in the process, it will create thousands and thousands of good-paying jobs.  It creates jobs connecting every American with high-speed Internet, including 35 percent of the rural America that still doesn’t have it.

This is going to help our kids and our businesses succeed in the 21st-century economy.

And I am asking the Vice President to lead this effort, if she would —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Of course.

THE PRESIDENT:  — because I know it will get done.  (Applause.)

It creates jobs, building a modern power grid.  Our grids are vulnerable to storms, hacks, catastrophic failures — with tragic results, as we saw in Texas and elsewhere during the winter storms.

The American Jobs Plan will create jobs that will lay thousands of miles of transmission lines needed to build a resilient and fully clean grid.  We can do that.  (Applause.)

Look, the American Jobs Plan will help millions of people get back to their jobs and back to their careers.

Two million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic — two million.  And too often because they couldn’t get the care they needed to care for their child or care for an elderly parent who needs help.

Eight hundred thousand families are on a Medicare waiting list right now to get homecare for their aging parent or loved one with a disability.  If you think it’s not important, check out in your own district.

Democrat or Republican — Democrat or Republican voters, their great concern — almost as much as their children — is taking care of an elderly loved one who can’t be left alone.  Medicaid contemplated it, but this plan is going to help those families and create jobs for our caregivers with better wages and better benefits, continuing a cycle of growth.

For too long, we’ve failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis: “jobs.”  Jobs.  Jobs.  (Applause.) 

For me, when I think “climate change,” I think “jobs.”

The American Jobs Plan will put engineers and construction workers to work building more energy-efficient buildings and homes.  Electrical workers — IBEW members — installing 500,000 charging stations along our highways so we can own — (applause) — so we can own the electric car market.  (Applause.)

Farmers — farmers planting cover crops so they can reduce the carbon dioxide in the air and get paid for doing it.  (Applause.)

Look, but think about it: There is simply no reason why the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing.  No reason.  None.  No reason.  (Applause.)

So, folks, there’s no reason why American — American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries.  I mean, there is no reason.  We have this capacity.  (Applause.)  We have the brightest, best-trained people in the world.

The American Jobs Plan is going to create millions of good-paying jobs — jobs Americans can raise a family on — as my dad would then say, “with a little breathing room.”

And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: Buy American.  (Applause.)  Buy American.

And I might note, parenthetically — (applause) — that does not — that does not violate any trade agreement.  It’s been the law since the ’30s: Buy American. 

American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America to create American jobs.  That’s the way it’s supposed to be and it will be in this administration.  (Applause.)

And I made it clear to all my Cabinet people.  Their ability to give exemptions has been exstrenuously [sic] limited.  It will be American products.

Now I know some of you at home are wondering whether these jobs are for you.  So many of you — so many of the folks I grew up with feel left behind, forgotten in an economy that’s so rapidly changing.  It’s frightening. 

I want to speak directly to you.  Because if you think about it, that’s what people are most worried about: “Can I fit in?”

Independent experts estimate the American Jobs Plan will add millions of jobs and trillions of dollars to economic growth in the years to come.  It is a — it is an eight-year program.  These are good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced.

Nearly 90 percent of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan do not require a college degree; 75 percent don’t require an associate’s degree.

The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America.  That’s what it is.  (Applause.)

And it recognizes something I’ve always said in this chamber and the other.  Good guys and women on Wall Street, but Wall Street didn’t build this country.  The middle class built the country, and unions built the middle class.  (Applause.)

So that’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass the Protect the Right to Organize Act — the PRO Act — and send it to my desk so we can support the right to unionize.  (Applause.)

And, by the way, while you’re thinking about sending things to my desk — (laughs) — let’s raise the minimum wage to $15.  (Applause.)

No one — no one working 40 hours a week — no one working 40 hours a week should live below the poverty line.

We need to ensure greater equity and opportunity for women.  And while we’re doing this, let’s get the Paycheck Fairness Act to my desk as well — equal pay.  It’s been much too long.  And if you’re wondering whether it’s too long, look behind me.  (Applause.)

And finally, the American Jobs Plan will be the biggest increase in nondefense research and development on record.  We will see more technological change — and some of you know more about this than I do — we’ll see more technological change in the next 10 years than we saw in the last 50.  That’s how rapidly artificial intelligence and so much more is changing.

And we’re falling behind the competition with the rest of the world.

Decades ago, we used to invest 2 percent of our gross domestic product in America — 2 percent of our gross domestic product — in research and development. 

Today, Mr. Secretary, that’s less than 1 percent.  China and other countries are closing in fast.  We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future:
advanced batteries, biotechnology, computer chips, clean energy.

The Secretary of Defense can tell you — and those of you on — who work on national security issues know — the Defense Department has an agency called DARPA — the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency.  The people who set up before I came here — and that’s been a long time ago — to develop breakthroughs that enhance our national security -– that’s their only job.  And it’s a semi-separate agency; it’s under the Defense Department.  It’s led to everything from the discovery of the Internet to GPS and so much more that has enhanced our security.

The National Institute of Health — the NIH –- I believe, should create a similar Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.  (Applause.)

And that would — here’s what it would do.  It would have a singular purpose: to develop breakthroughs to prevent, detect, and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer.

I’ll still never forget when we passed the cancer proposal the last year I was Vice President — almost $9 million going to NIH.  And if you excuse the point of personal privilege, I’ll never forget you standing and mentioning — saying you’d name it after my deceased son.  It meant a lot.

But so many of us have deceased sons, daughters, and relatives who died of cancer.  I can think of no more worthy investment.  I know of nothing that is more bipartisan.  So, let’s end cancer as we know it.  (Applause.)  It’s within our power.  (Applause.)  It’s within our power to do it.  (Applause.)

Investments in jobs and infrastructure, like the ones we’re talking about, have often had bipartisan support in the past.  Vice President Harris and I met regularly in the Oval Office with Democrats and Republicans to discuss the Jobs Plan.  And I applaud a group of Republican senators who just put forward their own proposal.

So, let’s get to work.  I wanted to lay out, before the Congress, my plan before we got into the deep discussions.  I’d like to meet with those who have ideas that are different — they think are better.  I welcome those ideas. 

But the rest of the world is not waiting for us.  I just want to be clear: From my perspective, doing nothing is not an option.  (Applause.)

Look, we can’t be so busy competing with one another that we forget the competition that we have with the rest of the world to win the 21st century.

Secretary Blinken can tell you, I spent a lot of time with President Xi — traveled over 17,000 miles with him; spent, they tell me, over 24 hours in private discussions with him.  When he called to congratulate me, we had a two-hour discussion.  He’s deadly earnest about becoming the most significant, consequential nation in the world.  He and others — autocrats — think that democracy can’t compete in the 21st century with autocracies because it takes too long to get consensus. 

To win that competition for the future, in my view, we also need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in our families and our children.  That’s why I’ve introduced the American Families Plan tonight, which addresses four of the biggest challenges facing American families and, in turn, America.

First is access to a good education.  When this nation made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated, best-prepared nation in the world.  It’s, I believe, the overwhelming reason that propelled us to where we got in the 21st — in the 20th century. 

But the world has caught up, or catching up.  They are not waiting.  I would say, parenthetically: If we were sitting down, put a bipartisan committee together and said, “Okay, we’re going to decide what we do in terms of government providing for free education,” I wonder whether we’d think, as we did in the 20th century, that 12 years is enough in the 21st century.  I doubt it.  Twelve years is no longer enough today to compete with the rest of the world in the 21st Century.

That’s why my American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America, starting as early as we can.

The great universities of this country have conducted studies over the last 10 years.  It shows that adding two years of universal high-quality preschool for every three-year-old and four-year-old, no matter what background they come from, it puts them in the position to be able to compete all the way through 12 years.  It increases exponentially their prospect of graduating and going on beyond graduation.

The research shows when a young child goes to school — not daycare — they are far more likely to graduate from high school and go to college or something after high school.

When you add two years of free community college on top of that, you begin to change the dynamic.  (Applause.)  We can do that.  (Applause.) 

And we’ll increase Pell Grants and invest in Historical Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges, Minority-Serving Institutions.  The reason is: They don’t have the endowments, but their students are just as capable of learning about cybersecurity, just as capable of learning about metallurgy — all the things that are going on that provide those jobs of the future.

Jill was  a community college professor who teaches today as First Lady.  She has long said — (applause).  She has long — (applause).  If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: “Joe, any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us.”  She’ll be deeply involved in leading this effort.  Thank you, Jill.

Second thing we need: American Families Plan will provide access to quality, affordable childcare.  We guarantee — (applause).  And I’m proposing a legislation to guarantee that low- and middle-income families will pay no more than 7 percent of their income for high-quality care for children up to the age of 5.  The most hard-pressed working families won’t have to spend a dime.

Third, the American Families Plan will finally provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave  and medical leave — family and medical leave.  We’re one of the few industrial countries in the world — (applause). 

No one should have to choose between a job and paycheck or taking care of themselves and their loved ones –- a parent, a spouse, or child.

And fourth, the American Family Plan puts directly into the pockets of millions of Americans.  In March, we expanded a tax credit for every child in a family.  Up to a $3,000 per child if they’re under [over]* six years of age — I mean, excuse me — under — over six years of age, and $3,600 for children over [under]* six years of age.

With two parents, two kids, that’s $7,200 in the pockets that’s going to help to take care of your family.  And that will help more than 65 million children and help cut childcare [child] poverty in half.  (Applause.)  And we can afford it. 

So we did that in the rec- — in the — in the last piece of legislation we passed. But let’s extend that Child Care Tax Credit at least through the end of 2025.  (Applause.)  

The American Rescue Plan lowered healthcare premiums for 9 million Americans who buy their coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  I know that’s really popular on this side of the aisle.  (Laughter.)  But let’s make that provision permanent so their premiums don’t go back up.  (Applause.)  

In addition to my Families Plan, I’m going to work with Congress to address, this year, other critical priorities for American families. 

The Affordable Care Act has been a lifeline for millions of Americans, protecting people with preexisting conditions, protecting women’s health.  And the pandemic has demonstrated how badly — how badly it’s needed.  Let’s lower deductibles for working families on the Affordable Care — in the Affordable Care Act.  (Applause.)  And let’s lower prescription drug costs.  (Applause.) 

We know how to do this.  The last President had that as an objective.  We all know how outrageously expensive drugs are in America. 

In fact, we pay the highest prescription drug prices of anywhere in the world right here in America — nearly three times — for the same drug, nearly three times what other countries pay.  We have to change that, and we can. 

Let’s do what we’ve always talked about for all the years I was down here in this — in this body — in Congress.  Let’s give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower drug prescription prices.  (Applause.)

And, by the way, that won’t just — that won’t just help people on Medicare; it will lower prescription drug costs for everyone. 

And the money we save, which is billions of dollars, can go to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and expand Medicare coverage benefits without costing taxpayers an additional penny.  It’s within our power to do it; let’s do it now.  (Applause.)

We’ve talked about it long enough.  Democrats and Republicans, let’s get it done this year.  This is all about a simple premise: Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege in America.  (Applause.) 

So, how do we pay for my Jobs and Family Plan?  I made it clear, we can do it without increasing the deficits.  Let’s start with what I will not do: I will not impose any tax increase on people making less than $400,000.  It’s — but it’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to just begin to pay their fair share.  (Applause.)  Just their fair share. 

Sometimes I have arguments with my friends in the Democratic Party.  I think you should be able to become a billionaire and a millionaire, but pay your fair share.

A recent study shows that 55 of the nation’s biggest corporations paid zero federal tax last year.  Those 55 corporations made in excess of $40 billion in profit.  A lot of companies also evade taxes through tax havens in Switzerland and Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.  And they benefit from tax loopholes and deductions for offshoring jobs and shifting profits overseas.  It’s not right. 

We’re going to reform corporate taxes so they pay their fair share and help pay for the public investments their businesses will benefit from as well.  (Applause.)

We’re going to reward work, not just wealth.  We take the top tax bracket for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans — those making over $400,000 or more — back up to where it was when George W. Bush was President when he started: 39.6 percent.  That’s where it was when George W. was President. 

We’re going to get rid of the loopholes that allow Americans who make more than a million dollars a year and pay a lower tax rate on their capital gains than Americans who receive a paycheck.   We’re only going to affect three tenths of 1 percent of all Americans by that action.  Three tenths of 1 percent. 

And the IRS is going to crack down on millionaires and billionaires who cheat on their taxes.  It’s estimated to be billions of dollars by think tanks that are left, right, and center. 

I’m not looking to punish anybody.  But I will not add a tax burden — an additional tax burden to the middle class in this country.  They’re already paying enough.  I believe what I propose is fair — (applause) — fiscally responsible, and it raises revenue to pay for the plans I have proposed, and will create millions of jobs that will grow the economy and enhance our financial standing in the country.

When you hear someone say that they don’t want to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent or corporate America, ask them: “Whose taxes you want to raise instead?  Whose are you going to cut?” 

Look, the big tax cut of 2017 — remember, it was supposed to pay for itself — that was how it was sold — and generate vast economic growth.  Instead, it added $2 trillion to the deficit.  It was a huge windfall for corporate America and those at the very top.  

Instead of using the tax saving to raise wages and invest in research and development, it poured billions of dollars into the pockets of CEOs.  In fact, the pay gap between CEOs and their workers is now among the largest in history. 

According to one study, CEOs make 320 times what the average worker in their corporation makes.  It used to be in the — below a hundred. 

The pandemic has only made things worse.  Twenty million Americans lost their job in the pandemic — working- and middle-class Americans.  At the same time, roughly 650 billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 trillion — in the same exact period.  Let me say it again: 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 trillion during this pandemic.  And they’re now worth more than $4 trillion. 

My fellow Americans, trickle-down — trickle-down economics has never worked and it’s time to grow the economy from the bottom and the middle out. (Applause.) 

You know, there’s a broad consensus of economists — left, right, center — and they agree what I’m proposing will help create millions of jobs and generate historic economic growth.  These are among the highest-value investments we can make as a nation. 

I’ve often said: Our greatest strength is the power of our example, not just the example of our power.  

In my conversations with world leaders — and I’ve spoken to over 38, 40 of them now — I’ve made it known — I’ve made it known that America is back.  And you know what they say?  The comment that I hear most of all from them is they say, “We see America is back but for how long?  But for how long?”

My fellow Americans, we have to show not just that we’re back, but that we’re back to stay and that we aren’t going to go it alone.  (Applause.)  We’re going to do it by leading with our allies.  (Applause.)   

No one nation can deal with all the crises of our time — from terrorism, to nuclear proliferation, mass migration, cybersecurity, climate change, as well as experi- — what we’re experiencing now with pandemics. 

There’s no wall high enough to keep any virus out.  And our own vaccine supply — as it grows to meet our needs; and we’re meeting them — will become an arsenal of vaccines for other countries, just as America was the arsenal of democracy for the world — (applause) — and in consequence, influenced the world.  (Applause.)  

But every American will have access before that occur- — every American will have access to be fully covered by COVID-19 — from the vaccines we have.

Look, the climate crisis is not our fight alone; it’s a global fight.  The United States accounts, as all of you know, less than 15 percent of carbon emissions.  The rest of the world accounts for 85 percent.  That’s why I kept my commitment to rejoin the Paris Accord — because if we do everything perfectly, it’s not going to ultimately matter.

I kept my commitment to convene a climate summit right here in America with all of the major economies of the world — China, Russia, India, the European Union — and I said I’d do it in my first 100 days.

I want to be very blunt about it: I had — my attempt was to make sure that the world could see there was a consensus, that we are at an inflection point in history.  And consensus — the consensus is: If we act to save the planet, we can create millions of jobs and economic growth and opportunity to raise the standard of living to almost everyone around the world.

If you’ve watched any of it — and you were all busy; I’m sure you didn’t have much time — that’s what virtually every nation said, even the ones that aren’t doing their fair share.

The investments I’ve proposed tonight also advance the foreign policy, in my view, that benefits the middle class.  That means making sure every nation plays by the same rules in the global economy, including China.

(중국)In my discussions — in my discussions with President Xi, I told him, “We welcome the competition.  We’re not looking for conflict.”  But I made absolutely clear that we will defend America’s interests across the board.  America will stand up to unfair trade practices that undercut American workers and American industries, like subsidies from state — to state-owned operations and enterprises and the theft of American technology and intellectual property.

I also told President Xi that we’ll maintain a strong military presence in the Indo-Pacific, just as we do with NATO in Europe — not to start a conflict, but to prevent one.  (Applause.) 

I told him what I’ve said to many world leaders: that America will not back away from our commitments — our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms and to our alliances.

And I pointed out to him: No responsible American President could remain silent when basic human rights are being so blatantly violated.  An American President — President has to represent the essence of what our country stands for.  America is an idea — the most unique idea in history: We are created, all of us, equal.  It’s who we are, and we cannot walk away from that principle and, in fact, say we’re dealing with the American idea.

(러시아)With regard to Russia, I know it concerns some of you, but I made very clear to Putin that we’re not going to seek esca- — ecala- — exc- — excuse me — escalation, but their actions will have consequence if they turn out to be true.  And they turned out to be true, so I responded directly and proportionally to Russia’s interference in our elections and the cyberattacks on our government and our business.  They did both of these things, and I told them we would respond, and we have.

But we can also cooperate when it’s in our mutual interest.  We did it when we extended the New START Treaty on nuclear arms, and we’re working to do it on climate change.  But he understands we will respond.

(이란&북한)On Iran and North Korea — nuclear programs that present serious threats to American security and the security of the world — we’re going to be working closely with our allies to address the threats posed by both of these countries through di- — through diplomacy, as well as stern deterrence.

And American leadership means ending the forever war in Afghanistan.  (Applause.)  We have — (applause) — we have, without hyperbole, the greatest fighting force in the history of the world.  I’m the first President in 40 years who knows what it means to have a son serving in a warzone. 

Today we have servicemembers serving in the same warzone as their parents did.  We have servicemembers in Afghanistan who were not yet born on 9/11.

The War in Afghanistan, as we remember the debates here, were never meant to be multi-generational undertakings of nation-building.  We went to Afghanistan to get terrorists — the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 — and we said we would follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell to do it.  If you’ve been to the upper Kunar Valley, you’ve kind of seen the gates of hell.  And we delivered justice to bin Laden.  We degraded the terrorist threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan.  And after 20 years of value — valor and sacrifice, it’s time to bring those troops home.  (Applause.) 

Look, even as we do, we will maintain an over-the-horizon capacity to suppress future threats to the homeland.  And make no mistake: In 20 years, terrorists has — terrorism has metastasized.  The threat has evolved way beyond Afghanistan.  And those of you in the intelligence committees, the foreign relations committee, the defense committees, you know well: We have to remain vigilant against the threats to the United States wherever they come from.  Al Qaeda and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, other places in Africa, the Middle East, and beyond. 

And we won’t ignore what our intelligence agencies have determined to be the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today: White supremacy is terrorism.  We’re not going to ignore that either.

My fellow Americans, look, we have to come together to heal the soul of this nation.  It was nearly a year ago, before her father’s funeral, when I spoke with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s young daughter.  She’s a little tyke, so I was kneeling down to talk to her so I could look her in the eye.  And she looked at me and she said, “My daddy changed the world.”  Well, after the conviction of George Floyd’s murderer, we can see how right she was if — if we have the courage to act as a Congress. 

We’ve all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black Americans.  Now is our opportunity to make some real progress.  The vast majority of men and women wearing the uniform and a badge serve our communities, and they serve them honorably.  I know them.  I know they want — (applause) — I know they want to help meet this moment as well.

My fellow Americans, we have to come together to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve, to root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system, and to enact police reform in George Floyd’s name that passed the House already. 

I know Republicans have their own ideas and are engaged in the very productive discussions with Democrats in the Senate.  We need to work together to find a consensus.  But let’s get it done next month, by the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death.  (Applause.) 

The country supports this reform, and Congress should act — should act.  We have a giant opportunity to bend to the arc of the moral universe towards justice — real justice.  And with the plans outlined tonight, we have a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues America and American lives in other ways; a chance to deliver real equity — good jobs, good schools, affordable housing, clean air, clean water, being able to generate wealth and pass it down two generations because you have an access to purchase a house.  Real opportunities in the lives of more Americans — Black, white, Latino, Asian Americans, Native Americans.

Look, I also want to thank the United States Senate for voting 94 to 1 to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.  (Applause.)  You acted decisively.  (Applause.)  And you can see on television the viciousness of the hate crimes we’ve seen over the past year — this past year and for too long.  I urge the House to do the same and send that legislation to my desk, which I will gladly, anxiously sign.

I also hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans.  (Applause.)  To all transgender Americans watching at home, especially young people who are so brave, I want you to know your President has your back.

Another thing: Let’s authorize the Violence Against Women Act, which has been law for 27 years.  (Applause.)  Twenty-seven years ago, I wrote it.  It’ll close the — the act that has to be authorized now will close the “boyfriend” loophole to keep guns out of the hands of abusers.  The court order said, “This is an abuser.  You can’t own a gun.”  It’s to close that loophole that existed. 

You know, it’s estimated that 50 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner every month in America — 50 a month.  Let’s pass it and save some lives.  (Applause.)

And I need not — I need not tell anyone this, but gun violence is becoming an epidemic in America.

The flag at the White House was still flying at half-mast for the 8 victims in the mass shooting in Georgia when 10 more lives were taken in a mass shooting in Colorado.

And in the week in between those two events, 250 other Americans were shot dead in the streets of America — 250 shot dead.

I know how hard it is to make progress on this issue.  In the ’90s, we passed universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that hold 100 rounds that can be fired off in seconds.  We beat the NRA.  Mass shootings and gun violence declined.  Check out the report in over 10 years.  But in the early twe- — 2000s, the law expired, and we’ve seen daily bloodshed since.  I’m not saying if the law continued, we wouldn’t see bloodshed.  

More than two weeks ago in the Rose Garden, surrounded by some of the bravest people I know — the survivors and families who lost loved ones to gun violence — I laid out several of the Department of Justice a- — actions that are being taken to — impact on this epidemic. 

One of them is banning so-called “ghost guns.”  These are homemade guns built from a kit that includes directions on how to finish the firearm.  The parts have no serial numbers, so they show up at crime scenes and they can’t be traced.  The buyers of these ghost gun kits aren’t required to pass any background check.  Anyone, from a criminal or terrorist, could buy this kit and within 30 minutes have a weapon that’s lethal.  But no more.

And I will do everything in my power to protect the American people from this epidemic of gun violence, but it’s time for Congress to act as well.  (Applause.)

Look, I don’t want to become confrontational but we need more Senate Republicans to join the overwhelming majority of Democrat colleagues and close the loopholes requiring a background check on purchases of guns.  We need a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.  And don’t tell me it can’t be done.  We did it before, and it worked.

Talk to most responsible gun owners and hunters. They’ll tell you there’s no possible justification for having 100 rounds in a weapon.  What do you think — deer are wearing Kevlar vests?  (Laughter.)  They’ll tell you that there are too many people today who are able to buy a gun but shouldn’t be able to buy a gun.

These kinds of reasonable reforms have overwhelming support from the American people, including many gun owners.  The country supports reform and is — and Congress should act.

This shouldn’t be a red or blue issue.  And no amendment to the Constitution is absolute.  You can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater.  From the very beginning, there were certain guns, weapons, that could not be owned by Americans.  Certain people could not own those weapons ever. 

We’re not changing the Constitution; we’re being reasonable.  I think this is not a Democrat or Republican issue; I think it’s an American issue.

And here’s what else we can do: Immigration has always been essential to America.  Let’s end our exhausting war over immigration.  For more than 30 years, politicians have talked about immigration reform, and we’ve done nothing about it.  It’s time to fix it.

On day one of my presidency, I kept my commitment and sent a comprehensive immigration bill to the United States Congress.  If you believe we need to secure the border, pass it, because it has a lot of money for high-tech border security.  If you believe in a pathway to citizenship, pass it so over 11 million undocumented folks — the vast majority are here overstaying visas.  Pass it.  We can actually — if you actually want to solve a problem, I’ve sent a bill to take a close look at it. 

We have to — also have to get at the root problem of why people are fleeing, particularly to — to our southern border from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador: the violence, the corruption, the gangs, and the political instability, hunger, hurricanes, earthquakes, natural disasters.


When I was President, my President — when I was Vice President, the President asked me to focus on providing the help needed to address the root causes of migration.  And it helped keep people in their own countries instead of being forced to leave.  The plan was working, but the last administration decided it was not worth it.

I’m restoring the program and asked Vice President Harris to lead our diplomatic effort to take care of this.  I have absolute confidence she’ll get the job done.  (Applause.)

Now, look, if you don’t like my plan, let’s at least pass what we all agree on.  Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for DREAMers — the young people who have only known America as their home.  (Applause.) 

And permanent protection for immigrants who are here on temporary protected status who came from countries beset by manmade and natural-made violence and disaster.  (Applause.)

As well as a pathway to citizenship for farmworkers who put food on our tables.  (Applause.) 

Look, immigrants have done so much for America during this pandemic and throughout our history.  The country supports immigration reform.  We should act.  Let’s argue over it, let’s debate it, but let’s act.  (Applause.)

And if we truly want to restore the soul of America, we need to protect the sacred right to vote.  Most people — (applause).  

More people voted in the last presidential election than any time in American history, in the middle of the worst pandemic ever.  It should be celebrated.  Instead, it’s being attacked.

Congress should pass H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and send it to my desk right away.  (Applause.)  The country supports it.  The Congress should act now.  (Applause.)

Look, in closing, as we gather here tonight, the images of a violent mob assaulting this Capitol, desecrating our democracy, remain vivid in all our minds.

Lives were put at risk — many of your lives.  Lives were lost.  Extraordinary courage was summoned.  The insurrection was an existential crisis –- a test of whether our democracy could survive.  And it did.

But the struggle is far from over.  The question of whether our democracy will long endure is both ancient and urgent, as old as our Republic — still vital today. 

Can our democracy deliver on its promise that all of us, created equal in the image of God, have a chance to lead lives of dignity, respect, and possibility?

Can our democracy deliver the most — to the most pressing needs of our people? 

Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate, and fears that have pulled us apart?

America’s adversaries –- the autocrats of the world –- are betting we can’t.  And I promise you, they’re betting we can’t.  They believe we’re too full of anger and division and rage.

They look at the images of the mob that assaulted the Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy.  But they are wrong.  You know it; I know it.  But we have to prove them wrong.

We have to prove democracy still works — that our government still works and we can deliver for our people.

In our first 100 days together, we have acted to restore the people’s faith in democracy to deliver.  We’re vaccinating the nation.  We’re creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs.  We’re delivering real results to people; they can see it and feel it in their own lives.

Opening doors of opportunity, guaranteeing some more fairness and justice — that’s the essence of America.  That’s democracy in action.

Our Constitution opens with the words — as trite as it sounds — “We the People”.  Well, it’s time to remember that “We the People” are the government — you and I.  Not some force in a distant capital.  Not some powerful force that we have no control over.  It’s us.  It’s “We the People.”

In another era when our democracy was tested, Franklin Roosevelt reminded us, “In America, we do our part.”  We all do our part.  That’s all I’m asking: that we do our part, all of us.

If we do that, we will meet the center challenge of the age by proving that democracy is durable and strong.  Autocrats will not win the future.  We will.  America will.  And the future belongs to America.

As I stand here tonight before you, in a new and vital hour of life and democracy of our nation, and I can say with absolute confidence: I have never been more confident or optimistic about America — not because I’m President, because what’s happening with the American people.

We have stared into the abyss of insurrection and autocracy, pandemic and pain, and “We the People” did not flinch.

At the very moment our adversaries were certain we would pull apart and fail, we came together.  We united.

With light and hope, we summoned a new strength, new resolve to position us to win the competition of the 21st century, on our way to a union more perfect, more prosperous, and more just, as one people, one nation, and one America.

Folks, as I told every world leader I’ve ever met with over the years, it’s never ever, ever been a good bet to bet against America, and it still isn’t.  (Applause.)

We are the United States of America.  (Applause.)  There is not a single thing — nothing — nothing beyond our capacity.  We can do whatever we set our mind to do if we do it together.  (Applause.)  So let’s begin to get together.  (Applause.)

God bless you all, and may God protect our troops.  Thank you for your patience.  (Applause.)

10:12 P.M. EDT

----------------

Remarks by Vice President Harris on the Progress Made During the First 100 Days in Office

APRIL 30, 2021  SPEECHES AND REMARKS

M&T Bank Stadium
Baltimore, Maryland

3:00 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you all.  Thank you all.  You know, I — as Chris Van Hollen was saying, together with the Governor and Dr. Fauci, we were walking around downstairs and meeting with all the folks, our members of the National Guard, all the frontline workers. 

And I said, you know, I do believe, in moments of crisis, that they reveal the heroes walking among us, the angels walking among us.  And I would say Melissa Wesby is one of those individuals.  Thank you, Melissa, for that incredible introduction.  (Inaudible.)  (Applause.)  There you are. 

So, to the governor, Larry Hogan, thank you.  And Team Maryland — Mayor Brandon Scott, to General Janeen Birckhead, thank you for the warm welcome and for all the work you do.

And it is certainly a point of personal privilege, for me, as the President of the Senate, to acknowledge some folks that are my friends.  And I worked with them both over the four years I was in the Senate.  And that, of course, is Senator Ben Cardin and Senator Chris Van Hollen. 

Senator Cardin — (applause) — I will tell you — I mean, I’ve seen them both — I just have to tell you, Maryland, you got some real leaders on your hand in the United States Senate.  They represent Maryland, but they are also national leaders.

Ben, I’ve watched him do exceptional work for Maryland’s businesses as the Chair of the Senate Small Business Committee.  And, of course, Chris, as a member of the Appropriations Committee, has brought critical resources to Baltimore, in terms of housing infrastructure and water infrastructure and so much more.  So, it is wonderful to be with you both. 

I also want to thank Congressman John Sarbanes and Congressman Kweisi Mfume, who I’ve known for years.  Thank you both for your leadership. 

And it is always a wonderful day to spend time with Dr. Anthony Fauci.  And thank you always, Dr. Fauci.  (Applause.)

So, it is wonderful to be back in Baltimore, and especially on this, our 100th day of our administration.  I would say, today is a good day, Baltimore.

You know, 100 days ago, just after President Joe Biden and I were sworn in, I stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial.  And I talked about what I call “American aspiration.”  American aspiration.

I talked about how, in America, we not only dream; we do.  We not only see what has been; we see what can be.  We shoot for the moon, and then we plant our flag on it.

So, for a minute, let’s go back to where our nation was 100 days ago.  About 2 out of 330 million Americans, at that time, were fully vaccinated.  More than 10 million Americans were out of work.  Schools were closed.  Businesses were closed.  And beyond the pandemic, our democracy was under assault.  And our Capitol had just been attacked by insurgents.

All of that was going on when the President and I took our oath of office.  But as daunting as these challenges were, we were not deterred.  And our nation was not deterred.

We had a plan to get America back on track.  We had faith
that the American people, when given the opportunity, would come together and would rise to meet the moment.  And you have.  You have.

And because you have, American aspiration has defined these first 100 days.  American aspiration is how we got to more than 200 million shots in arms in less than 100 days.

In fact, just this morning, we got new data on how the economy did in the first quarter of this year.  And things are looking up.  America is once again on the move.  And that’s, in big part, thanks to the exactly what’s happening here in this stadium, which is this vaccination effort.  And I thanked the National Guard earlier; I will thank you again.

And Baltimore — Mayor, look at what you are doing here.  People can walk right into this stadium and get vaccinated.  And this is happening around the country.

I have visited a local pharmacy in Southeast D.C., and a Community Health Center right outside of Denver, and a vaccine distribution site at the university — a university in Las Vegas.  I’ve been to a site in Chicago run by union members, and another site in Jacksonville run by military members.

And, America, you must know: The people working to administer vaccines are heroes.  And so, too, are — just like those folks we visited with downstairs — so too are the Americans who sign up for that appointment, make the time, and step up and get the shot.

And if you haven’t been vaccinated yet or if you know somebody who hasn’t, please ask folks to just roll up their sleeves.  It’s time for each one of us to do our part.  (Applause.)  Yes.

And we have also seen American aspiration in our effort to deliver relief directly to American families.  The pandemic has taken a toll on families — on their physical health, their mental health, ability to pay the bills.  And the President and I, we knew that before we took office.

So, we developed a plan called the American Rescue Plan.  And it was designed and intended to help people out.  And it was a big plan to tackle a big crisis.  And some said it was too big, but we went for it anyway.  And the American people rallied around it.  Across our country, Democrats and Republicans alike voiced their support. 

And on day 50 of our administration, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law.  (Applause.)
And as I said then, President Joe Biden, well, he had a clear vision and clear purpose. 

And let me tell you something: He never forgets who we are doing this for.  It is for the American people.  It is for the American people that we have delivered relief checks to 160 million folks.  It is for the American people that we have lowered healthcare premiums.  It is for the American people that we have cut taxes for families with children.  And it is because of this law that we are lifting half of America’s children who are living in poverty out of poverty.  (Applause.) 

Think about that.  Think about that: Half of America’s children that are living in poverty will be lifted out of poverty.  So that, folks, is what I call American aspiration.

And we have also delivered support directly to small businesses because, of course, small businesses are part of the fabric and the culture of a community.  Baltimore knows that well.  Our small businesses employ about half of America’s workers.  And making sure small businesses has — and have access to capital is a big part of the work that I’ve been doing.  I am proud to report that we have provided relief to 4 million small businesses in our country, which brings me then to jobs. 

In 100 days, we have created more new jobs than any other administration in history. (Applause.)  And, Baltimore, we are just getting started. 

Right now we have two more plans that we are working to get past.  The first is the American Jobs Plan.  It will be the largest job investment that our nation has made since World War Two.  Because the fact is, too many people, including too many people right here in Maryland, are still out of work.  So while we have made significant proce- — progress on the jobs front, there’s so much more to be done. 

We are going to put Americans to work — fixing the roads you drive on every day, getting rid of the lead pipes that poison our children, and expanding broadband so that every American has access to high-speed and affordable high-speed Internet.

In the 21st century, broadband is critical infrastructure. You know, last week, I was in New Hampshire.  I was visiting an — a site in the New Hampshire Electric Co-Op.  And I was there because we were remembering that in 1936 — Ben Cardin and Chris, you’ll probably remember — Congress — and together with Congressman Sarbanes and Mfume — in 1936, the United States Congress said, “You know what?  We got this thing called electricity, but there are folks that are being left out.  And that’s not going to be right because they will be left behind.” 

So, in 1936, there was the Rural Electrification Plan.
And on that basis, our federal government invested to make sure all Americans had access to electricity.

Well, fast forward to the year of our Lord 2021; we got this thing called “broadband.”  We have this thing called the “Internet.” 

And let’s think about it: Over the past year alone, which really highlighted the importance of it, a lot of people — the only way they could work, if they had the ability, was to work online.  Our children had to go to school online.  Seniors and others — the way they could see their doctor: telemedicine — online.  Small businesses — how are they going to connect with their customers?  How are they going to move their product?  Online.  How did so many of us connect with our families?  Folks otherwise we might see at a family reunion or a holiday or a birthday — online — if we had access and if it was affordable. 

So too many people either — in this period of time, it has been highlighted — don’t have Internet access or cannot afford a broadband bill. 

And let’s be clear: When we connect Americans to affordable and accessible broadband, we are connecting our children to education.  We are connecting our seniors to telemedicine.  We are connecting families to each other.  And we connect Americans to economic opportunity.  And at the same time, we build up our broadband infrastructure such that we create good jobs — good union jobs. 

And as I have said it before — I will say it again — the best path to a good job is through a strong union.  So the American Jobs Plan — (applause) — so the American Jobs Plan will put America to work.  And the second plan is the American Families Plan, which will make it possible for people to work.

So what am I talking about?  Well, the President — in his speech last night, he talked about this — this plan that will establish universal pre-K and lower the cost of childcare, making childcare affordable and accessible, which has been a priority for so many of us.

Just think: Nearly 2 million women have been forced out of the workforce in just the last year, and the lack of childcare is often the reason why. 

You know, I’ll tell you my personal story on this.  You know, when my mother, who raised my sister and me — Dr. Fauci knows this.  I’m very proud to say that my mother used to go to this place, Governor, when we were young.  Mommy was going always to this place called Bethesda.  She was going to the Bethesda, I learned later, because a place called NIH is in Bethesda.  Because, you see, my mother was a breast cancer researcher, and she had two goals in her life: to raise her two daughters, and — and breast cancer.  And so she used to go out to NIH to help do some of the work that happens there. 

And so when my mother, though, on a daily basis was at work every day — long hours; she worked on weekends.  And when she was at work and it was after school, often, my sister and I, we would walk two houses down to the home of Mrs. Regina Shelton, who was a second mother to us, and she was a lifeline for our mother.  And here’s the thing I know: She would talk, on a daily basis, about how but for Ms. Shelton, she could not have done the work that she did. 

Every working mother needs that support.  Every working parent needs that support.  (Applause.)  And a competitive economy requires it.  A competitive economy requires a skilled workforce too, which is why we will also create more opportunities for education after high school.

So let’s think about that.  Twelve years of education is the norm — has been the norm, but in today’s world, 12 years of education is just not enough.  So let’s invest in education after high school, understanding that we also must invest in opportunities for folks about which path of education after high school they want to take, that they choose to take.  Let’s think about what we need to do — education after high school — to invest in apprenticeships.

We will give every American, with this plan, two years of free community college, and we will make college more affordable for millions of students.  Because there shouldn’t only be one educational path to success. 

The American Jobs Plan, the American Families Plan — this is what Americans deserve.  And this is what our future depends on. 

And we must also be clear-eyed: These last 100 days haven’t only been defined by progress.  There have been too many days when we woke up to news of another mass shooting; another Black or brown person shot by the police; another act of hate against Asian Americans; another law designed to make it harder for people to vote.  These are reminders that we still have so much more work to do in the fight for reasonable gun laws, in the fight for racial justice, the fight for voting rights. 

And some days I know it feels exhausting, but we cannot give up and we will not give up.  Because here is the truth: American aspiration is about the courage to see beyond crisis and to build beyond crisis.  It is about our endurance.  It is about our perseverance.  It is about our ability to keep pushing forward. 

American aspiration is what drove our nation to build the railroad from coast to coast in the middle of the Civil War.  It is what drove our nation to bring electricity to every household in the middle of the Great Depression.  It is what drove our nation to race to the moon in the middle of the arms race.

American aspiration is what will continue to drive all of us to keep reaching high even when we know it may be difficult,
especially when it is difficult. 

So, I want to end with one more story.  So, about a month ago, I met this little girl.  Her name is Galya and she’s five years old.  And so, I walk into the classroom, and she’s there.  This — this little one — I mean, she is really something.  Okay.  So, I walk into the room, and she introduced me to everybody in the classroom.  Knew everyone.  Five years old.  And immediately came glued to my side the whole time I was in the classroom; introduced me to everyone in the classroom, by name, including her teachers.  She just self-appointed to do this, by the way.  It was not the plan.

And at one moment, I went down to — I kneeled to speak to her, and I said to her — I said, “Galya, you can be anything you want to be.”  And this little one looked at me in my eyes, and do you know what she said?  “I want to be everything.”  (Laughter.)  “I want to be everything.”  (Applause.)  Right? 

So that is the spirit of American aspiration.  That is the spirit which, at that moment, was wrapped up in the little body of a five-year-old.  And moving forward, that is the spirit we must summon.

So, thank you, Baltimore.  Thank you, Maryland, for making these 100 days what they have been — as so many of you have spoken and said, “where we see light at the end of the tunnel.”

Thank you for marking these 100 days with the President and with me.  And please know that the President and I are grateful for your trust, and we will never ever take it for granted.

My God bless you, and may God bless America.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you all.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.) 

3:20 P.M. EDT

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Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly

The President of Russia delivered the Address to the Federal Assembly. The ceremony took place at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall.

April 21, 2021, 13:20, Moscow (크렘닌궁 발표)

 

크렘린궁 공개사진

The ceremony was attended by the senators of the Russian Federation, State Duma deputies, members of the Government, the heads of the Constitutional and Supreme courts, regional governors, speakers of regional legislatures, the heads of traditional religious denominations and public activists.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Members of the Federation Council, State Duma deputies, Citizens of Russia,(Today’s Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly will be dedicated mostly to internal issues. These include, naturally, healthcare, social policy and the economy. Of course,) I will say a few words about external affairs and literally a few words about security issues.

It stands to reason that I will begin with last year’s events, when our country and, actually, the entire world faced a new, previously unknown and extremely dangerous infection.

It that period, including during our meetings with experts and conversations with the leaders of many states, I often heard the following description of the situation: we are faced with total uncertainty. And this is how it really was.

I could see this from the information I received from the regions. The number of people who contracted the disease and needed to be rushed to hospital kept growing. Actually, all of you are very well aware of this. Many hospitals were filled to capacity and reported that they could run out of oxygen soon, including in intensive care units. Ventilators, protective masks and PPE were actually distributed by the piece. Shops were running out of basic products, such as cereals, butter and sugar, due to increased demand.

The epidemic was on the offensive. But although there was great concern, I personally had no doubt that we would pull through.

Citizens, society and the state acted responsibly and in unison. We rallied, managed to take preventive action, to create conditions that would reduce the risk of infection, and to provide medical personnel and citizens with personal protective equipment. We increased the number of hospital beds for coronavirus patients more than five times over, to 280,000 beds.

The brief outline of measures conceals the tremendous and intensive work of millions of people in all regions of the Russian Federation. I would like to cordially thank all of you for this. Everyone worked quickly, efficiently and conscientiously.

At that time and later on, we were analysing the situation practically non-stop. I recall vividly my visit to the hospital in Kommunarka. It was necessary to experience, to see at first hand the danger facing us and to assess the working conditions of medical specialists. They immediately found themselves in the thick of events and fought for every life, while risking their own.

Today, doctors, paramedics, medical nurses and members of ambulance teams are sitting here in this hall. Once again my heartfelt thanks to you and your colleagues from all the Russian regions.

Russian researchers made a real breakthrough, and Russia now has three reliable coronavirus vaccines. These and many other achievements of the past few years highlight the country’s growing science and technological potential.

I would like to thank everyone, every person who contributed to the fight against infection, including the workers at the plants manufacturing medications, medical equipment, personal protective equipment, and enterprises working 24 hours a day, housing and utility agencies, trade companies, the Russian business community that quickly converted entire sectors so that they could manufacture essential goods, civilian and military builders, agriculture workers who gathered a record-breaking harvest, one of the biggest in the country’s history, that is, over 130 million tonnes.

The personnel of law enforcement agencies and the special services continued to carry out their duty, and the Russian Armed Forces reliably ensured our country’s security.

I would like to underscore the selfless behaviour of people working for social services, orphanages, boarding schools, retirement homes and hospices who stayed and who continue to stay with their charges. You will certainly agree with me that, while analysing developments at these institutions, one feels proud of people who are carrying out their duty there in such a responsible manner. It could move you to tears. I would like to thank them once again.

I would also like to convey my sincere gratitude to school teachers and the lecturers at universities and other education institutions. You did everything possible to enable your students and pupils to gain knowledge and successfully pass their exams, with the involvement and support of their parents.

Russia’s cultural life continued unabated. Theatres, museums and concert halls remained open to audiences online thanks to modern technology. Everyone who works in this crucial sphere rose to the occasion.

Our people showed discipline and managed to observe, let’s face it, quite exhausting, but vital precautions. Thus, acting together, we have put up an effective barrier to the pandemic.

The people’s solidarity showed in concrete actions, in caring for the loved ones and in willingness to help people in need. Millions became volunteers and engaged in building person-to-person help routes. The nationwide We Are Together campaign brought together people from different walks of life and ages. As always during challenging times, our traditional religions stepped up to provide spiritual support to the society. I see the leaders of our religions here and I would like to bow deeply to you, thank you very much

Throughout history, our people have come out victorious and overcome trials thanks to unity. Today, family, friendship, mutual assistance, graciousness and unity have come to the fore as well.

Spiritual and moral values, which are already being forgotten in some countries, have, on the contrary, made us stronger. And we will always uphold and defend these values.

Colleagues,

The pandemic broke out at a time when the aftermath of the demographic shocks of the 1940s and 1990s converged. We realise that the current demographic situation is an emergency. Unfortunately, this is how things are. We must accept and admit it and do something about it based on our understanding of this situation.

Saving the people of Russia is our top national priority. This priority underlies the stipulations of the updated Constitution concerning the protection of the family, the important role parents play in bringing up their children, strengthening social guarantees, and further developing the economy, education and culture.

Our strategy is to return to sustainable population growth to make sure that the average life expectancy in Russia increases to 78 years in 2030.

Unfortunately, the statistics show us sad and disappointing numbers. We are even seeing a certain decline. It is clear what is happening because of the pandemic, but we will keep our strategic goals in this critical sphere unchanged.

I fully realise that this is no small feat, the more so as the coronavirus has not yet been completely defeated and remains a direct threat. We see the dramatic developments in many countries where the cases of infection continue to grow. We need to keep in check the defence barriers designed to slow down the spread of the virus along our external borders and within our country.

I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again. Friends, please stay alert. I am asking you to take care of yourselves and your loved ones and to comply with the doctors’ and sanitary services’ recommendations as closely as possible.

Vaccination is of crucial importance. I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the heads of the regions to monitor this process on a daily basis. The opportunity to take the jab must be available everywhere, so that we achieve the so-called herd immunity by the autumn.

The attainment of this goal depends on everyone, on all our citizens. Please, I am asking all citizens of Russia once again to get vaccinated. This is the only way to stop this deadly epidemic. There is no alternative. The other choice is much worse: to contract the disease with unpredictable consequences.

I would like to say once again that the disease is still with us. But we must start thinking already now about healing the wounds it has inflicted and restoring people’s health.

During the peak periods, our hospitals and outpatient clinics had to reduce or even suspend scheduled visits. This increased the risk of the aggravation of chronic illnesses or the risk of missing the first signs of or correctly diagnosing new illnesses.

I would like to ask the Government, the Healthcare Ministry and the constituent entities of the Russian Federation to expand the system of medical check-ups and periodic screenings, taking into account the current epidemiological situation, and to relaunch them in full measure on July 1, 2021 for people of all ages. They must involve the largest number of people possible. This is why we will increase the supply of mobile medical diagnostic systems to the regions in the near future.

One of the targets of the coronavirus is the cardiovascular system. These diseases have always been the leading cause of death. Therefore, special attention during periodic screenings must be given to people with cardiovascular diseases. I would like to instruct the Government to take additional measures to prevent the diseases that are the main causes of premature death. As I have already mentioned, these are cardiovascular diseases plus malignant tumours and respiratory system diseases.

Hepatitis C claims many young lives. Decisions must be made to reduce this threat to the health of the nation to a minimum within 10 years.

To ensure that as many people as possible can restore their health at sanatoriums and health resorts, I propose that the 20 percent rebate programme for domestic travel is extended at least until the end of the year.

Children’s health is our special priority. Indeed, the foundation for good health for many years to come is laid during childhood. Children's rest and recreation activities must be made as affordable as possible. In this regard, this year, I propose reimbursing half of what parents spend on their children’s summer camps.

In addition, we need to expand opportunities for student tourism. Already this year, we must launch several pilot projects, including accommodation on university campuses and in dormitories in other regions for students who travel around the country during the summer.

And, of course, we must reward the young people who have done well in academic competitions and in volunteer and creative initiatives as well as the projects operated by the Russia – Land of Opportunity platform. For them, the partial reimbursement programme for tourist vouchers will remain valid during the holidays, aka the high season. This is a ground-breaking decision.

I wish to thank all the parliamentary groups which supported the decision on the taxation of high incomes, or rather, a portion of high incomes. These proceeds will go to the dedicated Circle of Kindness fund and have already been released to help children affected by rare and serious diseases, to purchase expensive medicines and medical equipment, and to cover the costs of surgeries.

On April 28, we will celebrate Ambulance Worker Day which was established as a show of respect to those who arrive first to save lives. These specialists must be provided with all necessary supplies. Within the next three years, we will make another 5,000 new ambulances available to rural communities, urban-type localities and small towns, which will replace the ambulance fleet almost in full.

I want to emphasise that public healthcare authorities in many leading countries – we are well aware of it and, in fact, they themselves are saying so – were unable to deal with the challenges of the pandemic as effectively as we did in Russia. At the same time, global health care is on the cusp of a genuine revolution. This must be recognised and clearly seen. We cannot miss it.

The pandemic has exponentially sped up the introduction of telemedicine, artificial intelligence and new approaches in diagnostics, surgery, rehabilitation and the production of medicines everywhere. We must put these technologies at the service of the people of our country.

We must build our healthcare system around this ground-breaking technology, and keep an eye on pressing everyday problems in the process. As we are all aware, they abound, mostly in primary care. There must be no such thing as waiting lines, no hassle making a diagnostics appointment or a specialist doctor appointment, or obtaining prescriptions and sick leaves, for that matter. This has often come up in our discussions lately. The funds have been set side and allocated. It is time to move quickly and efficiently to make it happen.

We have a backlog to deal with in healthcare and other social sectors, including many technical, financial and managerial challenges. However, what people need is qualified and timely medical help. I propose reviewing public healthcare problems from this perspective at an expanded meeting of the State Council some time soon. We will prepare for it and hold it shortly.

I repeat: we have gained some fundamentally new experience in fulfilling our social commitments. During the pandemic, we made direct payments to families bringing up almost 28 million children, and they received their benefits without any unnecessary paperwork or other kinds of red tape – they got the money they needed and were entitled to automatically. I know Government members have been working on this, focusing deliberately, not without some failures, but they have made every effort to accomplish this task, and coped with it. This is great, this is a good example. This approach should become the norm at all levels of government.

This is the essence of the National Social Initiative, which was discussed at a recent joint meeting of the State Council Presidium and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives.

I am calling on the regional governors: it is your direct responsibility to organise the work of local clinics, daycare nurseries and schools, and employment centres, based on the daily needs of families, of each and every person. In many regions, I have seen with my own eyes that such work has already been launched in certain areas. This needs to be done everywhere and in all social sectors.

As soon as in 2022, we must introduce the ‘social treasury’ principles. This means that all federal benefits, pensions and other social payments and services will be provided and paid in a one-stop mode, without having to visit dozens of different agencies, but simply upon marriage, the birth of a child, retirement or other life milestones. Within three years, the vast majority of public and municipal services should be provided to Russian citizens remotely, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that is, on an ongoing basis.

Separately, we will have to discuss child-support payments, which are a sensitive topic for many families. Unfortunately, this is a problem in our country. This procedure should not be humiliating for anyone. Most issues here need to be resolved remotely and, most importantly, in the interests of the affected party. A mother with a child should not have to camp on the doorstep of various authorities to collect official documents, carrying her baby in her arms, and this is what usually happens. A system of interagency communication needs to be built, with banks included, in such a way as to ensure the unconditional execution of court decisions on the recovery of child-support payments. The state is obliged to protect the rights of the child; this is what we are talking about. I will return to this topic again later.

Colleagues,

We understand the heavy toll that the pandemic has taken on people’s welfare. Statistics show the aggravating effects of this outbreak on social inequality and poverty. It has been a challenge for all countries around the world – remember, all countries, not only Russia, are experiencing the same consequences. Certainly, we should be primarily concerned about the situation in our own country.

We are now facing price hikes that are undercutting people’s incomes. Some urgent decisions have been made, of course, but we cannot solely rely on targeted and essentially directive measures. We remember potential outcomes. Back in the late 1980s and the 1990s in the Soviet Union, they resulted in empty store shelves. But today, even when the pandemic was at its worst, we did not allow the same thing to happen.

The Government’s goal is to create conditions that will be long-term and which, I want to stress this part, colleagues, can, thanks to market mechanisms (which we have), guarantee the predictability of prices and quality replenishment of the domestic market. Nobody is saying that we will be setting prices from the top. There’s no need to muddy the waters and scare people. There are market regulatory mechanisms and they must be employed – promptly and to the extent required and appropriate to a specific situation in the economy and social sphere. We need to stimulate investment activity by reducing business risks. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Surely, the main goal right now is to ensure that people’s real incomes grow – that is, to restore them and secure their further growth. As I said, we need tangible changes in our fight against poverty.

Before anything else, the Government must provide direct support to families with children who are experiencing hardships. This has been our consistent policy and we will continue to pursue it.

We already have a system of benefits paid to parents of one or two children from the time the children are born and until they reach the age of three. Families with incomes below two subsistence minimums per family member are entitled to such benefits. The average monthly amount paid across the country is 11,300 rubles per child. Seventy-eight Russian regions pay benefits for the third child, also 11,300 rubles on average.

Please note that we are making consistent progress in this area, step by step. Last year, we introduced benefits for children aged three to seven. They range from 5,650 to 11,300 rubles per month depending on the region.

I instruct the Government to develop, by July 1, a comprehensive system of support for families with children. Our goal is to minimise the risk of poverty for such families.

But a number of new decisions need to be taken immediately, already today. It is always difficult for a single parent to raise a child. There are plenty of reasons for that. And this is not about the reasons but about supporting children. It is particularly difficult when a single-parent family is having financial problems, especially when children start going to school and family expenses objectively rise.

In particular, we must support single-parent families, where a mother or a father is bringing up a child alone, and only one of the parents is registered on the birth certificate – sorry to be speaking of such mundane things, but this is a fact of life – or the parents have divorced and one of them has the right to child-support payments. Therefore, as of July 1 this year, all children in such families aged between 8 and 16, inclusively, will receive a benefit. The national average of such benefit will be 5,650 rubles.

Of course, we must also help women who are expecting a baby and who have financial problems. It is extremely important for a mother-to-be to get support from the state and society, so that they can keep their pregnancy and know that they will receive help in raising and bringing up their child.

I propose approving a monthly subsidy for women who register at a maternity centre during early pregnancy and who have financial problems. The average subsidy for them will be 6,350 rubles a month.

Next, the sick pay for taking care of a child who falls ill depends on the employment record, which is correct, on the whole, and fair. However, young women receive much smaller sick leave payments. We have discussed this issue at the State Council, and it has been raised by the United Russia. We need to adopt legal decisions on this matter without delay, so that payments for taking care of a sick child aged up to 7 years inclusively are approved at 100 percent of the parent’s salary as soon as this year.

You understand what this means. The majority of those in this room know that the longer the employment record the larger the sick pay. Women who have a long work record usually receive full sick pay, but they usually do not have children at their age. Those who have children do not receive full pay. We must definitely help those who are expecting a baby.

I would also like to remind you that we have expanded and extended the maternity capital programme up until 2026. This benefit will now be paid already for the first child. We could not afford this before. The maternity capital has been adjusted to inflation and is almost 640,000 rubles

Free hot meals for all primary school children were approved as of January 1, 2020, and this measure has become a great help for families.

I would like to point out that all our decisions were designed to support our people. I know that many and very many people have financial problems now. The labour market and real disposable income of the people will be certainly restored, and we will move on. This has not happened yet. Therefore, I suggest approving one more one-off payment for the families that have school children, namely, 10,000 rubles per schoolchild. Moreover, this payment will also be made for the children who will only start school this year. We will transfer the money in mid-August, so that parents can get their children ready for school.

The updated Constitution of Russia includes clauses on demographic development, and protection of the family and childhood. They should be implemented in practice at all levels of government. I propose including a section aimed at supporting young people in each national project.

Friends,

During the pandemic, many young doctors and nurses, recent graduates as well as residents and students of medical universities worked courageously in the so-called red zones, joining their senior colleagues. In that extraordinary situation, teachers, schoolchildren, college and university students continued to teach and study, to have exams. Young family members supported their parents and older relatives. The youth of Russia proved to be extremely worthy during that period of trials. We can be proud of them.

We will do everything to open up as many life opportunities as possible for the younger generation. Their journey certainly begins at school, and I am sure that school will always be a second home for children; a new home, comfortable and modern.

Under the existing federal programme and with additional resources provided by the VEB Development Bank, we will build at least 1,300 new schools for more than a million children by the end of 2024. We will also purchase at least 16,000 school buses over the next four years. All school buses must be modern and safe.

Classroom teachers have been receiving a monthly addition to their salaries since last year. A very necessary and, I am sure, fair decision. I remember how we held discussions on this matter last year.

However, I have received requests, letters from teachers in secondary vocational institutions who say they have been forgotten. This is actually true. Justice must be restored. We have to fix this and establish the same additional payment of 5,000 rubles for supervisors of educational groups at technical schools and colleges.

I propose allocating an additional 10 billion rubles in the next two years for major repairs and technical equipment of our pedagogical universities. I ask the Government to pay close attention to up-to-date training of future teachers. The future of Russia largely depends on them.

Furthermore, school teaching teams should be expanded with teaching assistants, mentors and counsellors, whose job will be to organise exciting projects for children at schools.

It is very important that our young people should look to and be inspired by the achievements and victories of our outstanding ancestors and contemporaries, by their love for our Motherland and aspiration to make a personal contribution to its development. Children should have the opportunity to explore the national history and the multinational culture, our achievements in science and technology, literature and art in advanced formats. You know, I still open certain school textbooks occasionally and am surprised at what I see there – as if what is written there has nothing to do with us at all. Who writes such textbooks? Who approves them? It is unbelievable. They mention everything, the ‘second front’ and a lot of other facts, but not the Battle of Stalingrad – how is that possible? Amazing! I do not even want to comment.

I propose allocating an additional 24 billion rubles within the next three years to renovate cultural centres, libraries and museums in rural areas and small historical towns. This is another crucial area.

It is important to resume the activities of the Knowledge Society – we all remember well what it is – based on a modern digital platform. It seems to have been operational lately, but no one seems to notice it is there, either. Also, in order to support projects in culture, art and creative activities, we will set up a Presidential fund for cultural initiatives. Already this year, we will use its competitive grants to finance over 1,500 creative teams.

Colleagues,

A month from now, 11th grade students will be taking exams. Based on the results, most of them, about 60 percent, will enrol in universities and have their tuition covered from the budget. It can be safely stated that practically no country in the world apart from Russia has this kind of broad and free access to higher education.

In the next two years, we will make an additional 45,000 state-funded places available at our universities. At least 70 percent of them will go to the regions which need university graduates.

Starting this year, at least 100 universities in the constituent entities of our Federation will receive grants in the amount of 100 million rubles or more for opening student technoparks and business incubators, upgrading academic and laboratory facilities, and running training programmes. All state universities will be eligible for this support, including the ones that train future teachers, medical doctors, transport and culture workers. I am confident that the young generation of Russians, Russian scientists, will make their names known in the meaningful research projects that are yet to come.

This year was declared Science and Technology Year in our country. We realise that science is absolutely key in the modern world. Until 2024, Russia will allocate 1.63 trillion rubles from the federal budget alone for civil, including fundamental, research. But that is not all.

We are about to launch ground-breaking programmes in areas that are critical to our country. They will be given the status of nationwide projects. I would like to discuss some of them separately just to give you a sense.

First, we must have a solid and reliable shield to give us sanitary and biological safety. We now understand what it is about. It is imperative to ensure Russia’s independence in the production of the entire range of vaccines and pharmaceutical substances, including medications against infections that are resistant to the current generation of antibiotics. Importantly, this must be achieved with the maximum engagement of Russian-made equipment and domestic components.

In the event of an infection as dangerous as the coronavirus, or, God forbid, even more dangerous, Russia must be prepared to develop its own test systems within four days, precisely four days, and to create an efficacious domestic vaccine and start its mass production as soon as possible. These are the goals that we are setting for ourselves. The timeframe for achieving these goals is 2030. But the sooner we get there, the better.

Second, we need new comprehensive approaches to the development of our energy sector, including new solutions for nuclear generation in the promising areas of hydrogen energy and energy storage.

Third, we must find answers to the climate change challenges, adjust our agriculture, industry, the housing and utilities sector and the entire infrastructure to them, create a carbon utilisation sector, bring down emissions and introduce strict control and monitoring measures.

Over the next 30 years, the cumulative emissions in Russia must be smaller than in the EU. It is an ambitious goal, considering the size of our country and the specific features of its geography, climate and economic structure. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that it is a perfectly realistic goal in light of our research and technological potential.

Our new energy and pharmaceutical sectors and the solution of climate problems must provide a powerful boost to a comprehensive modernisation of all economic sectors and the social sphere. It is a direct path to the creation of modern and well-paid jobs.

The efforts taken by each level of government, business, development institutions and the Russian Academy of Sciences must have in view the main, central task: to improve the quality of life for our people. I would like to point out that our position on environmental protection is a matter of principle in this respect, and it will definitely remain unchanged.

The dangers of the alternative position have been recently exemplified by the events in Norilsk, Usolye-Sibirskoye and several other places. We will certainly help the people who live there, but we must also preclude a repetition of such environmental disasters.

I would like to ask those responsible to accelerate the adoption of a law on the financial responsibility of enterprise owners for clearing up the accumulated pollution and for the reclamation of industrial sites. This is a very simple approach. Here it is: if you have benefited from polluting the environment, clean up after yourself. We must act harshly. Rosprirodnadoz [the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources] and other regulatory authorities must do their jobs.

I would like to add that the “polluter pays” principle must also be employed in full in the waste disposal sector to ensure transition to the so-called closed-loop economy. With this aim in view, we must launch a mechanism of extended producers and importers’ responsibility for the management of products and packaging wastes as soon as this year.

I also propose marking environmental payments to the federal budget. I know that experts and financial specialists do not like such special marks, but I see this as a vital sphere of our activity. We can make an exception in this case, and invest these funds in clearing up accumulated pollution and improving the environment.

Also, as I said, the amount of hazardous emissions in Russia’s 12 largest industrial centres must be reduced by 20 percent by 2024. We have already discussed this. Obviously, this goal must be accomplished through a comprehensive modernisation of the industrial sector, the housing and utilities sector, transport and energy.

Moreover, I propose expanding the emission quota system to all Russian cities with major air quality problems and introduce strict liability for non-compliance with environmental regulations. Of course, this requires transparent monitoring.

We will definitely support the efforts of businesses to upgrade their facilities up to current environmental standards. For example, upgrading will begin this year at aluminium plants in Bratsk, Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Novokuznetsk based on the state guarantee mechanism. I will later name other cities and towns in other contexts but it does not mean that our work is limited to those areas. They only serve as examples.

Colleagues,

Last year, we allocated unprecedented resources for supporting the economy. Among other things, we managed to preserve over 5 million jobs through subsidised loans for wage payments. I want to stress that this programme succeeded but it succeeded precisely because businesses acted responsibly and did everything they could to keep their employees. We could see that.

Unfortunately, it was not possible to prevent layoffs completely. I understand how hard it is for those who lost their jobs. The Government was instructed to ensure that the labour market recovers by the end of the year. Still, this problem must be solved sooner so that people can have a stable income again. The Government will be encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives and stimulate private investments that create new jobs.

As you know, last year, social insurance contributions for small and medium-sized businesses were reduced by half, from 30 to 15 percent. This decision will remain in force permanently and is not subject to review.

I instruct the Government to present, within the next month, additional proposals on supporting small and medium-sized businesses, such as tax incentives, accessible loans and expanding product distribution and sales, including to major state-run companies.

As for other decisions in the economic sphere, I would like to mention the following.

First, we have already scrapped many archaic norms and requirements in construction and other fields and discontinued many unnecessary control inspections, but we also need to increase the momentum to achieve substantive, clear and tangible results in improving the business climate. For example, building a turnkey factory in Russia should be faster, more economically efficient and easier than in other regions of the world, including countries with developed economies.

Furthermore, we need to simplify the working conditions for non-commodity exporters. We have certainly been pursuing this policy line for a few years now, but we still need to remove all excessive restrictions in forex control for these exporters. This is one of the problems. The new procedure should start functioning in July. We have discussed this matter more than once. All amendments to the legislation must be adopted as quickly as possible during the spring session.

Secondly, the talent of an entrepreneur is primarily the talent of a creator, an aspiration to change life for the better, to create new jobs. The state will definitely support this attitude.

In the modern world where the market situation sometimes changes almost every day, businesses have to deal with high risks, especially when investing in long-term projects. To address this, we will be adjusting the entire private investment support system. We will evaluate how effective the projects are by the new products, services, and technologies they provide people with and how they improve the potential of Russia and each individual region.

The Special Investment Contract mechanism has already been improved; we have implemented a new instrument – Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements. We have consolidated development institutions on the basis of VEB. Their job is to reduce the risks for investing private capital, to help in the creation of new markets and investment mechanisms, the same as with the Project Finance Factory mechanism already in place. It is currently supporting more than 40 commercial projects with a total investment of 3 trillion rubles.

I am waiting for proposals from the Government on the implementation of the ideas proposed in March at a meeting with Russian businesses. Colleagues, you are well aware of this.

Third, we are making all major decisions concerning the economy through a dialogue with the business community. This is the practice established over many years. Of course, we have the right to expect that the auxiliary financial instruments and support mechanisms will bring the most desired result, which is converting profit into investment and development.

There is an important thing I want to say although it is nothing new to businesses. They know it already. The corporate sector is expected to make a record profit this year, despite all the problems that we are dealing with. Despite these problems, this is the real picture. We will take note of how this profit will be used and, based on the annual results, we may decide to calibrate the tax legislation. I want to see specific proposals from the Government. Off the record, I should note: some withdraw dividends while others invest in the development of their companies and entire industries. We will be encouraging those who invest.

Last year, we substantially increased budget expenditure while managing to maintain the stability of state finances. The Government and the Central Bank must continue to pursue a responsible financial policy. Ensuring macroeconomic stability and containing inflation within set parameters is an extremely important task. I assume that it will definitely be accomplished.

At the same time, thanks to our budget capacity and our reserves, we can allocate more funds to support investment in infrastructure and provide regions with new development instruments. Launching these instruments will require the law to be amended. I expect that all parliamentary parties – A Just Russia, the Liberal Democratic Party, the Communist Party and United Russia – will uphold these amendments.

In this regard, I want to thank all constructive public forces in the country for their responsible and patriotic attitude during this difficult epidemic. These are not just meaningless words because it was this attitude and its practical significance that helped all of us preserve the balance and stability of Russia’s government and political system. This is always important but it is especially relevant because we are preparing for the elections to the State Duma and other government bodies, considering the extensive work we will have to carry out. I hope that this competitive mindset that unites us in the face of common goals will persist.

Colleagues,

The country is developing and moving forward, but this is only taking place when the regions of the Russian Federation are developing. A striving of the heads of constituent entities to make their regions successful and self-sufficient must be and will be encouraged in every way.

We will support those who assume responsibility and launch constructive projects. I am confident that every Russian region has huge potential. To help make positive and productive use of this potential, what must we reduce first of all? The governors know what I am referring to: we must reduce the debt burden. These topics must be thoroughly discussed once again.

I ask the Government to submit by June 1 the proposals on ensuring long-term stability of regional and municipal finance and on increasing the regions’ self-sufficiency. We will discuss them in summer at a State Council meeting, and we will do so with due regard for the priority decisions about which I will tell you now.

First of all, we must help regions with large commercial debts. Here is what I suggest: the amount of a region’s commercial debt that exceeds 25 percent of the given region’s own revenues will be replaced with budgetary loans that will mature in 2029.

In addition, I propose restructuring the budgetary loans, yes, budgetary loans that were issued to the regions last year for taking measures to combat the pandemic. I believe that this would be fair. I would like to remind everyone that these loans will mature in two months, on July 1. I suggest extending them to 2029 as well.

I would like to emphasise that the restructuring of accumulated debts should be used as a mechanism of increasing the self-sufficiency of regional economies, especially considering that we will be offering a fundamentally new development tool to our constituent entities. I am referring to the so-called budgetary infrastructure loans with an interest rate of not more than 3 percent per annum and with maturity in 15 years. We intend to allocate a total of at least 0.5 trillion rubles, that is, 500 billion rubles of such infrastructure loans by the end of 2023.

Regional debt restructuring must be based on the concept of justice, which has always been the case, actually. Some constituent entities have large accumulated commercial debts, while other entities did not take out many loans. The latter may feel neglected in this case. This will not do, and we will not permit this. We will support those who have always pursued and continue to pursue a balanced financial policy. The principle of the distribution of infrastructure loans will be as follows: the fewer debts a region had, the more it will be able to receive in infrastructure loans.

We are one country. All levels of government and business must work to one end. Debt restructuring and an innovative investment resource in the form of infrastructure loans will allow us to expand the planning horizon and to launch new solutions that are tied in with the implementation of national projects, sector-specific strategies and a comprehensive plan for upgrading the backbone infrastructure.

Federal infrastructure loans are a powerful resource, but whether they will help us get ahead or attract private investment hugely depends on what regional management teams do and on their ability to conduct an open and candid dialogue with businesses, investors, and, of course, primarily, individuals.

The infrastructure projects in the regions must be implemented, primarily, in the interests of the people, and serve as investment in the creation of new jobs and in promoting the well-being of millions of Russian households and securing the future of our children. The priorities will be building motorways and bypasses in urban areas, upgrading the housing and utilities sector infrastructure and the public transport system, as well as conducting integrated development of territories and building tourist facilities.

Please note that the infrastructure and budget loans will be fully under the control of the Federal Treasury and will be provided exclusively for specific projects that have been thoroughly analysed by experts at the federal level. While we are at it, I would like to say something to regional leaders and the Government: listen, let's work in a rhythmic and business-like manner. I do not want to use harsh or rude language at this rostrum, but things must be done on time and projects must be prepared, not just pictures shown to the Government. In turn, the Government must quickly process the projects and help the regions deal with things they have problems dealing with. You must help your colleagues, you understand that? Not trash what they have brought to you and say they did a bad job. Some of them are unable to do what you ask of them. Help them, and then things will be on the path forwards.

The scale of the projects may vary, but most importantly, as I said, they must benefit our people and open up new opportunities. For example, in conjunction with our major companies and using the proposed mechanism, the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area will begin the construction of the Northern Latitudinal Railway. This is the railway that will spur the development of the richest resources of the Arctic. This project has been in the works for a long time now, and it's time to launch it, since we can do so now. For example, as a result, Nizhny Novgorod will be able to continue building the metro and to start renovating the city centre. Chelyabinsk, another city with a million-plus residents, will also have the opportunity to upgrade its transport system through a long-standing metro construction project. I am aware of other similar projects in Krasnoyarsk and other regions.

And, of course, the construction of new facilities must be at a qualitatively higher level. I want the Government to draft a clear step-by-step plan for the end-to-end and widespread use of digital design, and the production and introduction of cutting-edge energy-efficient materials. This is also important if we want to tackle the climate and environmental challenges.

Large-scale infrastructure development sets fundamentally new tasks before the construction industry. In the difficult past year, it worked smoothly and built over 80 million square metres of housing. This is a good result. The more we build, the more affordable housing will there be for Russian families.

Therefore, we have an ambitious goal. We have already discussed it as well and this ambitious goal has not disappeared– we plan to build 120 million square metres of housing every year. That said, we must certainly envisage a special mechanism for supporting private housing construction.

As for large-scale construction, the DOM.RF development institute will attract financial resources through the placement of bonds. This is a tried and tested mechanism that generally works well. These resources must go to developers as targeted loans.

I would like to emphasise that federal budget subsidies will allow DOM.RF to issue loans to developers at a minimal annual rate of about 3–4 percent. The construction of residential neighbourhoods in Tula, Tyumen, the Sakhalin Region and Kuzbass will be pilot projects for developing this model.

Improvement of cities and towns and housing construction growth play a major role in the development of the regions. We must take care of the urgent, daily problems of local residents. Quite a few Russian families live in areas connected to gas networks but their homes still have no access to gas for some reason. It seems the pipe is there but there is no gas at home.

I would like to ask the Government to work out, in cooperation with the regions, a clear-cut plan for bringing gas to such households. In this context, I support United Russia’s initiative, notably, that people do not have to pay for laying gas pipes directly to the border of their land plots in a residential area.

As I have already said, the Government must analyse all details in cooperation with Gazprom and other companies and agencies that work in this area to prevent any setbacks. Otherwise, I will say something from this rostrum and people will be waiting for it but because you don’t put some squiggles or commas in the right place everything will get bogged down again. This is unacceptable, and I will check on it myself, so please pay attention. Mosoblgaz and other companies must understand what they must do, in what timeframe and how much money they have at their disposal.

The goal is certainly more extensive. We must offer every region our solutions on public access to reliable and clean energy sources. This may be electricity, including from renewable sources, or environmentally friendly use of coal, which is also an option in the modern world, pipeline or liquefied gas. I instruct the regional heads to prepare, in coordination with the Government, detailed plans of action and start implementing them next year.

For example, in Kamchatka we must envisage the creation of local gas-receiving infrastructure to ensure reliable long-term gas supplies to the residents and companies of the Kamchatka Territory.

Colleagues,

We will not only give fundamentally new development tools to the regions, but will also directly invest federal resources into the settlement of the worst systemic problems, which will have a compound effect on boosting the regions’ growth and improving the quality of people’s lives.

We will begin with allocations from the National Welfare Fund for building mainline motorways. First of all, we should finance the ongoing construction of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed road and, more than that, extend it all the way to Yekaterinburg, completing this project within three years.

This way, together with the existing Moscow-St Petersburg high-speed road and the Central Ring Road, this will ensure safe high-speed motorway transit across the entire European part of Russia, from the Baltic Sea to the Urals, by 2024.

However, it is not enough to simply connect the end-of-line destinations. What good will this do, if it does not change anything about life in villages or small towns but only gives the people there an opportunity to watch high-speed trains and vehicles rush past? The backbone infrastructure must definitely lead to the development of all the territories where it has been built, giving rise to the development of a modern regional network.

The constituent entities will now be able to use infrastructure loans to speed up the implementation of these construction projects. But in their development plans, our colleagues should remember and take into account that the federal and regional mainlines must function as a unified system in the interests of our citizens, businesses and regions. In this way, the infrastructure loans and the resources of the National Welfare Fund will be working for the benefit of all Russian regions.

The same goes for our new national project in the tourist sphere. A programme of easy loans will be launched soon to finance the construction and renovation of hotels and other tourist infrastructure. The interest rate on these loans will be 3–5 percent as well, and the loans will mature in 15 years.

There are many other pilot projects. I will only mention some of them: the development of Sheregesh, the leading mountain ski resort in Kuzbass; the creation of a yachting resort in the Bay of Balaklava in Sevastopol; and the development of the tourist industry on the Altai and in the Kaliningrad Region.

The infrastructure loans project will give a new impetus to entire tourist clusters. In particular, several regions in Central Russia will be able to modernise and expand the Golden Ring route at a fundamentally new level, realising the tourist potential of small towns such as Tarusa, Palekh, Murom, Gorokhovets, Tutayev and Borovsk. Development projects will be launched in the Volga Region cities, the Crimean resorts, the Black Sea and Pacific coast areas, as well as in our resort towns such as Staraya Russa in the Novgorod Region and Kavkazskiye Mineralnye Vody in the Caucasus, including its gem, Kislovodsk.

Russia is a hospitable country that is open to its good friends. You surely remember what happened during the 2018 football championships. As soon as the epidemiological situation allows, we will lift the remaining restrictions and millions of tourists from all over the world will come to Russia again. We have a practical task at hand: to ensure that e-visas for travel to Russia are available remotely and without undue formalities within a matter of four days in the majority of countries.

Colleagues,

The meaning and purpose of Russia's policy in the international arena – I will just say a few words about this to conclude my address – is to ensure peace and security for the well-being of our citizens, for the stable development of our country. Russia certainly has its own interests we defend and will continue to defend within the framework of international law, as all other states do. (And if someone refuses to understand this obvious thing or does not want to conduct a dialogue and chooses a selfish and arrogant tone with us, )Russia will always find a way to defend its stance.

At the same time, unfortunately, everyone in the world seems to be used to the practice of politically motivated, illegal economic sanctions and to certain actors’ brutal attempts to impose their will on others by force. But today, this practice is degenerating into something even more dangerous – I am referring to the recently exposed direct interference in Belarus in an attempt to orchestrate a coup d’état and assassinate the President of that country. At the same time, it is typical that even such flagrant actions have not been condemned by the so-called collective West. Nobody seemed to notice. Everyone pretends nothing is happening.

(But listen, you can think whatever you like of, say, Ukrainian President [Viktor] Yanukovych or [Nicolas] Maduro in Venezuela. I repeat, you can like or dislike them, including Yanukovych who almost got killed, too, and removed from power via an armed coup. You can have your own opinion of President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s policy. )But the practice of staging coups d’état and planning political assassinations, including those of high-ranking officials – well, this goes too far. This is beyond any limits.

Suffice it to mention the admission made by the detained participants in the conspiracy about a planned siege of Minsk, including plans to block the city infrastructure and communications, and a complete shutdown of the entire power system in the capital of Belarus! This actually means they were preparing a massive cyberattack. What else could it be? You know, you cannot just do it all with one switch.

Clearly, there is a reason why our Western colleagues have been stubbornly rejecting Russia’s numerous proposals to establish an international dialogue on information and cyber security. We have come up with these proposals many times. They avoid even discussing this matter.

What if there had been a real attempt at a coup d’état in Belarus? After all, this was the ultimate goal. How many people would have been hurt? What would have become of Belarus? Nobody is thinking about this.

Just as no one was thinking about the future of Ukraine during the coup in that country.

All the while, unfriendly moves (towards Russia) have also continued unabated. Some countries have taken up an unseemly routine where they pick on Russia for any reason, most often, for no reason at all. It is some kind of new sport of who shouts the loudest.

In this regard, we behave in an extremely restrained manner, I would even say, modestly, and I am saying this without irony. Often, we prefer not to respond at all, not just to unfriendly moves, but even to outright rudeness. We want to maintain good relations with everyone who participates in the international dialogue. But we see what is happening in real life. As I said, every now and then they are picking on Russia, for no reason. And of course, all sorts of petty Tabaquis are running around them like Tabaqui(정글북, 음식 찌꺼기를 먹는 식성의 자칼로 다른 동물들로부터 멸시를 받는 동시에 두려움의 대상. 쉬어칸의 부하). ran around Shere Khan – everything is like in Kipling's book – howling along in order to make their sovereign happy. Kipling was a great writer.

We really want to maintain good relations with all those engaged in international communication, including, by the way, those with whom we have not been getting along lately, to put it mildly. We really do not want to burn bridges.(But if someone mistakes our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intends to burn or even blow up these bridges, )they must know that Russia's response will be asymmetrical, swift and tough.

Those behind provocations that threaten the core interests of our security will regret what they have done in a way they have not regretted anything for a long time.

At the same time, I just have to make it clear, we have enough patience, responsibility, professionalism, self-confidence and certainty in our cause, as well as common sense, when making a decision of any kind. But I hope that no one will think about crossing the “red line” with regard to Russia. We ourselves will determine in each specific case where it will be drawn.

I will now say, just as I always do during the annual addresses to the Federal Assembly, that the improvement and qualitative strengthening of Russia’s Armed Forces continues on a regular basis. In particular, special attention will be given to the development of military education both at military school and academies and at military training centres at civilian universities.

By 2024, the share of modern weapons and military equipment in the armed forces will reach nearly 76 percent, which is a very good indicator. This share in the nuclear triad will be over 88 percent before this year is out.

Standing on combat duty are the latest Avangard hypersonic intercontinental missile systems and the Peresvet combat laser systems, and the first regiment armed with Sarmat super-heavy intercontinental ballistic missiles is scheduled to go on combat duty in late 2022.

The number of combat air systems with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, and warships armed with precision hypersonic weapons such as Kinzhal that I mentioned, and with the Kalibr missiles, is increasing. The Tsirkon hypersonic missiles will be put on combat duty soon. Work is underway on other modern combat systems, including Poseidon and Burevestnik, in accordance with the development plans of the Armed Forces.

(As the leader in the creation of new-generation combat systems and in the development of modern nuclear forces, )Russia is urging its partners once again to discuss the issues related to strategic armaments and to ensuring global stability. The subject matter and the goal of these talks could be the creation of an environment for a conflict-free coexistence based on the security equation,( which would include not only the traditional strategic armaments, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles, heavy bombers and submarines, )but – I would like to emphasise this – all offensive and defensive systems capable of attaining strategic goals regardless of the armament.

The five nuclear countries bear special responsibility. I hope that the initiative on a personal meeting of the heads of state of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, (which we proposed last year), will materialise and will be held as soon as the epidemiological situation allows.

Russia is always open to broad international cooperation. We have consistently advocated the preservation and strengthening of the key role of the United Nations in international affairs, and we try to provide assistance to the settlement of regional conflicts and have already done a great deal to stabilise the situation in Syria and to launch a political dialogue in Libya. As you know, Russia played the main role in stopping the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

It is on the basis of mutual respect that we are building relations with the absolute majority of the world’s countries: in Asia, Latin America, Africa and many European countries. We are consistently expanding as a priority contacts with our closest partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and our allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organisation(CSTO, an intergovernmental military alliance in Eurasia that consists of selected post-Soviet states).

Our common projects in the Eurasian Economic Union are aimed at ensuring economic growth and the wellbeing of our people. There are new, interesting projects here, such as the development of transport-and-logistics corridors. I am sure they will become a reliable infrastructure backbone for large-scale Eurasian partnership. The Russian ideas of this broad, open association are already being put into practice, in part, via alignment with other integration processes.

All these projects are not just geopolitical ideas but strictly practical instruments for resolving national development tasks.

Colleagues,

I began today’s Address with urgent healthcare issues, and concluding it, I would like to say the following. Nobody in the world knew what misfortune we would have to face. However, we, citizens of Russia, have already done much and will do all we can to counter the threat of the epidemic. Our country has reliable resources for this. We created them in healthcare, science, education and industry in previous years.

However, we must definitely move forward. We have mapped out national development tasks. Naturally, the challenge of the epidemic has made objective adjustments to our work. Today’s Address contains instructions on demography and family support, as well as on efforts to fight poverty, increase incomes, create jobs, improve the business environment and raise state management to a new level.

I would like to ask the Government to focus on these tasks in preparing new initiatives on Russia’s socioeconomic development and instruct it to present them by July 1 of this year.

What do I have in mind? Doing everyday work, we must certainly not forget about our strategic development goals and our national development goals, and we must improve the mechanisms for reaching them.

We will discuss the Government’s proposals with the participation of the relevant State Council commissions, our business associations, experts and the Civic Chamber. Following such a broad discussion, we will make final decisions on further financial and organisational actions at the meeting of the Council for Strategic Development and National Projects.

Now I would like to address all citizens of Russia once again to say that we will do everything in our power to achieve the goals set. I am sure we will move forward together and accomplish all the tasks that we have set for ourselves.

Thank you very much for your attention.

The National Anthem of the Russian Federation is played.

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U.S.- Japan Joint Leaders’ Statement: “U.S. – JAPAN GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR A NEW ERA”

APRIL 16, 2021  STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

President Joseph R. Biden is honored to welcome Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide for the first foreign-leader visit of his presidency. Today, the United States and Japan renew an Alliance that has become a cornerstone of peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world. An ocean separates our countries, but commitments (to universal values and common principles, including freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law, international law, multilateralism, and a free and fair economic order, )unite us. Together we pledge to demonstrate that free and democratic nations, working together, are able to address the global threats from COVID-19 and climate change while resisting challenges to the free and open rules-based international order. Through this new era of friendship between the United States and Japan, each of our democracies will grow stronger still.

Our historic partnership is essential to the safety and prosperity of both our peoples. Forged in the wake of strife, the Alliance has become a bedrock to each of our nations. The world has changed many times over; our ties have pulled tighter. Our democracies have flourished, our economies have thrived, and we have become leaders in innovation. Our cultural and people-to-people ties have grown ever-deeper, and together we have led in multilateral institutions, in expanding global commerce and investment, and in advancing peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. In celebration of our long-standing and close bonds, President Biden and Prime Minister Suga recommit themselves to an indelible Alliance, to a rules-based approach to regional and global order founded on universal values and common principles, and to cooperation with all those who share in these objectives. The United States and Japan will remake these commitments for a new era.

THE ALLIANCE: FORGING A FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC

The U.S.-Japan Alliance is unwavering, and we are more prepared than ever to address regional challenges. Our Alliance advances a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific based on our commitment to universal values and common principles, and the promotion of inclusive economic prosperity. We respect sovereignty and territorial integrity and are committed to peacefully resolving disputes and to opposing coercion. We promote shared norms in the maritime domain, including freedom of navigation and overflight, as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

President Biden and Prime Minister Suga committed to further strengthening the U.S.-Japan Alliance to expand on this vision, and fully endorsed the March 2021 Joint Statement of the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee. Japan resolved to bolster its own national defense capabilities to further strengthen the Alliance and regional security. The United States restated its unwavering support for Japan’s defense under the U.S.-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, using its full range of capabilities, including nuclear. It also reaffirmed the fact that Article V of the Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands. Together, we oppose any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of the Senkaku Islands. The United States and Japan committed to enhance deterrence and response capabilities in line with the increasingly challenging security environment, to deepen defense cooperation across all domains, including cyber and space, and to bolster extended deterrence. We also highlighted the importance of strengthening bilateral cybersecurity and information security, a foundational component of closer defense cooperation, and of safeguarding our technological advantages. We remain committed to the implementation of the current arrangements on the U.S. forces realignment, including the construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility at Henoko as the only solution that avoids the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, the Field Carrier Landing Practice Facility at Mageshima, and the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps units from Okinawa to Guam. We resolved to conclude in a timely manner a meaningful multi-year Host Nation Support agreement to ensure the stable and sustainable stationing of the U.S. forces in Japan.

President Biden and Prime Minister Suga exchanged views on the impact of China’s actions on peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world, and shared their concerns over Chinese activities that are inconsistent with the international rules-based order, including the use of economic and other forms of coercion. We will continue to work with each other based on universal values and common principles. We also recognize the importance of deterrence to maintain peace and stability in the region. We oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea. We reiterated our objections to China’s unlawful maritime claims and activities in the South China Sea and reaffirmed our strong shared interest in a free and open South China Sea governed by international law, in which freedom of navigation and overflight are guaranteed, consistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.We underscore the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and encourage the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues. We share serious concerns regarding the human rights situations in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The United States and Japan recognized the importance of candid conversations with China, reiterated their intention to share concerns directly, and acknowledged the need to work with China on areas of common interest.

The United States and Japan reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea, urging North Korea to abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions, and called for full implementation by the international community. We intend to strengthen deterrence to maintain peace and stability in the region and will work together and with others to address the dangers associated with North Korea’s nuclear and missile program,( including the risk of proliferation). President Biden reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the immediate resolution of the abductions issue.

Together, we will continue to work with allies and partners, including with Australia and India through the Quad, which has never been stronger, to build the free, open, accessible, diverse, and thriving Indo-Pacific we all seek. We support ASEAN’s unity and centrality in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. We also concurred that trilateral cooperation with the Republic of Korea is essential to our shared security and prosperity. We firmly condemn violence committed by the Myanmar military and police against civilians, and commit to continue taking action to press for the immediate cessation of violence, the release of those who are detained, and a swift return to democracy.

AN ALLIANCE FOR A NEW ERA

Recognizing that our shared security and prosperity requires new forms of 21st century cooperation, President Biden and Prime Minister Suga have launched a new Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership. Our partnership will ensure that we lead a sustainable, inclusive, healthy, green global economic recovery. It will also generate economic growth guided by open and democratic principles, supported by transparent trade rules and regulations and high labor and environmental standards, and aligned with a low-carbon future. To achieve these goals, the partnership will focus on i) competitiveness and innovation, ii) COVID-19 response, global health, and health security, and iii) climate change, clean energy, and green growth and recovery.

The United States and Japan recognize that digital economy and emerging technologies have the potential to transform societies and bring about tremendous economic opportunities. We will collaborate to enhance our countries’ competitiveness, individually and together, by deepening cooperation in research and technology development in life sciences and biotechnology, artificial intelligence, quantum information sciences, and civil space. President Biden and Prime Minister Suga affirmed their commitment to the security and openness of 5th generation (5G) wireless networks and concurred that it is important to rely on trustworthy vendors. The United States and Japan will engage with others through our enhanced Global Digital Connectivity Partnership to catalyze investments and to provide training and capacity building to promote vibrant digital economies. We will also partner on sensitive supply chains, including on semi-conductors, promoting and protecting the critical technologies that are essential to our security and prosperity.

The United States and Japan are committed to maintaining and further strengthening our robust bilateral trade relationship while advancing shared interests, including digital trade cooperation, the development of trade policies that support climate change objectives, World Trade Organization (WTO) reform, and promoting inclusive growth in the Indo-Pacific. We will continue to work together bilaterally, as well as within the G7 and the WTO, to address the use of non-market and other unfair trade practices, (including violations of intellectual property rights, forced technology transfer, excess capacity issues, and the use of trade distorting industrial subsidies.) We reaffirm our commitment to achieving prosperity and maintaining economic order in the Indo-Pacific region while engaging with other like-minded partners.

Acknowledging that the climate crisis is an existential threat to the world, we realize that our countries must play a critical role in leading the global effort to combat this crisis. The United States and Japan are committed to taking decisive climate action by 2030, both aligned with efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and 2050 greenhouse-gas emissions net-zero goals. In recognition of this responsibility, President Biden and Prime Minister Suga have launched the U.S.-Japan Climate Partnership. This partnership has three pillars: first, Paris Agreement implementation and achievement of the 2030 targets/ nationally determined contributions (NDCs); second, clean energy technology development, deployment, and innovation; and third, efforts to support decarbonization in other countries, especially in the Indo-Pacific.

COVID-19 has shown our countries and the world that we are not prepared for a biological catastrophe. To that end, the United States and Japan will also strengthen cooperation to advance health security, respond to future public health crises, and build global health. At the first-ever leaders’ summit of the Quad on March 12, 2021, we established the Quad Vaccine Experts Group designed to expand safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, procurement, and delivery for the Indo-Pacific region to supplement multilateral efforts. As we respond to COVID-19, we must also prepare for the next pandemic and strengthen global health security and bilateral public and private cooperation on global health. We will work together to reform the World Health Organization by strengthening its ability to prevent pandemics through early and effective prevention, detection, and response to potential health emergencies, and by increasing its transparency and ensuring it is free from undue influence. We will also support a transparent and independent evaluation and analysis, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak and for investigating outbreaks of unknown origin in the future. We resolved to take decisive action to help the Indo-Pacific build better regional pandemic preparedness, and will work together and multilaterally to build the capacity of all countries to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks, including through existing initiatives like the Global Health Security Agenda, and a new partnership coordinating on a health security financing mechanism, regional surge capacity, and triggers for rapid response. Furthermore, as we look toward a healthier and more resilient future, we will bolster our support for COVAX. We will also cooperate on global COVID-19 vaccine supply and manufacturing needs toward ending the pandemic.

These new partnerships will harness our leadership in science, innovation, technology, and health at a time of extraordinary geopolitical change. They will allow us to build back better in the Indo-Pacific, leading the region to a more resilient and vibrant future.

LOOKING FORWARD

The charges we take up today are considerable, but we face them with resolve and unity. Together, we will ensure that our security relationship is steadfast, (despite challenges to our regional vision); that our partnership fuels a sustainable global economic recovery, after a year of global grief and hardship; and that we cooperate with like-minded partners around the world to lead a rules-based international order, despite challenges to its freedom and openness. People-to-people ties form the bedrock of our friendship and it is through initiatives such as the Mansfield Fellowship Program that we will continue to build bridges between our two societies that will sustain our Alliance into the future. President Biden supports Prime Minister Suga’s efforts to hold a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer. Both leaders expressed their pride in the U.S. and Japanese athletes who have trained for these Games and will be competing in the best traditions of the Olympic spirit. Our governments will continue to meet at all levels, including to coordinate and implement our policies toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific. Above all, we renew our investment in the very idea of steadfast alliances – knowing that our partnership will make security and prosperity possible for both our peoples for decades to come.

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Remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Suga of Japan at Press Conference

APRIL 16, 2021  SPEECHES AND REMARKS

5:05 P.M. EDT

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Well, good afternoon.  The Prime Minister has brought the sun out, so he can do about anything.
Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for being here.  It’s been my pleasure to welcome Prime Minister Suga to the White House.  This is our first in-person meeting here — the first head of state that I’ve asked in my administration to come to the White House. 
Yoshi, thank you for making the long trip to Washington.  We’ve already met several times virtually on — at a G7 meeting and a Quad Leader Summit, but I greatly appreciate the chance to spend time with you in person and to make our — exchange our ideas face to face.  There’s no substitute for face-to-face discussions.
We are still talking — taking COVID precautions, being careful.  But our commitment to meet in person is indicative of the importance and the value we both place on this relationship between Japan and the United States — this partnership. 
We had a very productive discussion today.  When nations as close as ours get together, we always look for operations and opportunities to do more, and today was no exception. 
So, Yoshi, you’ll probably be seeing a lot more of me in the future.  And today, Prime Minister Suga and I affirmed our ironclad support for U.S.-Japanese alliance and for our shared security. 

We committed to working together to take on the challenges from China and on issues like the East China Sea, the South China Sea, as well as North Korea, to ensure a future of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Japan and the United States are two strong democracies in the region, and we’re committed — we’re committed to defending and advancing our shared values, including human rights and the rule of law. 
We’re going to work together to prove that democracies can still compete and win in the 21st century.  We can deliver for our people, and in the face of a rapidly changing world. 
So today, we’re announcing a new Competitive and Reliance [Resilience] partnership — CORE — between Japan and the United States that will enhance our ability — enhance our ability to meet the pressing challenges of our time — together meet those challenges. 

Top of our agenda is, of course, getting the pandemic under control and helping our friends and neighbors throughout the Indo-Pacific region to recover. 
Earlier this year, we — together with India and Australia — launched the landmark Quad Vaccine Partnership to expand the manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines and assist countries throughout the region with vaccination efforts.  And we have agreed to enhance our support for global vaccination efforts through the ACT Accelerator and COVID facility. 
We’re also going to do more beyond this pandemic to advance longer-term goals for health security, reform of the World Health Organization, and establishing a new partnership — a new partnership on health security to build better preparedness for the next pandemic, because there will be others.

Secondly, Japan and the United States are both deeply invested in innovation and looking to the future.  That includes making sure we invest in and protect the technologies that will maintain and sharpen our competitive edge.  And those technologies are governed by shared democratic norms that we both share — norms set by democracies, not by autocracies. 
So we’re going to work together across a range of fields — from promoting secure and reliable 5G networks; to increasing our cooperation on supply chains for critical sectors like semiconductors; to driving joint research in areas like AI, genomics, quantum computing, and much more. 

Thirdly, our nations are committed to taking aggressive action to meet the threats of climate change.  Next week, I’ll be hosting the Climate Leaders Summit — which Prime Minister Suga also plans to attend, thankfully — to rally key nations of the world to making ambitious climate commitments in the lead up to the Glasgow summit later this year. 
Japan and the United States are both committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and we know to do that will require setting and meeting our 2030 goals.  And we’ll work together to advance clean energy technologies and help nations throughout the Indo-Pacific region, especially developing countries, develop renewable energies and decarbonize their economies. 
And finally, both Prime Minister Suga and I value the incredible partnership that exists not just between our governments, but between the Japanese people and the American peoples. 
Last month, we jointly marked the 10th-year anniversary of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that cost so many lives in Japan. 
I visited that area shortly after it happened.  In our private lunch, the Vice President — the Pres- — the Prime Minister and I talked about, when I was Vice President, visiting the families in the region to show support of the United States.  We continue to mourn the loss of all those folks and to honor the extraordinary joint effort between Japan and the American people when the — in the wake of that tragedy, to recover and to rebuild.
And those personal bonds of friendship and constant — and connection, they’re the ones that are going to keep this alliance strong and vibrant for decades to come. 
And I’m especially proud that today we agreed to resume what we call — what is called the “Mansfield Fellowship Program” to promote people-to-people connections between our countries.  Before Mike Mansfield — who was a beloved ambassador to Japan — became ambassador, he was a mentor of mine when I came to the Senate after my wife and daughter were killed, and he helped me along in ways I can’t even explain in the United States Senate.  And I’m proud — I’m proud that this legacy continues to be honored as part of the close, enduring partnership between our nations.
And, Yoshi, I know how proud you are of — the people of Japan are in — you’ve got a Japanese boy coming over here, and guess what?  He won the Masters.  He won the Masters.  He won the Green Jacket.  And Matsuyama was the first Japanese player to take home that Green Jacket at the Masters Tournament this week.  So let me say congratulations to Japan as well on that feat.
Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for making the trip.  I look forward to all that Japan and United States will accomplish together in the coming years.  It was a great honor having you as the first head of state in my administration.
The floor is yours.

PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (As interpreted.)  It is truly a pleasure to be here in person visiting Washington, D.C.  I would like to thank President Biden and Vice President Harris, who have welcomed me so warmly.  I also wish to extend my gratitude to all the members of the U.S. government who have worked to prepare for this occasion. 
The United States is Japan’s best friend.  Japan and the U.S. are allies that share universal values, such as freedom, democracy, and human rights.  Our alliance has served its role as the foundation of peace and stability for the Indo-Pacific region and the world. 
In light of the current regional situation and the severe security environment, the importance of our alliance has reached new heights.  Based on such common recognition at today’s summit, we engaged in far-reaching and candid exchange of views on each other’s political principles, challenges faced in each of our nations, our common vision, and other matters. 
President Biden and I reaffirmed the recognitions confirmed at the Japan-U.S. two-plus-two held last month, and agreed to engage in initiatives for the region based upon such recognitions. 
We also discussed the free and open Indo-Pacific.  We agreed that while Japan and the U.S. will take the lead to promote the vision through concrete efforts, we will also cooperate with other countries and regions, including the ASEAN, Australia, and India. 

We also had serious talks on China’s influence over the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific and the world at large.  We agreed to oppose any attempts to change the status quo by force or coercion in the East and South China Seas, and intimidation of others in the region. 
At the same time, we agreed on the necessity for each of us to engage in frank dialogue with China.  And, in so doing, to pursue stability of international relations, while upholding universal values. 

On North Korea, we confirmed our commitment to the CVID of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges, and agreed to demand North Korea to fulfill its obligations under Security Council resolutions.
On the issue of abduction, we reaffirmed that it is a grave human rights issue, and that our two countries will work together to seek immediate resolution by North Korea.  Encountering North Korea, and for the peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, both of us recognize that trilateral cooperation, including the ROK, has never been as important as today, and agreed to promote such collaboration.

Noting that the regional security environment has become increasingly severe, the deterrence and response capabilities of our alliance must be strengthened.  I conveyed my resolve to reinforce Japan’s defense capabilities while President Biden again demonstrated America’s commitment to the defense of Japan, including the application of Article 5 of the Japan-U.S. Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security for the Senkaku Islands. 

We also agree to accelerate the review underway between our two countries on the specific means to strengthen our alliance.  At the same time, from the perspective of mitigating the impact on local communities, including, first and foremost, Okinawa, we agreed to promote the realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan, including the relocation of Air Station Futenma to Henoko, which is the only solution to avoid its permanent use.

In responding to the unprecedented crisis faced by the international community, such as COVID-19 and climate change, Japan and the U.S. are mutually indispensable partners. 
President Biden and I share the recognition that our two nations bear significant responsibilities to lead multilateral initiatives toward the resolution of such issues. 
In this context, we agree to respect international order based upon multilateralism and the rule of law while exercising joint leadership to build back better our global community. 
Based on such outcome of our meeting today, we are releasing the “Japan-U.S. Joint Leaders statement: Global Partnership for a New Era,” which will serve as the guiding post for our alliance in the times ahead, which strongly demonstrates our solidarity towards the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
From the perspective of our two nation’s leading efforts to build back better, President Biden and I agreed on the Japan-U.S. core partnership, and confirmed to promote cooperation in common priority areas, including promotion of competitiveness and innovation in digital science and technology, COVID-19 countermeasures, green growth, and climate change.

On competitiveness and innovation: Under the recognition that digital economy and new technologies, in particular, will bring about social transformation and huge economic opportunities, we have agreed that Japan and the U.S. will work together on the promotion of R&D on various areas, including digital area and others regarding response to COVID-19 from short-term responses to longer-term efforts, including their preparations for future similar incidents.
We will work on the promotion of multi-layered cooperations regarding the overall supply of vaccines and the reinforcement of Japan-U.S. public and private cooperation in the area of global health.  We confirmed that cooperations between our governments will continue in order to ensure equitable access to vaccines, including access by developing countries, multilateral and regional cooperations will be promoted.

On the matter of climate change, at the upcoming Climate Summit to be hosted by the U.S. next week or at COP26 and beyond, we confirmed that Japan and the U.S. will lead the global decarbonization in order to further strengthen cooperation in areas such as the implementation of the Paris Agreement, clean energy technologies, or decarbonization transition of developing countries. 
I agreed with President Biden to launch climate partnership on ambition decarbonization and clean energy.  Under these initiatives, I wish to give impetus to concrete and comprehensive Japan-U.S. cooperations.
I discussed the increase of discriminations or violences against Asian people across the U.S. with President Biden and agreed that discrimination by race cannot be permitted in any societies.  We agreed on this regard. 
President Biden’s comment that discriminations and violences is cannot be allowed and that he firmly opposes was extremely encouraging for me, and I have renewed my confidence in American democracy once again. 

I told the President about my determination to realize the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer as a symbol of a global unity.  President Biden once again expressed his support for this determination. 

Japan is listening to and learning from WHO and experts, doing everything possible to contain infection and to realize safe and secure Games.  From scientific and objective perspectives, we will do our utmost in our preparation.
Freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law — as we firmly defend and uphold these universal values that Japan and the U.S. share, I look forward to the actual implementation of the outcomes of today’s significant meeting and to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific by further collaboration and deeper cooperation with Joe.
I once again express my heartfelt gratitude for the kind invitation.  Thank you. 

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Now we will each take a few questions, and I’ll begin by recognizing the Associated Press.  Aamer, you have the first question.  There you are. 
Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  And thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.  Mr. President, in your last press conference, you said successful Presidents prioritize and that you were focusing your agenda on one thing at a time. 
And I’d like to just ask you: What would you say to many Americans who voted for you about the legislative progress on gun control and police reform having to wait while you pursue infrastructure, given that we continue to see these incidents with mass shootings and also police-involved shootings, including the incident that a lot of us saw in Chicago most recently?  Do you feel any need to reprioritize your agenda?

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  I’ve never not prioritized this.  No one has worked harder to deal with the violence used by individuals using weapons than I have.  I’m the only one ever to have passed an assault weapons ban.  I’m the only one that ever got a 10-year ban on assault weapons and clips of more than 10 bullets. 
Immediately upon us becoming in office, having an attorney general, I asked him to put together the things I could do by executive order, including dealing with new guns that can be made — you can buy in pieces and put together, and other — and other initiatives.
I strongly support — I strongly support the universal background checks, which I continue to push.  The Congress has to step up and act.  The Senate has to act.
And I strongly support and continue — I’ve never stopped supporting the ban on assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 — 10 bullets. 
It doesn’t mean that I can’t also be working at the same time on the economy and on COVID.  But it’s not a question of my being able to set the agenda in the Senate as to what they will move to first.  And so I continue and I strongly, strongly urge my Republican friends in the Congress who even refused to bring up the House-passed bill to bring it up now. 
This has to end.  It’s a national embarrassment.  It is a national embarrassment what’s going on.  And it’s not only these mass shootings that are occurring.  Every single day — every single day, there’s a mass shooting in this United — in the United States if you count all those who are killed out on the streets of our cities and our rural areas.  It’s a national embarrassment and must come to an end. 
And one last thing: The folks who own weapons, the folks who own guns, they support universal background checks.  The majority of them think we should not be selling assault weapons.  Who, in God’s name, needs a weapon that can hold 100 rounds or 40 rounds or 20 rounds?  It’s just wrong.  And I’m not going to give up until it’s done. 

You have a question you want to offer?  I mean, not a question — (laughs) — recognize someone, Mr. Prime Minister.
PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (As interpreted.)  Mr. Sugimoto, with Sankei Newspaper.
Q    (As interpreted.)  Thank you very much.  My name is Sugimoto of Sankei Newspaper.  The summit — I believe that China policy was one of the central agenda items, so my question is on China policy.  Both governments consider that peace and stability of Taiwan is of great importance and that had been the agreement between the two countries. 
What kind of exchange of views were conducted on this matter at today’s meeting?  In order to deter contingency in the Straits, what can Japan do?  And what can Japan do, when actually, a contingency occurs in the Taiwan Straits?  Did the Prime Minister explain to President Biden what Japan can do under such circumstances?
And also, were there discussions on Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region human rights issue?  Grave concern is shared by the two countries, but Japan is the only G7 country that has not imposed sanctions on China.  Were you able to gain President Biden’s understanding towards such position?

PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (As interpreted.)  As we engaged in an exchange of views over the regional situation, we also discussed the circumstances in Taiwan and Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region as well.
I refrain from mentioning details since it pertains to diplomatic exchanges, but there is already an agreed recognition over the importance of peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits between Japan and the United States, which was reaffirmed on this occasion. 
I also explained Japan’s position and initiatives regarding the situation in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region to the President, who I think understood my points.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Next question is — goes to Trevor of Reuters.
Q    Thank you.  Mr. President, it’s been a while since we’ve heard an update from you on how the talks are going with Iran.  How are they going?  And do you regard their decision to enrich to 60 percent as a step backwards — as a sign that they aren’t serious about those negotiations?
And, for the Prime Minister, just a question on whether it’s irresponsible to move forward with the Olympics when you have public health experts telling you that Japan is not ready to do so.  Thank you.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Let me respond to the Iran question.  We do not support and do not think it’s at all helpful that Iran is saying it’s going to move to enrich to 60 percent.  It is contrary to the agreement.  We are, though, nonetheless pleased that Iran has continued to agree to engage in discussions — in direct discussions with us and with our — our partners on how we move forward and what is needed to allow us to move back into the JOPCA [JCPOA], and so that we are a part of it again — that we should have never gotten out of, in my view — without us making concessions that I’m — we’re just not willing to make. 
And so the discussions are underway.  I think it’s premature to make a judgement as to what the outcome will be, but we’re still talking.

PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (As interpreted.)  If I may invite Shintomi-san of Kyodo News.
Q    (As interpreted.)  Yes, I have a question to Prime Minister Suga regarding the Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympics planned for this summer.  You have garnered support from President Biden.  Did the President mention about the concrete promise to send American athletes or any positive comments? 
If you can tell us about the exchanges and the conversations during the meeting about the COVID-19 vaccines or about climate change.  You have discussed these aspects about the schedule of providing the vaccines or, by 2030, the reduction target of the gases.  Any numerical targets or actions were discussed, please? 
PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (As interpreted.)  As was mentioned at the beginning, I expressed my determination to realize the Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympic Games as a symbol of global unity this summer.  And President Biden, once again, expressed his support. 
Japan will continue careful and full preparation in order to realize the Tokyo games this summer, in order to ensure equitable access to vaccines for COVID-19.  We also affirmed that Japan and the U.S. will continue our cooperation.
Regarding the climate change, this is a matter that both President Biden and I emphasize.  So, during the talk today, we have confirmed to strengthen bilateral cooperation and collaboration in the area of climate change and have agreed to launch the Japan-U.S. Climate Partnership, which is extremely meaningful and significant.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Well, thank you all very much.  And thank you, Mr. Prime Minister.  I look forward to having you back.
Thank you again, everyone.
5:33 P.M. EDT      

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Remarks by President Biden and Prime Minister Suga of Japan Before Bilateral Meeting

APRIL 16, 2021  SPEECHES AND REMARKS

3:09 P.M. EDT
 
PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Well, I’m honored to have Prime Minister Suga here.  Yoshi and I have had some private time together, both lunch and tea, and it’s great to have him with us.
As you know, this was the first foreign leader to visit me in my presidency.  And I’m really pleased to welcome such a close ally and good partner. 
The United States and Japan have a big agenda ahead of us.  And we are two important democracies in the Indo-Pacific region, and our cooperation is vital, in my view — and I think in both our views — to meeting the challenges facing our nation and ensuring the future of the region to remain free and open and prosperous. 
So I’m looking forward to speaking with the Prime Minister.  And our teams are — are tackling a shared agenda.  We — we are ready to — ready to get to work. 
So welcome, Mr. Prime Minister.  As we say in the body I used to work in, the United States Senate, “I yield the floor” to the Prime Minister.  It’s all yours, Yoshi.

PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (As interpreted.)  Thank you very much.  Thank for you for accepting me as the first foreign leader under your presidency.  My deepest gratitude to you.
And yesterday, there was a shooting in Indianapolis, so I heard, and — causing much casualty.  I would like to express my condolences to the victims and my sympathies to the families.  Innocent citizens must not be exposed to any such violence.
Freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law are the universal values that link our alliance that is prevalent in the Indo-Pacific, and this is the very foundation of prosperity and stability of the region and the globe.  And the importance of such values has heightened to unprecedented level. 
And upon my visit to the United States, I wish to reaffirm the new and tight bond between us.  And in order to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific, there are many common challenges as well as emerging global issues, including COVID-19 and climate change.  I wish to spend time with you to again confirm the close ties between our two countries.
And thank you again for accepting us.
PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Thank you being here.  Thank you for your sentiments. 
3:12 P.M. EDT

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Fact Sheet: U.S.-Japan Competitiveness and Resilience (CoRe) Partnership

APRIL 16, 2021  STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

Read more about the U.S. Japan Climate Partnership here

The United States and Japan pledge to revitalize our Alliance and make practical commitments to fulfill its potential. Together we will advance innovation, end this pandemic and protect the world from future ones, combat the climate crisis, and enhance our people-to-people ties. Through these concrete initiatives, the United States and Japan will deliver results for our people, the Indo-Pacific, and the world. 

Competitiveness and Innovation

Throughout our individual and shared histories, the United States and Japan have been global leaders in innovation. Our new partnership for competitiveness and innovation carries on that tradition, focusing on scientific and technological advances. Together, we will lead a sustainable, green global economic growth, guided by the principles of openness and democracy. This includes our cooperation on research and technology development across diverse fields: Cancer Moonshot, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, quantum information science and technology, civil space cooperation (including the Artemis program and asteroid exploration), and secure information and communications technology (ICT), among others. With this partnership between two of the world’s leading economies, we will lead the globe in building back better and promoting sustainable growth in the future.

Together, the United States and Japan will:

  • Advance secure and open 5G networks, including Open Radio Access Networks (“Open-RAN”), by fostering innovation and by promoting trustworthy vendors and diverse markets.
  • Strengthen competitiveness in the digital field by investing in research, development, testing, and deployment of secure networks and advanced ICT including 5G and next-generation mobile networks (“6G” or “Beyond 5G”). The United States has committed $2.5 billion to this effort, and Japan has committed $2 billion. 
  • Build on successful U.S.-Japan cooperation in third-countries and launch a Global Digital Connectivity Partnership to promote secure connectivity and a vibrant digital economy while building the cybersecurity capacity of our partners to address shared threats. 
  • Strengthen collaboration and information exchange between U.S. and Japanese ICT experts in global standards development.
  • Cooperate on sensitive supply chains, including semi-conductors, and on the promotion and protection of critical technologies.
  • Advance biotechnology for the global good by focusing on genome sequencing and the principles of openness, transparency, collaboration, and research integrity.
  • Reinforce collaboration and partnerships between research institutions on quantum information science and technology through joint research and exchange of researchers.

COVID-19 Response, Global Health, and Health Security

The United States and Japan have built a partnership to help the Indo-Pacific region recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the landmark Quad Vaccine Partnership [LINK] with Australia and India, taking shared action necessary to expand safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, and working to strengthen and assist countries in the Indo-Pacific with vaccination. We will also expand our partnership beyond COVID-19, building longer-term global health security to help prevent the next pandemic.

Together, the United States and Japan will:

  • Enhance our support to the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, including the COVAX facility, and encourage others to do the same thereby collectively filling the financial needs to ensure equitable access to safe, effective, and affordable vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics particularly in developing countries.
  • Coordinate closely, through the Quad Vaccine Partnership, to facilitate production, procurement, and delivery of safe, effective, and affordable vaccines in the Indo-Pacific, including by expanding manufacturing capacity of COVID-19 vaccines in India.
  • In a new partnership, coordinate health security financing, regional surge capacity, and triggers for rapid response.
  • Establish regional pandemic response surge capacity, working with partners to promote manufacturing of personal protective equipment and medical countermeasures.
  • Work together and with others toward World Health Organization reform, including through the creation of swift triggers to respond to future biological threats, an independent oversight mechanism, and accountability for pandemic response.
  • Support a transparent and independent evaluation and analysis, free from interference and undue influence, of the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak, and for investigating outbreaks of unknown origin in the future.
  • Support the Global Health Security Agenda, as steering group members, to improve global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats.
  • Exchange data and practical knowledge, including simulation data on virus transmission from supercomputers such as Japan’s Fugaku and the United States’ Summit to develop innovative and more effective methods and techniques for infection prevention measures.
  • Reinforce collaboration between research institutions such as the National Institutes of Health and Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and cooperation for resilient medical supply chains to improve preparedness for future crises.

Climate Change, Clean Energy, and Green Growth and Recovery

The United States and Japan have launched a new partnership to address climate change and to promote green, sustainable global growth and recovery making full use of our technologies in the clean energy and other relevant sectors.

The two leaders are committed to taking decisive climate action by 2030, aligned both with efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius and with our 2050 greenhouse gas emissions net-zero goals. The United States and Japan will align official international financing with the global achievement of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050 and deep emission reductions in the 2020s, and will work to promote the flow of public and private capital toward climate-aligned investments and away from high-carbon investments.

Together, the United States and Japan will:

  • Cooperate on Paris Agreement implementation, with a focus on achieving our respective 2030 targets/nationally determined contributions and 2050 greenhouse gas emissions net-zero goals.
  • Collaborate and support innovation, development, and deployment of such clean-energy technologies as renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, grid modernization, energy storage (including batteries and long-duration storage technologies), smart grid, hydrogen, Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage/Carbon Recycling, industrial decarbonization and advanced nuclear power.
  • Promote development and use of adaptive climate- and environment-friendly infrastructure related to grid optimization, demand response, smart grids, and renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Cooperate on other areas that contribute to climate change mitigation, clean energy and green growth and recovery, including ICT technology (such as smart cities, power saving ICT infrastructure, and digital solutions to infrastructure management), carbon neutral ports as well as sustainable and climate-smart agriculture.
  • Support developing countries, including those in the Indo-Pacific region, to rapidly deploy renewable energy, drive the decarbonization of our their economies, and accelerate diverse, ambitious, and realistic transition paths in the region, toward the realization of net-zero emissions globally no later than 2050, including through the newly established Japan-U.S. Clean Energy Partnership (“JUCEP”) and other country-level climate and clean energy collaborative activities. 

Expanding and Renewing Our Partnership

The United States and Japan will continue to add new dimensions to our partnership while cooperating in the fields of long-standing areas.

The United States and Japan will strengthen our people-to-people ties. The next generation of leaders who will continue to strengthen the bonds between the United States and Japan are participating in our extensive international exchange programs, working together on joint projects and research. In this spirit, we are proud to announce the resumption of the Mansfield Fellowship program. Together, we will redouble our energies to build the next generation of American experts on Japan through a renewed two-year fellowship program. We are also expanding opportunities for American students that are historically underrepresented in education abroad – including, but not limited to, first-generation college students, students in STEM(Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, ethnic minority students, students with disabilities, students attending minority-serving institutions, and community college students – by offering an additional 20 Gilman Scholarships for study abroad in Japan. Finally, like the United States, Japan recognizes the importance of addressing the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, and is committed to addressing those issues together.

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www.foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/DAV21598%20-%20Strategic%20Competition%20Act%20of%202021.pdf

APRIL 08, 2021

CHAIRMAN MENENDEZ ANNOUNCES BIPARTISAN COMPREHENSIVE CHINA LEGISLATION

Jersey City, N.J. – Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today announced a bipartisan agreement on a new comprehensive China legislation for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to take up in the coming days. Entitled the Strategic Competition Act of 2021, the new legislation was negotiated with Committee Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and represents the first major proposal to bring Democrats and Republicans together in laying out a strategic approach towards Beijing – and assuring that the United States is positioned to compete with China across all dimensions of national and international power for decades to come.  In unveiling the legislation, Menendez also announced he is convening a legislative business meeting on April 14th for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to take up and vote on the measure. 

“I am incredibly proud to announce this unprecedented bipartisan effort to mobilize all U.S. strategic, economic, and diplomatic tools for an Indo-Pacific strategy that will allow our nation to truly confront the challenges China poses to our national and economic security.  The Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is a recognition that this moment demands a unified, strategic response that can rebuild American leadership, invest in our ability to out-compete China, and reground diplomacy in our core values.

“The United States government must be clear-eyed and sober about Beijing’s intentions and actions, and calibrate our policy and strategy accordingly. I am confident that this effort has the necessary support to be overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee next week and the full Senate shortly thereafter.  That is the only way we will get the China challenge right – a bipartisan commitment to mutual trust and good-faith compromise, balancing pragmatism and idealism, and a shared dedication to finally solving one of toughest challenges our nation faces. As I’ve told my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, I am committed to continue working together in common cause so this major piece of legislation is enacted swiftly and through regular order. The scope, scale and urgency of the China challenge demands nothing less.”

A copy of the Strategic Competition Act of 2021 can be found HERE. Key elements of the legislation include:

  • Bolsters the United States diplomatic strategy in addressing challenges posed by the Chinese government and reaffirms America’s commitment to its allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world, and calls for the United States to reassert its leadership within international organizations and other multilateral fora. Renews America’s commitment to allies and partners by prioritizing security assistance for the Indo-Pacific region, and strengthens U.S. diplomatic efforts to address challenges posed by China in the Western Hemisphere, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, the Arctic, and Oceania.
  • Invests in universal values, authorizing a broad range of human rights and civil society measures including supporting democracy in Hong Kong and imposing sanctions with respect to forced labor, forced sterilization, and other abuses in Xinjiang.
  • Focuses on countering and confronting China’s predatory international economic behavior, and includes measures to track intellectual property violators, Chinese government subsidies, monitor Chinese use of Hong Kong to circumvent U.S. export controls, and track the presence of Chinese companies in U.S. capital markets. Directs the United States to provide technical assistance to countries working to counter foreign corrupt practices, and debt relief to the poorest countries who have requested forbearance due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Strengthens American competitiveness with investments in science and technology, global infrastructure development, digital connectivity and cybersecurity partnerships, and reinforces U.S. efforts to counter Chinese Communist Party influence and malign operations.
  • Calls for enhanced coordination and cooperation with allies on arms control in the face of China’s military modernization and expansion, and requires reporting on Chinese ballistic, hypersonic glide, and cruise missiles, conventional forces, nuclear, space, cyberspace and other strategic domains.

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www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/assessments/GlobalTrends_2040.pdf

Why Spy Agencies Say the Future Is Bleak

Climate change, technology, disease and financial crises will pose big challenges for the world, an intelligence report concludes.

By The Editorial Board (The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.)

April 15, 2021

Every four years, at the start of a new administration, American intelligence agencies put out “Global Trends,” a weighty assessment of where the world seems headed over the next two decades. In 2008, for example, the report warned about the potential emergence of a pandemic originating in East Asia and spreading rapidly around the world.

The latest report, Global Trends 2040, released last week by the National Intelligence Council, finds that the pandemic has proved to be “the most significant, singular global disruption since World War II,” with medical, political and security implications that will reverberate for years. That’s not schadenfreude. It’s the prologue to a far darker picture of what lies ahead.

The world envisioned in the 144-page report, ominously subtitled “A More Contested World,” is rent by a changing climate, aging populations, disease, financial crises and technologies that divide more than they unite, all straining societies and generating “shocks that could be catastrophic.” The gap between the challenges and the institutions meant to deal with them continues to grow, so that “politics within states are likely to grow more volatile and contentious, and no region, ideology, or governance system seems immune or to have the answers.” At the international level, it will be a world increasingly “shaped by China’s challenge to the United States and Western-led international system,” with a greater risk of conflict.

Here’s how agencies charged with watching the world see things:

“Large segments of the global population are becoming wary of institutions and governments that they see as unwilling or unable to address their needs. People are gravitating to familiar and like-minded groups for community and security, including ethnic, religious, and cultural identities as well as groupings around interests and causes, such as environmentalism.”

“At the same time that populations are increasingly empowered and demanding more, governments are coming under greater pressure from new challenges and more limited resources. This widening gap portends more political volatility, erosion of democracy, and expanding roles for alternative providers of governance.”

“Accelerating shifts in military power, demographics, economic growth, environmental conditions, and technology, as well as hardening divisions over governance models, are likely to further ratchet up competition between China and a Western coalition led by the United States.”

“At the state level, the relationships between societies and their governments in every region are likely to face persistent strains and tensions because of a growing mismatch between what publics need and expect and what governments can and will deliver.”

Experts in Washington who have read these reports said they do not recall a gloomier one. In past years, the future situations offered have tilted toward good ones; this year, the headings for how 2040 may look tell a different story: “Competitive Coexistence,” “Separate Silos,” “Tragedy and Mobilization” or “A World Adrift,” in which “the international system is directionless, chaotic, and volatile as international rules and institutions are largely ignored by major powers like China, regional players and non-state actors.”

There is one cheery scenario thrown in, “Renaissance of Democracies,” in which the United States and its allies are leading a world of resurgent democracies, and everybody is getting happier. Its apparent purpose is to show that people could, in principle, turn things around. But nothing in the report suggests it is likely.

The gloom, however, should not come as a surprise. Most of what Global Trends provides are reminders of the dangers we know and the warnings we’ve heard. We know that the world was ill prepared for the coronavirus and that the pandemic was grievously mishandled in most parts of the world, including the United States. We know the Arctic caps are melting at a perilous rate, raising sea levels and threatening dire consequences the world over. We know that for all the grand benefits of the internet, digital technology has also unleashed lies, conspiracies and distrust, fragmenting societies and poisoning political discourse. We know from the past four years what polarized and self-serving rule is like. We know that China is on the rise, and that it is essential to find a manageable balance between containment and cooperation.

Global Trends offers no solutions. It can’t, by law: The 18 organizations that make up the intelligence community, including the National Security Agency and C.I.A., are sternly proscribed from giving policy recommendations.

Yet when a large body of intelligence specialists with access to an extraordinary array of privileged information invest considerable resources into figuring out where the world is headed, and then turn on a bright, flashing red light, there is good reason to take heed.

“We have the great benefit of drawing on both the broad and deep expertise that exists across the intelligence community. There are 18 intelligence agencies that we can reach out to, as well as other federal partners,” said Maria Langan-Riekhof, who as director of the National Intelligence Council’s Strategic Futures Group led the publication of “Global Trends 2040.” “We are not narrowly looking at just one issue or one domain; we’re trying to look across all those issues and asking how are they developing over time and what do they mean in aggregate.”

The warnings are clear. The real question is whether we  the government, global institutions, our societies  are capable of heeding them at a time when states and societies are turning inward and political discourse has become poisonous.

Mathew Burrows, principal editor for many earlier “Global Trends” at the C.I.A. and National Intelligence Council  including the one that warned of a pandemic  believes that the initiative to take the future seriously has to come from the executive branch. “You have to have a driving force to compel agencies to engage in longer-term planning,” he said.

A decade ago, Leon Fuerth, a deputy national security adviser in the Clinton administration who directs the Project on Forward Engagement at George Washington University, proposed ways to do just that. The government, he wrote, needed to create mechanisms to anticipate the frequency and complexity of crises in today’s world, “to be anticipatory rather than reactionary.” The Biden administration started well on some fronts, notably on environmental policy and infrastructure. As a leader with a unique perspective on how politics, society and the world have changed over the years, President Biden can also be the one to recognize that an increasingly complex, volatile and unpredictable world requires a serious and coherent mechanism for anticipating and preparing for what lies over that dark horizon. The intelligence is there, and it cries out for action.

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U.S. Intelligence Report Warns of Global Consequences of Social Fragmentation

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted weaknesses of the international order, said the report, which is issued every four years.  By Julian E. Barnes, April 8, 2021

WASHINGTON  U.S. intelligence officials warned in a report issued on Thursday about the potential fragmentation of society and the global order, holding out the possibility of a world where international trade is disrupted, groups of countries create online enclaves and civic cohesion is undermined.

The report, compiled every four years by the National Intelligence Council, mixes more traditional national security challenges like the potentially disruptive rise of China with social trends that have clear security implications, like the internet’s tendency to exacerbate political and cultural divisions.

A previous version of the report, released by the Obama administration in 2017, highlighted the risk of a pandemic and the vast economic disruption it could cause  a prescient prediction in hindsight.

The new report said that the coronavirus pandemic showed the weakness of the world order and that the institutions devised to face past crises are inadequate to coordinate a global response to new challenges like the spread of Covid-19. The failure of those institutions deepened public dissatisfaction and further eroded faith in the old order, the report said.

“Efforts to contain and manage the virus have reinforced nationalist trends globally, as some states turned inward to protect their citizens and sometimes cast blame on marginalized groups,” the report said. The response to the pandemic has fueled partisanship and polarization in many countries as groups argue over the best response and seek scapegoats to blame for spreading the virus and for slow mitigation efforts.

The global trends report  unlike the intelligence agencies’ annual threat assessment  is not supposed to look at immediate challenges. Instead, the report takes a longer-term, strategic look, trying to peer 20 years ahead to examine how current changes could transform the world of the future.

The intelligence council provides long-term strategic analysis for the director of national intelligence. It also regularly produces reports and assessments for officials and the National Security Council.

The report predicted that current trends would make global politics more volatile. On the international stage, China will continue to challenge the United States and the Western-led world order, and politics in certain countries will become more contentious, officials predicted.

Climate change was also a focus of the report, which noted the difficult adaptations that countries would need to make, such as building rainwater storage and reinforcing sea walls. Climate change would further drive global migration, which is already increasing, the report predicted. Technological innovation and cooperation between China and the West are keys to adapting to climate change, demographic shifts and other challenges, it said.

Income inequality could grow worse, the report said, tying it at times to information inequality.

The “trust gap” between an informed public that has faith in a government solution and a wider public with deep skepticism of institutions is growing, the report said.

The problem is made worse by technology. Algorithms, social media and artificial intelligence have replaced expertise in deciding what information spreads most widely, and that has made the public more vulnerable to misinformation.

Still, positive demographic changes in recent decades, with people moving out of poverty and into the middle class, had creating “rising expectations,” said Maria Langan-Riekhof, the director of the intelligence council’s strategic futures group. But fears of falling income across the globe are growing, a worrisome trend when coupled with changes in how information is shared and social divisions have deepened.

“Those concerns are leading people to look for the security of trusted voices, but also of like-minded groups within their societies,” Ms. Langan-Riekhof said. “Overlay those trends I’m describing, and you kind of see that recipe for greater divisions, increasing fracturing. We think that is likely to continue and probably worsen.”

Over time, the report said, these trends could weaken democratic governments.

“At the same time that populations are increasingly empowered and demanding more, governments are coming under greater pressure from new challenges and more limited resources,” the report said. “This widening gap portends more political volatility, erosion of democracy and expanding roles for alternative providers of governance. Over time, these dynamics might open the door to more significant shifts in how people govern.”

The global trends report has often looked at possible future situations. In the 2017 report, one example contemplated a pandemic plunging the world into economic chaos. It envisioned nationalistic politicians eroding alliances, a drop in oil prices causing calamity and more isolationist trade practices. It also forecast a pandemic (albeit in 2023, not 2020), which restricted travel, caused economic distress and exacerbated existing trends toward isolation.

The report has discussed the risk of a pandemic for nearly two decades, said Gregory F. Treverton, a former chairman of the National Intelligence Council who helped lead the 2017 effort. The 2004 report said some experts believed it was “only a matter of time” before a pandemic, he said.

“It was talking about a scenario exactly like what’s happened: a major global pandemic that shut down global commerce, air travel,” Mr. Treverton said. “The reports have been strategic warnings, and that is how I think of them, helping people who want to be strategic.”

The new report credited the previous documents for highlighting the potential for new diseases and pandemics but acknowledged that “we lacked a full picture of the breadth and depth of its disruptive potential.” For the new effort, the National Intelligence Council looked at which trends the coronavirus pandemic was accelerating and which were slowing.

“Much like the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to produce some changes that will be felt for years to come and change the way we live, work and govern domestically and internationally,” the report said. “How great these will be, however, is very much in question.”

Even before the spread of the coronavirus, National Intelligence Council analysts were examining the idea of more shared global challenges. But the coronavirus, Ms. Langan-Riekhof said, “really drove it home for us.”

“Challenges aren’t going to stay within the borders of a single country anymore, and we’re going to feel them globally much faster,” she said. “This may be a foreshadowing of things to come.”

Julian E. Barnes is a national security reporter based in Washington, covering the intelligence agencies. Before joining The Times in 2018, he wrote about security matters for The Wall Street Journal. @julianbarnes  Facebook

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int.nyt.com/data/documenttools/annual-threat-assessment-report/5bd104278cd017bd/full.pdf

 

China Poses Biggest Threat to U.S., Intelligence Report Says

The annual assessment does not predict a military confrontation with either Russia or China, but it suggests that intelligence operations, cyberattacks and global drives for influence will intensify.

By Julian E. Barnes, April 13, 2021Updated 7:46 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON — China’s effort to expand its growing influence represents one of the largest threats to the United States, according to a major annual intelligence report released on Tuesday, which also warned of the broad national security challenges posed by Moscow and Beijing.

The report does not predict a military confrontation with either Russia or China, but it suggests that so-called gray-zone battles for power, which are meant to fall short of inciting all-out war, will intensify with intelligence operations, cyberattacks and global drives for influence.

The assessment highlights the opportunities and challenges for the Biden administration. Iran, for instance, has not advanced its work on a nuclear weapon, potentially giving President Biden some room to maneuver. But it paints a grim prognosis for a peace deal in Afghanistan, a day before Mr. Biden is set to announce that he will withdraw American forces by September. Critics could use the report to suggest that the president is ignoring intelligence agencies’ predictions as he pushes forward with the drawdown.

While much of the report describes traditional national security challenges, it also gives far more attention to climate change and global health than previous threat assessments have done. That shift reflects a pledge by the Biden administration’s top intelligence officials to focus more on such nontraditional challenges.

The report puts China’s push for “global power” first on the list of threats, followed by Russia, Iran and North Korea. There are typically few broad revelations in the annual reports, which are a collection of declassified assessments, although the intelligence agencies’ ranking of threats and how they change over time can be telling.

“Beijing, Moscow, Tehran and Pyongyang have demonstrated the capability and intent to advance their interests at the expense of the United States and its allies, despite the pandemic,” the report said. “China increasingly is a near-peer competitor, challenging the United States in multiple arenas — especially economically, militarily and technologically — and is pushing to change global norms.”

China’s strategy, according to the report, is to drive wedges between the United States and its allies. Beijing has also used its success in combating the coronavirus pandemic to promote the “superiority of its system.”

The report predicts more tensions in the South China Sea, as Beijing continues to intimidate rivals in the region. It also predicts that China will press the government of Taiwan to move forward with unification and criticize efforts by the United States to bolster engagement with Taipei. But the report stopped short of predicting any kind of direct military conflict.

“We expect that friction will grow as Beijing steps up attempts to portray Taipei as internationally isolated and dependent on the mainland for economic prosperity, and as China continues to increase military activity around the island,” the report said.

It also foresees China at least doubling its nuclear stockpile over the next decade. “Beijing is not interested in arms-control agreements that restrict its modernization plans and will not agree to substantive negotiations that lock in U.S. or Russian nuclear advantage,” the report said.

China uses its electronic surveillance and hacking abilities to not only repress dissent domestically but also to conduct intrusions that affect people beyond its borders, the report said. The country also represents a growing threat of cyberattacks against the United States, and the intelligence agencies assess that Beijing “at a minimum, can cause localized, temporary disruptions to critical infrastructure within the United States.”

There are few surprises in the report’s assessment of Russia. It makes clear that although many view Moscow as a declining power, American spy agencies still consider it a pre-eminent threat, pointing to a Russian supply chain hacking that created vulnerabilities in some 18,000 computer networks worldwide. The assessment said that while Russia would avoid direct conflict with the United States, it would use influence campaigns, mercenary operations and military exercises to advance its interests and undermine those of its rival.

Mr. Biden spoke to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia on Tuesday. While Mr. Biden raised the prospect of a summit with Mr. Putin, he pressed him on the recent buildup of Russian troops on Ukraine’s border and in Crimea. The report said that Russia would seek opportunities for pragmatic cooperation but that it would also press the United States not to interfere in the domestic concerns of Ukraine and other countries of the former Soviet Union.

While cyberthreats have traditionally been a separate section of the report, this year’s assessment made more of an effort to weave such attacks into the broader threat picture, examining both China’s and Russia’s record of intrusions against the United States.

The intelligence agencies are right to refocus the threat assessment on Russia and China, said Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“China’s a rising power and a rising challenge,” said Mr. Schiff, a Democrat, whose committee drafted a report last year calling for more resources to be devoted to China. “Russia is a dying power. It poses the threat of a kind of wounded animal that is dangerous because it’s wounded and backed into a corner.”

This year’s report offers a far more robust discussion of the national security implications of climate change, whose threats, for the most part, are long term, but can also have short-term consequences, the report said.

“This year, we will see increasing potential for surges in migration by Central American populations, which are reeling from the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic and extreme weather, including multiple hurricanes in 2020 and several years of recurring droughts and storms,” the report said.

It adds that the economic and political implications of the coronavirus would reverberate for years, predicting that the economic damage would worsen instability in a few countries, though it does not name them.

Combined with extreme weather caused by climate change, the report says the number of people worldwide experiencing acute hunger will rise to 330 million this year from 135 million. The report says that the pandemic has disrupted other health services, including polio vaccinations and H.I.V. treatments in Africa.

Typically, the director of national intelligence delivers the threat assessment to Congress and releases a written report alongside it. But no declassified assessment was issued last year, as the Trump administration’s intelligence agencies sought to avoid angering the White House.

In 2019, Dan Coats, then the director of national intelligence, delivered an analysis of threats from Iran, North Korea and the Islamic State that was at odds with President Donald J. Trump’s views. The testimony prompted Mr. Trump to lash out on Twitter, admonishing his intelligence chiefs to “go back to school.”

Avril D. Haines, the director of national intelligence; William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director; and other top intelligence officials will testify about the report on Wednesday and Thursday.

“The American people should know as much as possible about the threats facing our nation and what their intelligence agencies are doing to protect them,” said Ms. Haines, whose office released the report.

David E. Sanger contributed reporting.

 

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Quad Leaders’ Joint Statement: “The Spirit of the Quad”

MARCH 12, 2021  STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

1. We have convened to reaffirm our commitment to quadrilateral cooperation between Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. We bring diverse perspectives and are united in a shared vision for the free and open Indo-Pacific. We strive for a region that is free, open, inclusive, healthy, anchored by democratic values, and unconstrained by coercion. We recall that our joint efforts toward this positive vision arose out of an international tragedy, the tsunami of 2004. Today, the global devastation wrought by COVID-19, the threat of climate change, and security challenges facing the region summon us with renewed purpose.  On this historic occasion of March 12, 2021, the first-ever leader-level summit of the Quad, we pledge to strengthen our cooperation on the defining challenges of our time.
 
2. Together, we commit to promoting a free, open rules-based order, rooted in international law to advance security and prosperity and counter threats to both in the Indo-Pacific and beyond. We support the rule of law, freedom of navigation and overflight, peaceful resolution of disputes, democratic values, and territorial integrity. We commit to work together and with a range of partners. We reaffirm our strong support for ASEAN’s unity and centrality as well as the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. Full of potential, the Quad looks forward to the future; it seeks to uphold peace and prosperity and strengthen democratic resilience, based on universal values.
 
3. Our common goals require us to reckon with the most urgent of global challenges. Today, we pledge to respond to the economic and health impacts of COVID-19, combat climate change, and address shared challenges, including in cyber space, critical technologies, counterterrorism, quality infrastructure investment, and humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief as well as maritime domains.
 
4. Building on the progress our countries have achieved on health security, we will join forces to expand safe, affordable, and effective vaccine production and equitable access, to speed economic recovery and benefit global health. With steadfast commitment to the health and safety of our own people, we also recognize that none of us can be safe as long as the pandemic continues to spread. We will, therefore, collaborate to strengthen equitable vaccine access for the Indo-Pacific, with close coordination with multilateral organizations including the World Health Organization and COVAX. We call for transparent and results-oriented reform at the World Health Organization. We are united in recognizing that climate change is a global priority and will work to strengthen the climate actions of all nations, including to keep a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach. We look forward to a successful COP 26 in Glasgow. We will begin cooperation on the critical technologies of the future to ensure that innovation is consistent with a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific. We will continue to prioritize the role of international law in the maritime domain, particularly as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges to the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas. We reaffirm our commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions, and also confirm the necessity of immediate resolution of the issue of Japanese abductees. As long-standing supporters of Myanmar and its people, we emphasize the urgent need to restore democracy and the priority of strengthening democratic resilience.
 
5. To advance these goals and others, we will redouble our commitment to Quad engagement. We will combine our nations’ medical, scientific, financing, manufacturing and delivery, and development capabilities and establish a vaccine expert working group to implement our path-breaking commitment to safe and effective vaccine distribution; we will launch a critical- and emerging-technology working group to facilitate cooperation on international standards and innovative technologies of the future; and we will establish a climate working group to strengthen climate actions globally on mitigation, adaptation, resilience, technology, capacity-building, and climate finance. Our experts and senior officials will continue to meet regularly; our Foreign Ministers will converse often and meet at least once a year. At the leader level, we will hold an in-person summit by the end of 2021. The ambition of these engagements is fit to the moment; we are committed to leveraging our partnership to help the world’s most dynamic region respond to historic crisis, so that it may be the free, open, accessible, diverse, and thriving Indo-Pacific we all seek.

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Remarks by President Biden, Prime Minister Modi of India, Prime Minister Morrison of Australia, and Prime Minister Suga of Japan in the Virtual Quad Leaders Summit

MARCH 12, 2021  SPEECHES AND REMARKS / State Dining Room / 8:32 A.M. EST

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Hello, everyone.  I wish we were able to do this in person, but it’s wonderful to gather with friends even — even in this virtual format.  We’re reminded that we’re in the midst of a global crisis, but we’re going to overcome that as well. 

The Quad group is — was created in the wake of, as you just — everyone just saw on that short film — in the wake of a crisis under my predecessor, George W. Bush, on the 204 — the 2004 tsunami. 

I remember later, Mr. Prime Minister, in Japan, going and visiting that — the aftermath of that.  It was devastating what you all went through. 

And for the first time, we’re convening this group as — at a leader level.  And I want to thank my counterparts for joining me today: Prime Minister Morrison and Modi and Suga.  You — it’s good to have you all.  Like I said, I wish we were doing this together. 

The — it’s also the first multilateral summit that I’ve had the opportunity to host as President.  And on this — and on this moment, it’s a purpose that I think we all are concerned about: a free and open Indo-Pacific is essential to each of our futures, our countries.

The United States is committed to working with you, our partners, and all our allies in the region to achieve stability.  And this is a group of — particularly important because it’s dedicated to the practical solutions and concrete results. 

And, my counterparts, if you’ll forgive me, I’d like to give one example of why it matters.  There are many examples, but, yesterday, I signed in law the American Rescue Plan to get the American people through this pandemic and kick start our economy and our economic recovery.  It’s a bill that will get meaningful help into the hands of people in our country who need it the most. 

Consequently, this week, the OECD revised up its expected rate of growth for the United States this year as a consequence of that legislation.  In fact, it doubled it from 3.2 percent to 6.5 percent; the fastest rate in one-year economic growth since 1984.  And it’s critical because the OECD also predicted that the United States economic growth, fueled by the ARP and increased vaccinations, will be a key driver in global growth this year and our trade partners benefiting around the world as a consequence. 

But to get this right, we all have to focus on generating domestic demand and driving sustainable global growth.  And we’ve launching an ambitious new joint partnership that is going to boost vaccine manufacturing, and — for the global benefit — and strengthen vaccinations to benefit the entire Indo-Pacific. 

We’re establishing a new mechanism to enhance our cooperation and raise our mutual ambitions as we address accelerating climate change. 

And — and we’re renewing our commitment to ensure that our region is governed by international law, committed to upholding universal values, and free from coercion.  

We’ve got a big agenda ahead of us, gentlemen, as you well know, but I’m optimistic about our prospects.  The Quad is going to be a vital arena for cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.  And I look forward to working closely with — with all of you in the coming years. 

And now, Prime Minister Modi, I’m kicking it over to you.  And again, it’s great to see you.

PRIME MINISTER MODI:  Your Excellencies — President Biden, Prime Minister Morrison, and Prime Minister Suga — it is good to be among the friends.  I thank President Biden for this initiative. 

Excellencies, we are united by our democratic values and our commitment to a free, open, and inclusive Indo-Pacific.  Our agenda today — covering areas like vaccines, climate change, and emerging technologies — make the Quad a force for global good.

I see this positive vision as an extension of India’s ancient philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which regards the world as one family.  We will work together, closer than ever before, for advancing our shared values and promoting a secure, stable, and prosperous Indo-Pacific. 

Today’s summit meeting shows that Quad had come of age.  It will now remain an important pillar of stability in the region.  Thank you.

PRESIDENT BIDEN:  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Prime Minister Morrison.

PRIME MINISTER MORRISON:  President Biden, for this wonderful initiative and bringing us together.  And my fellow prime ministers, it’s great to see you.  Namaste.  Good morning.  Konnichiwa.  And from Australia, g’day.

As we begin a new day here in Australia, it’s not yet dawn.  But we join together as Quad leaders of nations to welcome what I think will be a new dawn in the Indo-Pacific through our gathering. 

History teaches us that when nations engage together in a partnership of strategic trust, of common hope, and shared values, much can be achieved.  When the world emerged from the Great War and our last global pandemic a century ago, it soon found a Great Depression and another global conflict that unleashed a poverty and a devastation that was unthinkable. 

As we emerge from this global pandemic and the global recession, let us together create a different future.  It is the Indo-Pacific that will now shape the destiny of our world in the 21st century. 

As four leaders of great, liberal democracies in the Indo-Pacific, let our partnership be the enabler of peace, stability, and prosperity, and to do so inclusively with the many nations of our region to share in their vision, as expressed through ASEAN, for an open, inclusive — inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific; to respect and support their sovereignty, independence, and security by upholding our values and supporting international law; and to address the many challenges we face, from COVID to climate change.

Know, friends, that Australia, while looking to our friends in all of these tasks, we never leave it to our friends.  We’ll do our share of the heavy lifting to lighten the burden for us all. 

I’m delighted to now hand over to my good friend, Yoshi, Prime Minister Suga.

PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (As interpreted.)  Joe, Mr. Modi, and ScoMo: It is a great honor to realize the Japan-Australia-India-U.S. leaders’ summit with all of you — working together to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Starting with the response to the tsunami disaster that we just saw on the video, the Quad four countries transformed into a forum for diplomatic dialogue in 2007. 

Since then, after overcoming some difficult circumstances from around 2017, we gained a fresh momentum.  In October, last year, we reached the stage of holding the foreign ministers meeting here in Tokyo.  Less than half a year since then, we are now holding this first leaders’ summit.  And I do feel emotional about the development.  I thank Joe for your initiative.

With the four countries working together, I wish to firmly advance our cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific and to make visible and tangible contribution to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the region, including overcoming COVID-19. 

Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.  We received massive support from the U.S., Australia, and India in our response to the disaster.  Joe visited the affected areas soon after the disaster.  And I thank you once again

I look forward to a fruitful discussion today. 

8:44 A.M. EST

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Fact Sheet: Quad Summit

MARCH 12, 2021  STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

The Quad Vaccine Partnership
While ensuring that vaccines have been made available to our people, “Quad” partners will launch a landmark partnership to further accelerate the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, Quad leaders are taking shared action necessary to expand safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing in 2021, and will work together to strengthen and assist countries in the Indo-Pacific with vaccination, in close coordination with the existing relevant multilateral mechanisms including WHO and COVAX.

  • Drawing on each of our strengths, we will tackle this complex issue with multi-sectoral cooperation across many stages of action, starting with ensuring global availability of safe and effective vaccines.
  • Quad partners are working collaboratively to achieve expanded manufacturing of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines at facilities in India, prioritizing increased capacity for vaccines authorized by Stringent Regulatory Authorities (SRA). Quad partners will address financing and logistical demands for production, procurement, and delivery of safe and effective vaccines. Quad partners will work to use our shared tools and expertise, through mechanisms at institutions including the United States Development Finance Corporation (DFC), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and, as appropriate, Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC), as well as others.
    • The United States, through the DFC, will work with Biological E Ltd., to finance increased capacity to support Biological E’s effort to produce at least 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2022 with Stringent Regulatory Authorization (SRA) and/or World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL), including the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
    • Japan, through JICA, is in discussions to provide concessional yen loans for the Government of India to expand manufacturing for COVID-19 vaccines for export, with a priority on producing vaccines that have received authorization from WHO Emergency Use Listing (EUL) or Stringent Regulatory Authorities.
    • Quad partners will ensure expanded manufacturing will be exported for global benefit, to be procured through key multilateral initiatives, such as COVAX, that provide life-saving vaccines for low-income countries, and by countries in need.
    • Quad partners will also cooperate to strengthen “last-mile” vaccination, building on existing health-security and development programs, and across our governments to coordinate and strengthen our programs in the Indo-Pacific.
      • This includes supporting countries with vaccine readiness and delivery, vaccine procurement, health workforce preparedness, responses to vaccine misinformation, community engagement, immunization capacity, and more.
      • Australia will contribute US$77 million for the provision of vaccines and “last-mile” delivery support with a focus on Southeast Asia, in addition to its existing commitment of US$407 million for regional vaccine access and health security which will provide full vaccine coverage to nine Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste, and support procurement, prepare for vaccine delivery, and strengthen health systems in Southeast Asia.
      • Japan will assist vaccination programs of developing countries such as the purchase of vaccines and cold-chain support including through provision of grant aid of $41 million and new concessional yen loans, ensuring alignment with and support of COVAX.
      • The United States will leverage existing programs to further boost vaccination capability, drawing on at least $100 million in regional efforts focused on immunization.
  • Our commitment will be implemented by the launch of a senior-level Quad Vaccine Experts Group, comprised of top scientists and officials from our governments. This group will support Quad cooperation in the long term, and use science and evidence to:    
    • design an implementation plan for the Quad COVID-19 vaccine effort;   
    • identify hurdles impeding vaccine administration in the region;   
    • work with financers and production facilities to monitor timely and sufficient capacity expansion that will lead to wider distribution of safe and effective vaccines;   
    • share governmental plans to support Indo-Pacific health security and COVID-19 response, and identify practical cooperation on “last-mile” delivery for hard-to-reach communities in need;   
    • strengthen and support the life-saving work of international organizations, including the WHO, COVAX, Gavi, CEPI, UNICEF, the G7, ASEAN, and governments, and call on other countries to do the same;   
    • make additional concrete recommendations before the end of the year.   

The Quad Climate Working Group
We have identified the climate challenge as a priority for the Quad and the Indo-Pacific region. We will establish a new Quad Climate Working Group focused on:

  • Cooperation, both among ourselves and with other countries, to strengthen implementation of the Paris Agreement, including to keep a Paris-aligned temperature limit within reach;
  • Working together and with other countries to support, strengthen, and enhance actions globally;
  • Committing to advancing low-emissions technology solutions to support emissions reduction; 
  • Cooperation on climate mitigation, adaptation, resilience, technology, capacity-building, and climate finance.

The Quad Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group
Quad leaders recognize that a free, open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific requires that critical and emerging technology is governed and operates according to shared interests and values. In that spirit, we will convene a Critical and Emerging Technology Working Group, which will:

  • Develop a statement of principles on technology design, development, and use;
  • Facilitate coordination on technology standards development, including between our national technology standards bodies and working with a broad range of partners;
  • Encourage cooperation on telecommunications deployment, diversification of equipment suppliers, and future telecommunications, including through close cooperation with our private sectors and industry;
  • Facilitate cooperation to monitor trends and opportunities related to developments in critical and emerging technology, including biotechnology;
  • Convene dialogues on critical technology supply chains.

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U.S.-Japan Joint Press Statement

MEDIA NOTE, OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON, MARCH 16, 2021

The following statement was released by the Security Consultative Committee.

Begin Text:

Secretary of State Blinken, Secretary of Defense Austin, Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi, and Minister of Defense Kishi held the U.S.-Japan Security Consultative Committee in Tokyo, Japan on March 16, 2021.  They reaffirmed that the U.S.-Japan Alliance remains the cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.  Japan resolved to enhance its capabilities to bolster national defense and further strengthen the Alliance.  The United States underscored its unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan through the full range of its capabilities, including nuclear.  Amid growing geopolitical competition and challenges such as COVID-19, climate change, and revitalizing democracy, the United States and Japan renewed their commitment to promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific and a rules-based international order.

The United States and Japan acknowledged that China’s behavior(, where inconsistent with the existing international order, )presents political, economic, military, and technological challenges to the Alliance and to the international community.  The Ministers committed to opposing coercion and destabilizing behavior toward others in the region, which undermines the rules-based international system.  They reaffirmed their support for unimpeded lawful commerce and respect for international law, including freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea.  The Ministers also expressed serious concerns about recent disruptive developments in the region, such as the China Coast Guard law.  Further, they discussed the United States’ unwavering commitment to the defense of Japan under Article V of our security treaty, which includes the Senkaku Islands.  The United States and Japan remain opposed to any unilateral action that seeks to change the status quo or to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands(그러면서, 독도는 왜!!!).  The Ministers underscored the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.  They reiterated their objections to China’s unlawful maritime claims and activities in the South China Sea and recalled that (the July 2016 award of the Philippines-China arbitral tribunal, constituted under the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention), is final and legally binding on the parties.  The Ministers shared serious concerns regarding the human rights situation in Hong Kong and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Recognizing that North Korea’s arsenal poses a threat to international peace and stability, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization of North Korea and urged Pyongyang to abide by its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.  The Ministers also confirmed the necessity of immediate resolution of the abductions issue.  Trilateral cooperation among the United States, Japan, and the Republic of Korea is critical for our shared security, peace, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.

The United States and Japan reaffirmed that the strength of the Alliance comes from our shared values and is amplified by our network of close partnerships with like-minded democracies.  The March 12 Quad Summit demonstrated to the world our shared vision of a free, open, and inclusive region anchored by universal values and unconstrained by coercive power.  The Ministers pledged to work with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), affirming their strong support for its centrality and unity, as well as for the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

Recognizing the increasingly serious regional security environment, the Ministers recommitted to enhancing close coordination to align security policy, deepen defense cooperation across all domains, and bolster extended deterrence by consulting on Alliance roles, missions, and capabilities.  They highlighted the importance of domains such as space and cyber, as well as further strengthening information security.  In addition, they reiterated that realistic bilateral and multilateral exercises and training are necessary to maintain the Alliance’s operational readiness and deterrent posture, as well as to meet future challenges.

The Ministers acknowledged the importance of close coordination as the Department of Defense conducts its Global Posture Review.  They welcomed progress on force realignment efforts and reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the current arrangements in ways that maintain operational readiness and a sustainable presence, while mitigating the impact on local communities.  They reconfirmed that the plan to construct the Futenma Replacement Facility at the Camp Schwab-Henokosaki area and in adjacent waters is the only solution that avoids the continued use of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, and committed to completing construction as soon as possible.  Regarding Host Nation Support, having agreed to a one-year extension amendment to the current Special Measures Agreement, the Ministers instructed their negotiators to work toward a new mutually beneficial multi-year agreement.

In remembrance of the thousands of lives lost to the Great East Japan Earthquake and its aftermath in March 2011, the Ministers underscored the cooperative spirit of the Alliance and reaffirmed their commitment to working alongside one another to maintain peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

In recognition of the depth and breadth of the U.S.-Japan Alliance, and the need to increase momentum on numerous shared policy priorities, the Ministers called for another Security Consultative Committee meeting later in the year.  End text.

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, and Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi at a Joint Press Availability

REMARKS TO THE PRESS

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE

IIKURA GUEST HOUSE / TOKYO, JAPAN / MARCH 16, 2021

MODERATOR:  (Via interpreter) The ministers and secretaries will enter the room shortly.  Please stay seated.

We will begin the joint press conference of Japan-U.S. 2+2.  At the outset, Foreign Minister Motegi, State Secretary Blinken, Defense Minister Kishi, and Defense Secretary Austin will make remarks in that order to be followed by Q&A.

I now give the floor to Minister Motegi.  Please, go ahead.

FOREIGN MINISTER MOTEGI:  (Via interpreter) Thank you very much.  With Secretary Blinken, Secretary Austin, and Minister Kishi, we held the Japan-U.S. 2+2 and we were able to engage in extremely enriched and extensive exchange of views.  The two secretaries have been kind enough to come to Japan as the first destination of their overseas travel in their new duties under the new administration.  Again, my heartfelt gratitude.

As I mentioned at the outset of the meeting, the strategic environment of the Indo-Pacific has entered into a completely different dimension than where it used to be, and the importance of our alliance has never been elevated to such heights.  At this timing, when the Biden administration is engaged in a series of policy reviews, we were able to hold Japan-U.S. 2+2 to conduct in-depth discussion on the strategic environment and the policy towards strengthening the deterrence and response capabilities of our alliance.  It was extremely useful, and this was a strong manifestation of the robustness of our alliance.

At today’s 2+2, there were three major outcomes.  First, we were able to renew the unwavering commitment towards the alliance.  Based upon the notion that our alliance is the very foundation for regional peace, stability, and prosperity, we agreed that Japan and the United States will continue to collaborate with likeminded nations, including Australia and India, to promote a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Further, we reconfirmed the strong commitment of the United States regarding defense of Japan using all types of U.S. forces including nuclear.  Second, we conducted extensive discussion on the regional strategic environment on the situation in China.  We agreed on the recognition that China’s behavior, where inconsistent with the existing international order, presents various challenges to the alliance and the international community.  We remain opposed to any unilateral action that seeks to change the status quo, including in the East and South China Seas.  We share serious concerns over the China coast guard law.

On regional strategic environment, we reconfirmed the application of Article 5 of our security treaty on the Senkaku Islands and continued our – and confirmed our continued opposition to any unilateral action that seeks to undermine Japan’s administration of these islands.  Further, we confirmed the importance of peace and stability of the Taiwan Straits.

Further, as we strive for realization of complete denuclearization of North Korea, we confirmed the importance of complete implementation of UNSC resolutions and confirmed that cooperation will continue amongst the three countries Japan, U.S., and ROK, in addition to the bilateral cooperation with the United States.  Further, U.S. full support was gained after confirming the importance of early resolution of the abduction issue.

Thirdly, in light of this very difficult security environment, we agreed to further reinforce our collaboration for deterrence and response capability of the alliance.  Further, at the timing when various policy reviews are underway in the United States, we were able to meticulously coordinate the strategies and policies of both nations.  We confirmed that partnership will continue to bolster extended deterrence and confirmed the deepening of cross-domain cooperation including space and cyber.

At this 2+2, we also agreed on the importance of maintaining the deterrence of the alliance, and at the same time reducing the impact of the local community in Okinawa.  Especially in order to avoid the indefinite use of Futenma Air Station, we confirmed that construction of the replacement facility in Henoko is the only solution.  Further, I also again requested the U.S. side for safe operation and smooth response to incidents and accidents by paying maximum consideration to the impact to the local community by the USFJ.

And also, we made public a joint statement, and based upon the discussions and the joint statement, both governments will embark upon more specific work towards strengthening of our alliance, and then the next 2+2 will be held by the end of the year to confirm the outcome and deliverables.  I look forward to further achieving progress in our alliance with Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin.

I now will hand over to Secretary Blinken, Minister Kishi, and Secretary Austin in that order.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Toshi, thank you so very much, and good afternoon, everyone.  I just want to start by thanking our hosts Foreign Minister Motegi, Defense Minister Kishi, and everyone behind the scenes who helped make this visit such a success.

I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to represent the United States alongside Secretary of Defense Austin, whose commitment to the security of our country and our allies is unsurpassed.  There’s a reason that he and I came to Japan for the first Cabinet-level, in-person, overseas travel of the Biden-Harris administration: because this alliance matters deeply to the United States and to Japan.  And after today, I feel very confident in saying it is stronger than ever.  Together, we’re addressing core security concerns, including North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and maritime security across the region as well.

We’re tackling other urgent issues facing our countries, including COVID-19, climate change, cyber security.  And in each of these areas, we are dealing together with issues that affect the lives of our citizens.  That’s our focus.  We’re also standing together in support of our shared values.  We believe in democracy and human rights, the rule of law, because we’ve seen how our own countries are stronger because we adhere to those values, and because they’re under threat in many places, including in this region.

In Burma, the military is attempting to overturn the results of a democratic election and is brutally repressing peaceful protesters.  And China uses coercion and aggression to systematically erode autonomy in Hong Kong, undercut democracy in Taiwan, abuse human rights in Xinjiang and Tibet, and assert maritime claims in the South China Sea that violate international law.

We’re united in the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific region, where countries follow the rules, cooperate whenever they can, and resolve their differences peacefully.  And in particular, we will push back if necessary when China uses coercion or aggression to get its way.  As we’ve discussed today, the Indo-Pacific region is increasingly the center of global geopolitics.  It’s where so much of the history of the 21st century is going to be written.  There are competing visions for how that story should go.  Japan and the United States, together with our allies and partners, will be strong advocates for our shared approach, grounded in our values and our joint commitment to the security and well-being of all our people.

This will be the message we reiterate later this week in Seoul, when Secretary Austin and I will meet our counterparts in the Republic of Korea.  As we discussed today, greater trilateral cooperation among all three of our countries will make us stronger.  Secretary Austin and I are charged with ensuring that our national security and foreign policy delivers for the American people.  There’s no doubt that the work we’ve done today meets that test.  The people of the United States share bonds of friendship and family with the people of Japan.  We’ve stood together in tough times like 10 years ago, when the devastating 3/11 earthquake struck.  We join you now in remembering those who were lost.

And we look ahead.  We look ahead to the future together with confidence that the friendship between our countries will endure – but not only endure, it will grow.  And together, we will build a stronger, healthier future for all of our people.

Thank you for having us here today.

MODERATOR:  (Via interpreter) Minister Kishi.

DEFENSE MINISTER KISHI:  (Via interpreter) Yes, thank you very much.  At the outset, I would like to again extend our appreciations to the Operation Tomodachi by the U.S. forces as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake.  The Japanese people and the Self-Defense Force – land, ground, maritime, and air – will never forget the relief activities and humanitarian assistance by the U.S. forces.

It’s been two years since the last 2+2 meeting, and the security environment has greatly changed.  Furthermore, we are in the midst of our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.  Despite that, in the surrounding areas of Japan and the Indo-Pacific, unilateral action that seeks to change the status quo by force and introduction of advanced military technology has not ceased.  In fact, these trends are accelerating, and in the midst of such security environment, the four ministers responsible for defense and foreign policy of the United States and Japan got together to reconfirm the importance of the alliance and agreed that we will be engaged in the bolstering of the alliance.  That was very meaningful.

At the meeting on regional strategic environment, I mentioned the China coast guard law that was enacted most recently and presented my strong concern of the increased activities of the China coast guard recently and stronger partnership with the military forces, and this was agreed by all four ministers.  We must not allow the coast guard law to undermine the legitimate interests of relevant nations, including Japan, and it is absolutely unacceptable if the law were to elevate tension in the waters, including the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

I am of the determination to protect Japanese territory by use of all means, and I also asserted the importance of peace and stability over the Taiwan Straits.

On the strengthening of deterrence and response capability of the alliance, in order to strengthen our defense and to bolster our alliance, I explained that we continue to build up multi-domain defense force under the National Defense Program Guidelines.  Further, since cross-domain initiatives are important in our relationship, we agreed to further promote cooperation in the domains of space and cyber.  With difficulty in the security environment increasing, in order for the U.S. forces and the Self-Defense Force to serve their missions, we agreed on the notion of the necessity to engage in more sophisticated bilateral as well as multilateral exercises.

The U.S. forces and Self-Defense Force gaining high capability through exercises and demonstrating that they are acting together are important from the perspective of deterrence and response capability of our alliance.  That is my view.

On the transformation of the U.S. forces, the four ministers welcomed the progress and reconfirmed that the current agreement will be implemented.  On the construction of the Futenma Replacement Facility, we again confirmed that relocation to Henoko is the only solution to avoid the indefinite use of Futenma Air Station.  I also briefed them on the progress of landfill, and the four ministers agreed that we will work hard for early completion of the work.

In addition, I also updated my colleagues on the progress in the FCLP facilities.  Based upon the discussions that have taken place today, I look forward to further bolstering the deterrence and response capability of our alliance with Secretary Austin and Secretary Blinken.  While the administration is still young, the secretaries have been kind enough to visit us physically despite the pandemic.  And again, my deepest appreciations to the two secretaries.

SECRETARY AUSTIN:  Well, thank you all for coming.  I’d like to start by thanking Minister Motegi and Minister Kishi for being gracious hosts.  And I thank the Japanese people for their incredibly warm hospitality.

I’d also like to thank Secretary Blinken for his leadership and for the opportunity to work together as we share President Biden’s message of our strong commitment to reinvigorating our alliances and partnerships around the globe.

The U.S.-Japan Alliance in particular is a cornerstone of our Indo-Pacific strategy, and is absolutely critical in supporting a free and open region.  And today’s 2+2 engagement charts an effective course for our alliance, and I was pleased with our discussions on how we can further strengthen our bonds to seize the opportunities and address the challenges that we face together.

As you have heard, we spoke on a number of issues, to include our commitment to the denuclearization of North Korea, and enhancing alliance capabilities across all domains, and addressing aggressive and coercive behaviors from China, especially in the South and East China Seas.

I know Japan shares our concerns with China’s destabilizing actions, and as I have said before, China is a pacing challenge for the Department of Defense.  And we know that competing in today’s shifting global dynamics can only be done through the spirit of teamwork and cooperation, which are the hallmarks of our alliance with Japan.

Our alliance remains resolute and resilient because of our shared values and history of shared sacrifices.  Ten years ago, the Japanese people suffered a disaster of terrifying magnitude during the 3/11 East Japan Earthquake.  And U.S. and Japanese forces embodied the spirit of friendship that underpins our alliance in the ensuing Operation Tomodachi.  And in the decade since, we have made great strides in strengthening the bonds between our people.

And so as we stand by Japan during this moment of remembrance, I also offered my deepest condolences to Minister Kishi for the tragic accident in February where both of our nations lost two brave service members near Montgomery, Alabama.  It is indeed a sober reminder of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make defending our nations.

And so today I want to thank the thousands of our service members who are standing shoulder-to-shoulder and arm-in-arm with their Japanese counterparts.  They all work tirelessly to preserve peace and stability in this part of the world.  And thanks to them and their families, we will always operate from a position of strength, ever ready to back up the hard work of diplomacy.  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  (Via interpreter) Thank you very much.  We now accept questions.  When appointed, please proceed to the microphone, identify yourself and your affiliation, and specify to whom you are asking the question.  Please be brief in asking the question.

First of all, we will accept a question from the Japanese press.  Yomiuri newspaper, Nishida-san, please.

QUESTION:  (Via interpreter) Nishida of Yomiuri newspaper.  Thank you very much.

I have a question to Minister Motegi:  With the security environment in East Asia becoming harsher, there are voices seeking Japan’s contribution towards regional peace and stability.  What kind of specific discussion took place on the alliance?  And what specific contribution is the Japanese Government planning to make?

FOREIGN MINISTER MOTEGI:  (Via interpreter) At today’s 2+2, based upon the recognition that our alliance is the very foundation of the regional peace, stability, and prosperity, we renewed our unwavering commitment to the alliance and agreed to deepen our partnership towards bolstering the deterrence and response capability of our alliance in light of the difficult security environment.

Which side bears what?  Rather than such a topic, in order to respond to such difficult circumstances, what roles should Japan and the United States play?  That was more of a focal point as we try to coordinate our views.  Specifically, as various policy reviews are underway in the United States, we agreed to meticulously coordinate our strategies and policies and measures, and to deepen cross-domain cooperation, including the space and cyber domains, and to strengthen collaboration to bolster extended deterrence, and engage in practical drills and exercises from the perspective of maintaining operational readiness and deterrence.

On top of that, we discussed not only regional situation, but challenges faced by the international community.  Free and open Indo-Pacific must be realized.  Climate change, COVID-19 pandemic – these are the challenges the global community faces.  Japan and the United States must exercise leadership, and we need to also partner up with likeminded nations against those global challenges.

Based upon today’s discussion and the joint statement, more concrete tasks will be embarked upon for the strengthening of our alliance.  We will continue to work hard for further strengthening of the deterrence and response capability of our alliance, and based upon the vision of free and open Indo-Pacific, we will engage in the promotion of rules-based international order.

Secretary Blinken, Secretary Austin, they have chosen Japan as the first destination in their current duties, and I think it was an important 2+2 that matched up the importance of their travel to Japan.

MODERATOR:  (Via interpreter) Thank you very much.  Next, we will accept a question from the U.S. press.

MR PRICE:  We will go to Humeyra Pamuk of Reuters, please.

QUESTION:  Hello.  Mr. Secretary Blinken, Secretary Austin, is there a new credible – an increased threat by China not just to Senkaku Islands but also Taiwan?  And if so, what is the U.S. doing about it, given Japanese defense minister just spoke about specific initiatives that Japan and U.S. should work on to boost deterrence?

And for the Japanese foreign minister, if I may, how should this issue be addressed in U.S. meetings later this week in Alaska?

And if I may very quickly, for Secretary Blinken, the sister of the North Korean leader issued a threatening statement.  She said if U.S. “wants to sleep in peace for” the “coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink at its first step.”  Given that the North Koreans have so far resisted talking to the Biden administration, what does this portend for future negotiations?  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  I’m happy to start on your last question and then turn to Lloyd to start on China, if you like.  Let me say that I’m familiar with the comments you referenced, but the comments I’m actually most interested in today are those of our allies and partners.  That’s why we’ve come to this region.  That’s why we’ve come to Japan, precisely to listen to our allies and to discuss how collectively we might seek to address the threat from North Korea.

This engagement is a task that I actually started on my first day in office when I spoke to Toshi, I spoke to my South Korean counterpart.  And I prioritized those calls precisely because we so value their input and know the importance of these alliances across every challenge and opportunity we face, including dealing with the DPRK.  We’ve engaged bilaterally with our Japanese and South Korean allies when it comes to North Korea.  We’ve also done it trilaterally, and that continued trilateral engagement and cooperation will be, in my judgment, very important going forward.  We have no greater strategic advantage when it comes to North Korea than this alliance, and we’ll approach that challenge as an alliance.  And we’ve got to do that if we’re going to be effective.

This is all, by the way, part and parcel of a review that we’ve been undertaking.  And as we’ve said, it’s a thorough interagency review of U.S. policy toward North Korea, including evaluation of all available options to address the increasing threat posed by North Korea to its neighbors and the broader international community.  It has integrated a very diverse set of voices from throughout the government and incorporated inputs from thinktanks, outside experts, including former government officials.

To reduce the risks of escalation, we reached out to the North Korean Government through several channels starting in mid-February, including in New York. To date, we have not received a response from Pyongyang.  This follows over a year without active dialogue with North Korea, despite multiple attempts by the United States to engage.  We look forward to completing the policy review in the coming weeks, and we’ll continue to be in very close touch with Japan with Korea, our partners, as we do so.

SECRETARY AUSTIN:  So with respect to China and the threat that China poses, you’ve heard me say on a number of occasions that China is the pacing threat that our Department of Defense will continue to focus on.  For the last two decades, we’ve been focused on – necessarily focused on issues in the Middle East, and while we were focused on issues in the Middle East, China has modernized its military.  In addition to that, it has engaged in aggressive and in some cases coercive behavior, and some of that behavior has been directed against our allies in the region.

And so our goal is to make sure that we maintain a competitive edge over China or anyone else that would want to threaten us or our alliance, and that we develop the operational plans and capabilities to be able to deter any aggressor, China or anyone else, that would want to take us or the alliance on.  And so, our – part of our strength, a big part of our strength, comes from the fact that we operate as an alliance, and we benefit from the great value that countries such as Japan bring to the to the alliance, and so we are much stronger when we operate as a team.

MODERATOR:  (Via interpreter)  Thank you very much.  We will accept one more question from the Japanese press.  Kato-san, please.

QUESTION:  (Via interpreter)  Thank you very much.  TV Tokyo, Kato.  I am with the MOD Press Club.  I have a question to Minister Kishi.  Including the entry into force of the coast guard law, China is becoming more assertive at sea.  What kind of recognition was shared by both nations that led to today’s joint statement?  You said that you will aim for increased deterrence and response capabilities, but as Chinese coast guard vessels become more active around the Senkaku Islands, did you talk about countermeasures like joint exercises between SDF and U.S. forces?

DEFENSE MINISTER KISHI:  (Via interpreter)  At today’s 2+2, in light of the difficult security environment, we exchanged views on the updated situation in the area, including the Indo-Pacific, especially the Chinese activities inconsistent with the existing international law is a political, economic, or military and technological challenge to the international community, and we agreed on such recognition.  Rules-based international order is undermined and coercive action in the region must be opposed, and we were able to confirm our position.

Around the Senkaku Islands, Chinese coast guard vessels take – conducting activities which is a clear breach of international law.  At the 2+2, we shared the deep concern over the coast guard law.  And I reaffirmed my determination to protect the Japanese territory by all means, and the United States mentioned that Article V of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty applies to the Senkaku Islands, and we were able to confirm the commitment to the defense of Japan.

Deterrence and response capability must be strengthened, and for that purpose, through exercises by U.S. forces and SDF, a high level of capabilities must be gained.  And yesterday at East China Sea, the air Self-Defense Force and U.S. forces did joint exercises, and also in the south western area, many joint exercises have been conducted.  And we will with certainty, steadfastly conduct such joint exercises and demonstrate to the general public that Japan and the U.S. are acting together.

MODERATOR:  (Via interpreter)  Thank you very much.  We have surpassed the allocated time and the next question will be the final question.  U.S. press, please.

MR PRICE:  Great.  Our final question will go to Dan Lemothe, please.

QUESTION:  Good evening.  Thank you for your time today, and Japan, thank you for having us.  Secretary Austin, if I could, the top officer in the Pacific, Admiral Davidson, said last week that he is concerned about the Chinese military launching an operation potentially within the next six years on Taiwan.  Do you agree with that assessment?  And what would you say to those who raise concerns that the United States military simply isn’t moving fast enough to counter China?

Secretary Blinken, if I could, in light of the Kim regime’s unwillingness to respond to attempts at dialogue and their continued threats, what will the Biden administration do in coming weeks and months to balance diplomacy with continued military cooperation and exercises in the region?  Thank you.

SECRETARY AUSTIN:  Thanks, Dan.  As you know, en route to Japan, I stopped in to visit with the INDOPACOM commander, and we had a great conversation.  And it was very useful for me to, again, see the region through his eyes and listen to what his concerns were and talk about what his strengths were as well.  And one of the strengths, of course, is this great alliance that we’ve been discussing today.

In terms of the time – specific timeline of China, I won’t get involved in any kind of hypotheticals or speculate on what that might be.  I think you know that as Secretary of Defense, my job is to make sure that we are as ready as fast as we could possibly be to meet any challenge that would face us or the alliance.  And so in my view, we cannot move fast enough to develop the right capabilities to be relevant today and to be relevant tomorrow in any kind of future scenario.  But again, in terms of specific timelines, I won’t speculate on that.

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Thank you.  And as you know, the North Korea policy is under review.  We’re looking at whether various additional pressure measures could be effective, whether there are diplomatic paths that makes sense.  All of that is under review, and it’s under review and close consultation with our allies and partners.

Going forward, we have a shared determination to deal with the challenge posed by North Korea, particularly when it comes to its nuclear missile programs, as well, of course, as its abuse of human rights.  And we stand in very strong solidarity with Japan when it comes to the abductees.  Earlier today, I received a letter from the families.  It was very powerful and very moving to read, and that too is very much present in our minds as we think about the challenge posed by North Korea.

SECRETARY AUSTIN:  Thank you.

MODERATOR:  (Via interpreter)  Thank you very much.  That concludes the joint press conference.

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Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Before Their Meeting

REMARKS

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE

KANTEI (JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE) / TOKYO, JAPAN / MARCH 16, 2021

PRIME MINISTER SUGA:  (Via interpreter) I would like to extend my sincere welcome to Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin for visiting Japan as your first overseas travel.  I would also like to welcome that President Biden has declared that America is back, and is promoting policies that value relations with its allies and partners.

Last week, we held the first ever Quad leaders video conference, and we were able to send a strong message to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

I have just been reported that during today’s 2+2, the four of you had very constructive discussions towards the further strengthening of deterrence and response capabilities of the Japan-U.S. Alliance.

I will soon visit Washington to meet with President Biden, and I hope to make it a significant opportunity to reaffirm the bond, the kizuna, of the alliance with your President.

Please.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for such a warm welcome.  I remember well when you were a cabinet secretary the wonderful hospitality you showed me when I was deputy secretary of state.  It’s wonderful to see you again.  It’s an honor to be with you, together with my friend and colleague, Secretary of Defense Austin.

He and I are making the first cabinet-level overseas trip of the Biden administration together.  And we come to Japan because the alliance between Japan and the United States has been a cornerstone of peace, security, and prosperity for our countries, for the region, and the world for more than 60 years.  And thanks to the work we can do together, it will remain so.  Our work together today has been to reaffirm the alliance and to make sure we keep delivering for our people.

Together, Prime Minister, our countries will tackle the most urgent challenges facing our people, including COVID-19 and climate change, and we’ll stand together in defense of an open and free Indo-Pacific region, as you did so eloquently in the Quad leaders summit (inaudible).

We’ll discuss all of this and more in the time we have together.  Thank you so much for hosting us today.

SECRETARY AUSTIN:  Well, thank you, Prime Minister Suga, for a warm welcome and for the gracious hospitality of the people of Japan.  It is indeed a pleasure to be here in Japan on my first international trip as Secretary of Defense, and especially so alongside my colleague, Secretary of State Blinken.

The U.S.-Japan Alliance is the cornerstone of our strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.  And it is resolute and resilient thanks to the strong spirit of teamwork and cooperation between our two countries.  I look forward to working with your team to advance our shared interests and preserve a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Thank you again, Mr. Prime Minister, for hosting us today.  It’s a real pleasure to be here.

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www.c-span.org/video/?510091-1/secretary-blinken-chinese-foreign-minister-clash-meeting-anchorage-alaska

C-SPN

MARCH 18, 2021

U.S.-China Summit in Anchorage, Alaska

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met in Alaska with Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party.

 

Secretary Blinken and Chinese Foreign Minister Clash at Meeting in Anchorage, Alaska

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met in Alaska with Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi, director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chinese Communist Party.

www.c-span.org

 

*구체적 성과 없이 끝난 미중 회담…기후변화·북한 문제 등 협력 여지 남겨
-지난 18~19일(현지시간) 미국 알래스카에서 열린 미중 고위급 회담이 구체적 성과 없이 마무리. 양국은 바이든 정부 출범 이후 처음 열린 고위급 회담에서 첫 만남부터 설전을 주고 받으며 양국 관계가 순탄치 않을 것임을 예고. 다만 예상대로 공동 발표문 같은 뚜렷한 결과를 내놓지는 못했지만, 양쪽 모두 ‘솔직한 대화가 이뤄졌다’며 회담에 대해 긍정 평가. 또 양측 입장차를 확인한 자리였지만 기후변화나 북한 문제 등에 대해 서로 협력할 여지가 있음을 확인한 자리로 평가.
-미국측 대표인 토니 블링컨 국무장관과 제이크 설리번 백악관 국가안보보좌관은 중국과의 회담 후 국부무 홈페이지에 공개한 성명에서 “광범위한 의제로 많은 시간 매우 솔직한 대화를 나눴다”며 “이란, 북한, 아프가니스탄, 기후변화 등에 있어 관심사가 교차한다”고 밝힘. 또 “동맹국, 파트너들과 계속 협의하며, 정상적 외교 경로를 통해 중국과 계속 협력하겠다”고 밝혀 향후 대화 지속 가능성을 시사. 중국측 대표인 양제츠 외교담당 정치국원과 왕이 외교부장도 회담 후 “솔직하고 건설적인 교류를 했고, 이번 대화가 상호 이해 증진에 도움이 됐다”면서 “각 분야에서 소통하고 교류하길 원하며 서로 충돌하지 않고 존중하는 원칙에 따라 미중 관계가 건강하고 안정적 궤도로 발전하도록 해야 한다”고 밝힘.
-전반적으로는 이번 회담이 양측의 입장차를 확인하며 관계 개선의 신호를 보여주기엔 실망스런 결과였다는 평가가 나오지만, 양국은 일부 대화 진전의 가능성을 남긴 것으로 보임. 중국 외교부는 회담 소식을 전하면서 “양측이 모두 고위급 전략 소통을 계속하길 바란다”면서 양측이 기후변화에 관한 공동 워킹그룹을 설립할 것이고 영사 활동 촉진이나 기자들에 관한 문제, 여행과 비자 정책 등에 대해 논의할 것이라고 밝힘. 이는 미국측이 구체적으로 언급하지 않은 문제지만 기후변화 문제와 함께 트럼프 정부 시절 폐쇄된 양측 영사관 운영 재개나 양국간 기자 추방 문제 등에 대한 일부 진전된 논의가 있었음을 시사하는 것으로 보임.

 

Secretary Antony J. Blinken, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Director Yang And State Councilor Wang At the Top of Their Meeting

REMARKS

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, MARCH 18, 2021

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, good afternoon, and welcome.  On behalf of National Security Advisor Sullivan and myself, I want to welcome Director Yang and State Councilor Wang to Alaska, and to thank you very much for making the journey to be with us.

I just returned myself from meetings with Secretary of Defense Austin and our counterparts in Japan and the Republic of Korea, two of our nation’s closest allies.  They were very interested in the discussions that we’ll have here today and tomorrow because the issues that we’ll raise are relevant not only to China and the United States, but to others across the region and indeed around the world.  Our administration is committed to leading with diplomacy to advance the interests of the United States and to strengthen the rules-based international order.

That system is not an abstraction.  It helps countries resolve differences peacefully, coordinate multilateral efforts effectively, and participate in global commerce with the assurance that everyone is following the same rules.  The alternative to a rules-based order is a world in which might makes right and winners take all, and that would be a far more violent and unstable world for all of us.  Today, we’ll have an opportunity to discuss key priorities, both domestic and global, so that China can better understand our administration’s intentions and approach. 

We’ll also discuss our deep concerns with actions by China, including in Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyber attacks on the United States, and economic coercion toward our allies.  Each of these actions threaten the rules-based order that maintains global stability.  That’s why they’re not merely internal matters and why we feel an obligation to raise these issues here today.

I said that the United States relationship with China will be competitive where it should be, collaborative where it can be, adversarial where it must be.  Our discussions here in Alaska, I suspect, will run the gamut.  Our intent is to be direct about our concerns, direct about our priorities, with the goal of a more clear-eyed relationship between our countries moving forward.  Thank you for being here. 

And before turning to you, Mr. Director, I’d like to invite National Security Advisor Sullivan to say a few words.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SULLIVAN:  Thank you, Mr. Secretary, and welcome to Director Yang and State Councilor Wang.  It’s fitting that we’re meeting here in Alaska.  We may be far from the continental United States, but there are few places that are as quintessentially American: big-hearted, resilient, intrepid.  This is truly a fitting place for us to host this meeting.

Secretary Blinken and I are proud of the story about America we’re able to tell here about a country that, under President Biden’s leadership, has made major strides to control the pandemic, to rescue our economy, and to affirm the strength and staying power of our democracy.  We’re particularly proud of the work that we’ve done to revitalize our alliances and partnerships, the foundation of our foreign policy.  Just last week, President Biden hosted the Quad leaders’ summit that spoke to the can-do spirit of the world’s democracies and committed to realize the vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific.  It is through partnerships like these that all of us can deliver progress and prosperity for our peoples.

Secretary Blinken laid out many of the areas of concern, from economic and military coercion to assaults on basic values, that we’ll discuss with you today and in the days ahead.  We’ll do so frankly, directly, and with clarity.  These are the concerns that are on the minds of the American people, but it goes beyond that.  We’ve heard each of these concerns posed from around the world – from our allies and partners to the broader international community during the intensive consultations we’ve undertaken in the last two months.

We’ll make clear today that our overriding priority from the United States’ side is to ensure that our approach in the world and our approach to China benefits the American people and protects the interests of our allies and partners.  We do not seek conflict, but we welcome stiff competition and we will always stand up for our principles, for our people, and for our friends.  We look forward to discussing all of these matters with you in the hours ahead.  Thank you.

DIRECTOR YANG:  (In Mandarin.)

PARTICIPANT:  It’s a test for the interpreter. 

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  We’re going to give the translator a raise.  (Laughter.)

DIRECTOR YANG:  (Via interpreter) Secretary Blinken and Mr. Sullivan, the State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and I have come to Anchorage, the United States to have this strategic dialogue with the United States.  We hope that this dialogue will be a sincere and candid one.  Both China and the United States are major countries in the world, and together we shoulder important responsibilities to the peace, stability, and development of the world and the region.  In China, we have just concluded the Lianghui, or the two sessions of the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.  During the sessions, we adopted the outline for the 14th five-year economic and social development plan and the long-range objectives through the year 2035.

For China, we are now in a historic year where we will move from finishing the first centenary goal to the second centenary goal, and by the year 2035 China will surely achieve basic modernization.  And by the year 2050, China will achieve full modernization.  China has made decisive achievements and important strategic gains in fighting COVID-19, and we have achieved a full victory in ending absolute poverty in China.  China’s per capita GDP is only one-fifth of that of the United States, but we have managed to end absolute poverty for all people in China.  And we hope that other countries, especially the advanced countries, will make similar efforts in this regard.  And China has also made historic achievements in building the country into a moderately prosperous one in all respects.  The Chinese people are wholly rallying around the Communist Party of China.  Our values are the same as the common values of humanity.  Those are: peace, development, fairness, justice, freedom, and democracy.

What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called “rules-based” international order.  And the United States has its style – United States-style democracy – and China has the Chinese-style democracy.  It is not just up to the American people, but also the people of the world to evaluate how the United States has done in advancing its own democracy.  In China’s case, after decades of reform and opening up, we have come a long way in various fields.  In particular, we have engaged in tireless efforts to contribute to the peace and development of the world, and to upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

The wars in this world are launched by some other countries, which have resulted in massive casualties.  But for China, what we have asked for, for other countries, is to follow a path of peaceful development, and this is the purpose of our foreign policy.  We do not believe in invading through the use of force, or to topple other regimes through various means, or to massacre the people of other countries, because all of those would only cause turmoil and instability in this world.  And at the end of the day, all of those would not serve the United States well.

So we believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and to stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the world.  Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States, and they have various views regarding the Government of the United States.  In China, according to opinion polls, the leaders of China have the wide support of the Chinese people.  So no attempt to – the opinion polls conducted in the United States show that the leaders of China have the support of the Chinese people.  No attempt to smear China’s social system would get anywhere.  Facts have shown that such practices would only lead the Chinese people to rally more closely around the Communist Party of China and work steadily towards the goals that we have set for ourselves.

In 1952, China adopted its first five-year development plan, and now we are into the first year of the 14th five-year development plan.  We will continue along this path, step by step.  China’s development is not just about delivering benefits for the people of China, but also about contributing to the development of the world in the 21st century.  China and the United States are both major countries and both shoulder important responsibilities.  We must both contribute to the peace, stability, and development of the world in areas such as COVID-19, restoring economic activities in the world, and responding to climate change.  There are many things that we can do together and where our interests converge.

So what we need to do is to abandon the Cold War mentality and the zero-sum game approach.  We must change the way we think and make sure that in this century, the 21st century, countries big or small, particularly the big countries, should come united together to contribute to the future of humanity and build a community with a shared future for humankind.  It’s also important for all of us to come together to build a new type of international relations, ensuring fairness, justice, and mutual respect.  And on some regional issues, I think the problem is that the United States has exercised long-arm jurisdiction and suppression and overstretched the national security through the use of force or financial hegemony, and this has created obstacles for normal trade activities, and the United States has also been persuading some countries to launch attacks on China.

And as for China, we believe and we have handled import- and export-related issues according to scientific and technological standards.  Secretary Blinken, you said you just came back from Japan and the ROK.  Those two countries are China’s second and the third largest trading partners.  ASEAN has now become China’s largest trading partner, overtaking the European Union and the United States.  So we do hope that the United States will develop sound relations with all countries in the Asia-Pacific.  We should have many mutual friends.  This is the right way forward in the 21st century.

On the eve of the Chinese Lunar New Year, President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden had a phone conversation.  The two presidents agreed to step up communication, manage differences, and expand cooperation between our two countries.  We are having this dialogue today to follow up on the common understanding of the two presidents reached during their phone conversation.  And having this dialogue is, in fact, a decision made by the two presidents.  So for the people of the two countries and the world, they’re hoping to see practical outcomes coming out of our dialogue.  And with Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan, they are an inalienable part of China’s territory.  China is firmly opposed to U.S. interference in China’s internal affairs.  We have expressed our staunch opposition to such interference and we will take firm actions in response.

On human rights, we hope that the United States will do better on human rights.  China has made steady progress in human rights and the fact is that there are many problems within the United States regarding human rights, which is admitted by the U.S. itself as well.  The United States has also said that countries can’t rely on force in today’s world to resolve the challenges we face.  And it is a failure to use various means to topple the so-called “authoritarian” states.  And the challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated.  They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter.  It did not come up only recently.  So we do hope that for our two countries, it’s important that we manage our respective affairs well instead of deflecting the blame on somebody else in this world.

And for China, we will manage our own affairs well, and we hope to deliver a better life for our 1.4 billion Chinese people.  This is the goal of China’s diplomacy.  And also, we will make our contribution to the peace and stability of the world.  Since breaking the ice between our two countries in our engagement several decades ago, China and the United States have achieved a lot together.  This is the result of the concerted efforts of the people with vision of both countries, and this past is a part of our achievements.  Although so much has changed in this world, it is important that our two countries think about how we can work together and expand our cooperation under the new circumstances. 

If there is competition between our two countries, I think the competition focuses on the economic aspect, and in this area, as I have said just now, for frictions in our economic engagement, it is important to respond to them in a rational way and seek win-win results.  And China-U.S. trade has already achieved a lot, and we should do even better.  The overwhelming majority of American businesses in China have said that China’s business environment is good and nobody has forced them to stay in China.  They see a profit coming from their presence in China and they see immense opportunities in China.  That’s why they are staying in China.  And I believe that for our two countries, under the new circumstances, we need to enhance communication, properly manage our differences, and expand our cooperation instead of engaging in confrontation.

But between our two countries we’ve had confrontation in the past, and the result did not serve the United States well.  What did the United States gain from that confrontation?  I didn’t see any, and the only result was damages done to United States.  And China will pull through and has pulled through such confrontation.

So the way we see the relationship with the United States is as President Xi Jinping has said – that is, we hope to see no confrontation, no conflict, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation with the United States.  And actually, during the phone call between the presidents, President Biden himself also talked about the importance of having no conflict or confrontation between our two countries.  So at our level, I think it’s vital that we do everything we can to fully and faithfully follow up and implement the understandings reached between our two presidents and bring back the China-U.S. relationship to the track of sound and steady growth.

On cyber attacks, let me say that whether it’s the ability to launch cyber attacks or the technologies that could be deployed, the United States is the champion in this regard.  You can’t blame this problem on somebody else.

The United States itself does not represent international public opinion, and neither does the Western world.  Whether judged by population scale or the trend of the world, the Western world does not represent the global public opinion.  So we hope that when talking about universal values or international public opinion on the part of the United States, we hope the U.S. side will think about whether it feels reassured in saying those things, because the U.S. does not represent the world.  It only represents the Government of the United States.  I don’t think the overwhelming majority of countries in the world would recognize that the universal values advocated by the United States or that the opinion of the United States could represent international public opinion, and those countries would not recognize that the rules made by a small number of people would serve as the basis for the international order.

Because, Mr. Secretary and NSA Sullivan, you have delivered some quite different opening remarks, mine will be slightly different as well.

STATE COUNCILOR WANG:  (Via interpreter) Well, I will stay quite brief compared with Director Yang.  Secretary Blinken, NSA Sullivan, you have been involved in the relationship with China for many years, so you’re also true friends for the Chinese people.  And I would say that I am pleased to meet you today, and China – the Chinese delegation – is here at the invitation of the United States.  And as NSA Sullivan said, Anchorage is the midpoint of the air route connecting our two countries, and it is fair to say that this place is a refueling station for China-U.S. exchanges and also a place that China and the United States can meet each other halfway. 

And China certainly in the past has not and in the future will not accept the unwarranted accusations from the U.S. side.  In the past several years, China’s legitimate rights and interests have come under outright suppression, plunging the China-U.S. relationship into a period of unprecedented difficulty.  This has damaged the interests of our two peoples and taken its toll on world stability and development, and this situation must no longer continue.  China urges the U.S. side to fully abandon the hegemonic practice of willfully interfering in China’s internal affairs.  This has been a longstanding issue and it should be changed.  It is time for it to change.  And in particular, on the 17th of March, the United States escalated its so-called sanctions on China regarding Hong Kong, and the Chinese people are outraged by this gross interference in China’s internal affairs and the Chinese side is firmly opposed to it.

Anchorage is a midpoint between China and the United States, but after all, it’s still the United States territory, and I accept that the Chinese delegation has come here at the invitation of the United States.  However, just the other day, before our departure, the United States passed these new sanctions.  This is not supposed to be the way one should welcome his guests, and we wonder if this is a decision made by the United States to try to gain some advantage in dealing with China, but certainly this is miscalculated and only reflects the vulnerability and weakness inside the United States.  And this will not shake China’s position or resolve on those issues.

And let me also say that the phone conversation that President Xi Jinping and President Biden had on the eve of the Chinese New Year is a very important one, and during this phone conversation they agreed to some common understandings that have pointed the way forward for us to bring back the China-U.S. relationship onto the right track.  And the international community is following very closely our dialogue for today and tomorrow.  They’re watching whether our two sides will each demonstrate goodwill and sincerity, and they are watching whether this dialogue will send out a positive signal to the world. 

So we will be watching what will happen today and tomorrow, and if United States is willing, I think our two sides should step up to this responsibility and deliver on this task that we are given.  I will stop here.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you very much.

(Break.)

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Mr. Director, State Councilor, given your extended remarks, permit me, please, to add just a few of my own before we get down to work, and I know Mr. Sullivan may have things to say as well.

I have to tell you, in my short time as Secretary of State, I have spoken to I think nearly a hundred counterparts from around the world, and I just made my first trip, as I noted, to Japan and South Korea.  I have to tell you, what I’m hearing is very different from what you described.  I’m hearing deep satisfaction that the United States is back, that we’re re-engaged with our allies and partners.  I’m also hearing deep concern about some of the actions your government has taken, and we’ll have an opportunity to discuss those when we get down to work.

A hallmark of our leadership, of our engagement in the world is our alliances and our partnerships that have been built on a totally voluntary basis.  And it is something that President Biden is committed to reinvigorating.

And there’s one more hallmark of our leadership here at home, and that’s a constant quest to, as we say, form a more perfect union.  And that quest, by definition, acknowledges our imperfections, acknowledges that we’re not perfect, we make mistakes, we have reversals, we take steps back.  But what we’ve done throughout our history is to confront those challenges openly, publicly, transparently, not trying to ignore them, not trying to pretend they don’t exist, not trying to sweep them under a rug.  And sometimes it’s painful, sometimes it’s ugly, but each and every time, we have come out stronger, better, more united as a country.

I recall well when President Biden was vice president and we were visiting China.  This was in the wake of the financial crisis.  There was much discussion then, including with then-Vice President Xi Jinping.  And Vice President Biden at the time said it’s never a good bet to bet against America, and it’s true today.

STAFF:  Thank you, press.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SULLIVAN:  Just briefly, to add to what Secretary Blinken has said – because I was actually going to make the same point without us even consulting – a confident country is able to look hard at its own shortcomings and constantly seek to improve.  And that is the secret sauce of America.

The other secret sauce of America is that our people are a problem-solving people, and we believe we solve problems best when we work together with allies and partners around the world.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the United States landed another rover on Mars, and it wasn’t just an American project.  It had technology from multiple countries from Europe and other parts of the world.  It is also going to leave behind a collection of material for Mars that the United States and Europe will build a device that can fly there to pick it up and bring it back.

That is what can be accomplished by a country that is constantly reinventing itself, working closely with others, and seeking constantly to produce the kind of progress that benefits all of us, and is rooted in a concept of human dignity and human rights that is truly universal that every man, woman, and child in this world aspires to.

So we will look forward to the conversation today, but I do hope this conversation will be one carried out with confidence on both sides.  So it’s not lectures or long, winding statements; it’s the opportunity for us to explain where we’re coming from, to hear where you are coming from, and to indicate, at bottom, what our principles, our priorities, and our long-term strategies are.  That’s what we hope for in the dialogue that lies ahead, that is the spirit with which we approach this, and we look forward to continuing the discussion today.  Thank you, everybody.

STAFF:  Thank you very much, everyone.

(Break.)

QUESTION:  (Off-mike.)

DIRECTOR YANG:  (Via interpreter) Well, it was my bad.  When I entered this room, I should have reminded the U.S. side of paying attention to its tone in our respective opening remarks, but I didn’t.

The Chinese side felt compelled to make this speech because of the tone of the U.S. side.

Well, isn’t this the intention of United States, judging from what – or the way that you have made your opening remarks, that it wants to speak to China in a condescending way from a position of strength?

So was this carefully all planned and was it carefully orchestrated with all the preparations in place?  Is that the way that you had hoped to conduct this dialogue?

Well, I think we thought too well of the United States.  We thought that the U.S. side will follow the necessary diplomatic protocols.  So for China it was necessary that we made our position clear.

So let me say here that, in front of the Chinese side, the United States does not have the qualification to say that it wants to speak to China from a position of strength.  The U.S. side was not even qualified to say such things even 20 years or 30 years back, because this is not the way to deal with the Chinese people.  If the United States wants to deal properly with the Chinese side, then let’s follow the necessary protocols and do things the right way.

Cooperation benefits both sides.  In particular, this is the expectation of the people of the world.  Well, the American people are certainly a great people, but so are the Chinese people.  So have the Chinese people not suffered enough in the past from the foreign countries?  Well, at times I have not been sure since China started being encircled by the foreign countries.

Well, as long as China’s system is right with the wisdom of the Chinese people, there is no way to strangle China.  Our history will show that one can only cause damages to himself if he wants to strangle or suppress the Chinese people.

While the United States has talked about its cooperation to land on some other planet with the European side, well, China would welcome it if there is a will to carry out similar cooperation from the United States with us.

I’ll stop here.  Would the State Councilor wish to add?

STATE COUNCILOR WANG:  (Via interpreter) Secretary Blinken and NSA Sullivan, you mentioned that during your engagements and the visit that Mr. Secretary had just recently, the two countries you visited mentioned coercion from China.  We don’t know if this is a direct complaint coming from those countries that you visited, or is it just the United States’ own view?

Well, I think for those relationships, it brings in China’s relationship with the United States, with Japan, and with Australia.  I don’t think we could know from all being together because for all of those instances, they each have their own set of issues and different positions are involved.  So to accuse China of coercion even before sharing the relevant views with China, is this the right act to do?  Of course not.

If the United States would indiscriminately protest and speak up for those countries just because they are your allies or partners, we believe for the long term (inaudible), then it will be very difficult for international relations to develop properly.  So we don’t think one should be so testy as to accuse some other country of coercion.  Who is coercing whom?  I think history and the international community will come to their own conclusions.

But if the United States is interested in having those discussions with China, then we are ready to have those discussions with the U.S. side, but based on mutual respect so that we can increase our mutual understanding on those issues.

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중국 외교부 발표

Yang Jiechi and Wang Yi Hold China-U.S. High-level Strategic Dialogue with Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan

2021/03/20

On March 18 and 19, 2021 local time, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a China-U.S. high-level strategic dialogue with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan in Anchorage. The two sides conducted candid, in-depth, long-time and constructive communication on the domestic and foreign policies, China-U.S. relations and major international and regional issues of common concern. Both sides believe the dialogue is timely and helpful and deepens mutual understanding.

The Chinese side said, China came at the invitation of the U.S. side. On the eve of the Chinese New Year, President Xi Jinping held a successful telephone conversation with President Joe Biden and the two sides agreed to enhance communication, manage differences and expand cooperation, which is of great significance in guiding the growth of China-U.S. relations in the time to come. China's attendance to the high-level strategic dialogue at the invitation of the U.S. side in Anchorage is an important step to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state in their phone talks, and the dialogue was decided by the two presidents personally. In the past few years, due to the irrational suppression of China's legitimate rights and interests, China-U.S. relations have encountered unprecedented difficulties. This situation has damaged the interests of both nations and taken its toll on world stability and development, and should not be allowed to continue. China is ready to work with the United States to enhance strategic communication, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, properly manage differences and push forward bilateral relations on the track of sound and stable development, so as to create benefits for the people in both countries and promote long-lasting peace and prosperity of the world.

The Chinese delegation emphasized that it is the choice of history and the Chinese people for the CPC to govern, and that China's development cannot be achieved without the leadership of the CPC, which is a high consensus among the Chinese people and a general view of the international community. The system of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the system that best fits China's conditions and the secret to China's development. Practice has proved that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the right path, and China will continue to march forward on that broad road. The governing status of the CPC and the security of China's socialist system should not be damaged, and that is a red line that should never be crossed. China's development goal is consistent and clear, which is to realize the two centenary goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation through hard work. The fundamental purpose is to ensure a better life for all Chinese people, which is the starting point of all China's policies. China will ground its efforts in the new development stage, apply the new development philosophy, foster a new development paradigm, and achieve high-quality development. No one can deprive the Chinese people of their right to pursue a better life. China always attaches importance to the protection and promotion of human rights, and gives priority to improving people's well-being and promoting well-rounded human development. The socialist democracy with Chinese characteristics is all people's democracy and consultative democracy, whose core is the people being masters of the country. China will not impose its democratic system and values on other countries, and meanwhile will resolutely defend its own political system and values and oppose any attempt to use the human rights issue as a cover to attack and smear China or interfere in China's internal affairs. The fundamental goal of China's development is to fulfill people's aspirations for a better life at home and contribute through its own development to the development and progress of all humankind. China has no intention to interfere in the political system of the United States, or to challenge or replace its status and influence. The U.S. side should have a correct view of China's political system and development path, of China's major policies and principles, and of China's influence on the world. The leadership role of the CPC and the core status of the CPC's leader result from China's arduous practice and enjoy the wholehearted support of the 1.4 billion Chinese people. This collective will is rock-solid and unshakable.

The Chinese side noted out, China firmly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, adheres to independence, peaceful development, win-win cooperation, multilateralism, equity and justice, and continuously promotes the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. China will resolutely safeguard its sovereignty and national dignity, firmly oppose other countries' meddling in China's internal affairs, and independently decide its policies and positions in line with the fundamental interests of the Chinese people as well as people around the world, and on the basis of the merits of various issues. China itself is committed to the path of peaceful development, and hopes that other countries will also pursue a path of peaceful development, and that all countries will transcend their differences in social system, civilization and religion, and achieve peaceful coexistence and common prosperity. Win-win cooperation is an important principle of China's development and a golden rule in China's external relations. China has made its development achievements in an open environment, and will promote high-quality development in the next phase with greater openness. Multilateralism is an important cornerstone of the current international system. True multilateralism should uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect the basic norms governing international relations, the sovereignty of countries around the world, and the diversity of civilizations, and commit to the democracy in international relations. It should not be used as a cover to form cliques, turn back the wheel of history, incite division along ideological lines, or instigate confrontation between different groups. China is ready to work with the United States to uphold true multilateralism in multilateral mechanisms, represented by the United Nations, and provide more public goods with better quality for the international community. China consistently maintains that all countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, are equal members of the international community, and that decisions should not be made by simply showing off strong muscles or waving big fists, nor should the big and the strong be allowed to bully the small and the weak. The voices of developing countries should be heard and their rights and interests protected. As the world's largest developing and developed country, China and the United States should join hands to deepen South-North cooperation, including cooperation in third-party markets for developing countries, and promote the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

China expressed, the essence of China-U.S. relations is mutual benefit rather than a zero-sum game. China and the United States are not doomed to pose a threat to each other, differences are no reason for confrontation between them, and neither side can afford the consequences of conflict and confrontation. China and the United States should trust rather than suspect each other, understand rather than blame each other, work with rather than obstruct each other, and ensure that they focus on dealing with their domestic priorities and achieving their respective development goals. The two countries can cooperate on three most pressing tasks facing the international community, namely fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling climate change and promoting world economic recovery. The two sides should also strengthen communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, eliminate interruptions to bilateral cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and make the cake of cooperation bigger, so as to deliver more benefits to the people in both countries and beyond. Meanwhile, cooperation should be two-way and mutually beneficial, and should address the concerns of both sides in a balanced way. The Chinese side has maintained a high degree of stability and continuity in its policy towards the United States, and China is committed to non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation with the United States, while firmly safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests. The two sides should follow the spirit of the Xi-Biden telephone conversation to keep communication channels open, restore normal dialogue and exchange mechanisms, carry out win-win cooperation, properly manage differences, and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation. The two countries have the responsibility, ability and wisdom to find a way for major countries with different political systems to get along with each other, which will be a historic contribution by China and the United States to human civilization.

The Chinese side pointed out, in the past few years, the previous U.S. administration went against the trend of the times, and carried out highly erroneous anti-China policies, which seriously damaged both China's interests and China-U.S. relations. China had to take legitimate and necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests. China urges the U.S. side to eliminate the impact of the previous administration's wrong policy towards China and avoid new problems.

The Chinese side pointed out, the Taiwan question bears on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and concerns China's core interests, and there is no room for compromise and concession. China urges the U.S. side to abide by the one-China principle and the provisions of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, stop official exchanges and military contacts with and arms sales to Taiwan, and cease helping Taiwan expand its so-called "international space". The U.S. side should handle the Taiwan question in a careful and proper manner, and do not send wrong signals to "Taiwan independence" forces or try to cross China's bottom line, so as to prevent China-U.S. relations as well as peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait from suffering serious damage.

The Chinese side pointed out, the electoral system in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is a local electoral system in China and its improvement is the prerogative of the central government of China, and how to design, develop and improve it is China's domestic affair. No foreign government, organization or individual has the right to interfere. Improving HKSAR's electoral system must follow the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong". We urge the United States to abide by international law and the basic norms governing international relations, respect the decision of China's National People's Congress on improving Hong Kong's electoral system, and stop supporting "Hong Kong independence" forces. We call on the U.S. side to revoke illegal sanctions against Chinese officials and institutions, stop trying to mess up Hong Kong again, and cease obstructing China's implementation of "one country, two systems". If the United States continues to go its own way, China will make firm responses.

The Chinese side pointed out, the claim that there is genocide in China's Xinjiang is the biggest lie of the century. The Chinese side is ready to engage in exchanges with the U.S. side on the basis of mutual respect, and the door of Xinjiang is wide open to the world, but China will not accept any investigation in Xinjiang based on the presumption of guilt by those who are biased, condescending or behaving like a preacher. China hopes that the U.S. side can respect facts, call off attacks against and smearing of China's Xinjiang policy, and abandon double standards on counter terrorism.

The Chinese side pointed out, the 14th Dalai Lama is a political exile who has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the guise of religion. China hopes that the U.S. side will abide by its commitment to recognizing Tibet as part of China and refraining from supporting "Tibet independence", carefully and properly handle Tibet-related issues, revoke sanctions against relevant Chinese officials, and cease exploiting Tibet-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs.

The two sides agreed to follow the spirit of the Xi-Biden telephone conversation on February 11, 2021 to maintain dialogue and communication, conduct mutually beneficial cooperation, avoid misunderstanding and misjudgment, forestall conflict and confrontation, and promote sound and steady development of China-U.S. relations.

Both sides expressed the hope to continue such type of high-level strategic communication.

Both sides are committed to enhancing dialogue and cooperation in the field of climate change, and they agreed to establish a joint working group on climate change.

The United States reiterated its adherence to the one-China policy on the Taiwan question.

The two sides discussed making reciprocal arrangements for the COVID-19 vaccination of each side's diplomats and consular officials.

They agreed to hold talks on facilitating activities of each other's diplomatic and consular missions and personnel, as well as on issues related to media reporters, in the spirit of reciprocity and mutual benefit.

The two sides also discussed adjusting relevant travel and visa policies according to the pandemic situation, and gradually normalizing personnel exchanges between China and the United States.

They also exchanged views on a series of other topics, including economy and trade, military, law enforcement, culture, health, cyber security, climate change, the Iranian nuclear issue, Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula and Myanmar, and agreed to maintain and enhance communication and coordination.

The two sides will step up coordination and consultation on activities within such multilateral frameworks as the Group of 20 and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

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www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/NSC-1v2.pdf

Interim National Security Strategic Guidance

MARCH 03, 2021  STATEMENTS AND RELEASES

Today, the Administration released the Interim National Security Strategic Guidance, attached.
 
This interim guidance has been issued to convey President Biden’s vision for how America will engage with the world, and to provide guidance for departments and agencies to align their actions as the Administration begins work on a National Security Strategy.

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A Foreign Policy for the American People

SPEECH

ANTONY J. BLINKEN, SECRETARY OF STATE

BEN FRANKLIN ROOM   WASHINGTON, D.C.    MARCH 3, 2021

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Good morning.  My fellow Americans, five weeks ago I was sworn in as your Secretary of State.  My job is to represent the United States to the world, to fight for the interests and values of the American people.  When President Biden asked me to serve, he made sure that I understood that my job is to deliver for you – to make your lives more secure, create opportunity for you and your families, and tackle the global crises that are increasingly shaping your futures.

I take this responsibility very seriously.  And an important part of the job is speaking to you about what we’re doing and why.

Later today, President Biden will share what’s called the “interim strategic guidance” on our national security and foreign policy.  It gives initial direction to our national security agencies so that they can get to work right away while we keep developing a more in-depth national security strategy over the next several months.  The interim guidance lays out the global landscape as the Biden administration sees it, explains the priorities of our foreign policy – and specifically how we will renew America’s strength to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of our time.

So for this – my first major speech as Secretary – I’m going to walk through – walk you through how American diplomacy will carry out the President’s strategy.  If we do our jobs right, you’ll be able to check our work – to see the links between what we’re doing around the world and the goals and values I’ll lay out today.

I know that foreign policy can sometimes feel disconnected from our daily lives.  It’s either all about major threats – like pandemics, terrorism – or it fades from view.

That’s in part because it’s often about people and events on the other side of the world, and it’s about things you don’t see – like crises stopped before they start, or negotiations that happen out of sight.

But it’s also because those of us who conduct foreign policy haven’t always done a good job connecting it to the needs and aspirations of the American people.  As a result, for some time now Americans have been asking tough but fair questions about what we’re doing, how we’re leading – indeed, whether we should be leading at all.

With this in mind, we’ve set the foreign policy priorities for the Biden administration by asking a few simple questions:

What will our foreign policy mean for American workers and their families?

What do we need to do around the world to make us stronger here at home?

And what do we need to do at home to make us stronger in the world?

The answers to these questions aren’t the same as they were in 2017 or 2009.  Yes, many of us serving in the Biden administration also proudly served President Obama – including President Biden.  And we did a great deal of good work to restore America’s leadership in the world; to achieve hard-won diplomatic breakthroughs, like the deal that stopped Iran from producing a nuclear weapon; and to bring the world together to tackle climate change.  Our foreign policy fit the moment, as any good strategy should.

But this is a different time, so our strategy and approach are different.  We’re not simply picking up where we left off, as if the past four years didn’t happen.  We’re looking at the world with fresh eyes.

Having said that, while the times have changed, some principles are enduring.

One is that American leadership and engagement matter.  We’re hearing this now from our friends.  They’re glad we’re back.  Whether we like it or not, the world does not organize itself.  When the U.S. pulls back, one of two things is likely to happen: either another country tries to take our place, but not in a way that advances our interests and values; or, maybe just as bad, no one steps up, and then we get chaos and all the dangers it creates.  Either way, that’s not good for America.

Another enduring principle is that we need countries to cooperate, now more than ever.  Not a single global challenge that affects your lives can be met by any one nation acting alone – not even one as powerful as the United States.  And there is no wall high enough or strong enough to hold back the changes transforming our world.

That’s where the institution I’m privileged to lead comes in.  It’s the role of the State Department – and America’s diplomats and development workers – to engage around the world and build that cooperation.

President Biden has pledged to lead with diplomacy because it’s the best way to deal with today’s challenges. At the same time, we’ll make sure that we continue to have the world’s most powerful armed forces.  Our ability to be effective diplomats depends in no small measure on the strength of our military.

And in everything we do, we’ll look not only to make progress on short-term problems, but also to address their root causes and lay the groundwork for our long-term strength.  As the President says, to not only build back, but build back better.

So here’s our plan.

First, we will stop COVID-19 and strengthen global health security.

The pandemic has defined lives – our lives – for more than a year.  To beat it back, we need governments, scientists, businesses, and communities around the world working together.  None of us will be fully safe until the majority of the world is immune because as long as the virus is replicating, it could mutate into new strains that find their way back to America.  So we need to work closely with partners to keep the global vaccination effort moving forward.

At the same time, we need to make sure we learn the right lessons and make the right investments in global health security, including tools to predict, prevent, and stop pandemics, and a firm global commitment to share accurate and timely information, so that a crisis like this never happens again.

Second, we will turn around the economic crisis and build a more stable, inclusive global economy.

The pandemic has caused unemployment to surge around the world.  Nearly every country on earth is now in a recession.  The pandemic also laid bare inequalities that have defined life for millions of Americans for a long time.  So we’ve got a double challenge:  to protect Americans from a lengthy downturn, and to make sure the global economy delivers security and opportunity for as many Americans as possible in the long term.

To do that, we need to pass the right policies at home, like the relief package the President is pushing hard for right now, while working to manage the global economy so it truly benefits the American people.  And by that, I don’t just mean a bigger GDP or a rising stock market; for many American households, those measures don’t mean much.  I mean good jobs, good incomes, and lower household costs for American workers and their families.

We’re building on hard lessons learned.  Some of us previously argued for free trade agreements because we believed Americans would broadly share in the economic gains that those – and that those deals would shape the global economy in ways that we wanted.  We had good reasons to think those things.  But we didn’t do enough to understand who would be negatively affected and what would be needed to adequately offset their pain, or to enforce agreements that were already on the books and help more workers and small businesses fully benefit from them.

Our approach now will be different.  We will fight for every American job and for the rights, protections, and interests of all American workers.  We will use every tool to stop countries from stealing our intellectual property or manipulating their currencies to get an unfair advantage.  We will fight corruption, which stacks the deck against us.  And our trade policies will need to answer very clearly how they will grow the American middle class, create new and better jobs, and benefit all Americans, not only those for whom the economy is already working.

Third, we will renew democracy, because it’s under threat.

A new report from the independent watchdog group Freedom House is sobering.  Authoritarianism and nationalism are on the rise around the world.  Governments are becoming less transparent and have lost the trust of the people.  Elections are increasingly flashpoints for violence.  Corruption is growing.  And the pandemic has accelerated many of these trends.

But the erosion of democracy is not only happening in other places.  It’s also happening here in the United States.  Disinformation is rampant here.  Structural racism and inequality make life worse for millions.  Our elected leaders were targeted in the violent siege of the Capitol just two months ago.  And more broadly, Americans are increasingly polarized – and the institutions that exist to help us manage our differences, so our democracy can continue to function, are under strain.

Shoring up our democracy is a foreign policy imperative.  Otherwise, we play right into the hands of adversaries and competitors like Russia and China, who seize every opportunity to sow doubts about the strength of our democracy.  We shouldn’t be making their jobs easier.

I take heart from the fact that we’re dealing with our struggles out in the open.  And that sets us apart from many other countries.  We don’t ignore our failures and shortcomings or try sweep them under the rug and pretend they don’t exist.  We confront them for the world to see.  It’s painful.  Sometimes it’s ugly.  But it’s how we make progress.

Still, there’s no question that our democracy is fragile.  People around the world have seen that.  Many recognize in our challenges the challenges that they’re facing.  And now they’re watching us because they want to see whether our democracy is resilient, whether we can rise to the challenge here at home.  That will be the foundation for our legitimacy in defending democracy around the world for years to come.

Why does that matter?  Because strong democracies are more stable, more open, better partners to us, more committed to human rights, less prone to conflict, and more dependable markets for our goods and services.  When democracies are weak, governments can’t deliver for their people or a country becomes so polarized that it’s hard for anything to get done, they become more vulnerable to extremist movements from the inside and to interference from the outside.  And they become less reliable partners to the United States.  None of that is in our national interest.

The more we and other democracies can show the world that we can deliver, not only for our people, but also for each other, the more we can refute the lie that authoritarian countries love to tell, that theirs is the better way to meet people’s fundamental needs and hopes.  It’s on us to prove them wrong.

So the question isn’t if we will support democracy around the world, but how.

We will use the power of our example.  We will encourage others to make key reforms, overturn bad laws, fight corruption, and stop unjust practices.  We will incentivize democratic behavior.

But we will not promote democracy through costly military interventions or by attempting to overthrow authoritarian regimes by force.  We have tried these tactics in the past.  However well intentioned, they haven’t worked.  They’ve given democracy promotion a bad name, and they’ve lost the confidence of the American people.  We will do things differently.

Fourth, we will work to create a humane and effective immigration system.

Strong borders are fundamental to our national security, and laws are the bedrock of our democracy.  But we also need a diplomatic, and just plain decent, solution to the fact that year after year, people from other countries risk everything to try to make it here.  We need to address the root causes that drive so many people to flee their homes.  And so we’ll work closely with other countries, especially our neighbors in Central America, to help them deliver better physical security and economic opportunity so people don’t feel like migrating is the only way out and up.

As we do this work, we will not lose sight of our core principles.  Cruelty, especially to children, is unacceptable.  And turning our backs on some of the most vulnerable people on earth is not who we should ever be.

One of the most important pieces of our national identity is that we are a country of immigrants.  We’re made stronger by the fact that hardworking people come here to go to school, start businesses, enrich our communities.  We’ve gotten away from that part of ourselves in the past few years.  We’ve got to get back to it.

Fifth, we will revitalize our ties with our allies and partners.  Our alliances are what the military calls force multipliers.  They’re our unique asset.  We get so much more done with them than we could without them.  So we’re making a big push right now to reconnect with our friends and allies, and to reinvent partnerships that were built years ago so they’re suited to today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.  That includes countries in Europe and Asia that have been our closest friends for decades, as well as old and new partners in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Over the decades, these commitments have created new markets for our products, new allies to deter aggression, and new partners to help meet global challenges.  We had a name for it: “enlightened self-interest.”  We’ll be clear that real partnership means carrying burdens together, everyone doing their part – not just us.  And whenever we can, we will choose engagement.  Wherever the rules for international security and the global economy are being written, America will be there, and the interests of the American people will be front and center.

We’re always better off at the table, not outside the room.  You should expect nothing less from your government.

Sixth, we will tackle the climate crisis and drive a green energy revolution.  Maybe you live in California, where wildfires get worse every year.  Or the Midwest, where farmland keeps flooding.  Or the Southeast, where communities have been destroyed by stronger and more frequent storms.  The climate crisis is endangering all of us, and costing us more by the month.  We can’t fix it alone.  The United States produces 15 percent of the world’s carbon pollution.  That’s a lot, and we badly need to get that number down.  But even if we brought it down to zero, we wouldn’t solve the crisis, because the rest of the world is producing the other 85 percent.

This is the definition of a problem we need to work together, as a community of nations, to solve.  And we can’t settle for only doing the bare minimum.  We have to challenge ourselves and each other to do more.  While we do, we must also position the United States to thrive and lead in the growing global market for renewable energy.  Wind and solar are the cheapest sources of electricity generation in the world today.  They’re not the industries of the future anymore; the future is now.  And other countries are ahead of us.  We need to turn that around and create millions of good-paying jobs for Americans in renewables.

Seventh, we will secure our leadership in technology.  A global technology revolution is now underway.  The world’s leading powers are racing to develop and deploy new technologies like artificial intelligence and quantum computing that could shape everything about our lives – from where get energy, to how we do our jobs, to how wars are fought.  We want America to maintain our scientific and technological edge, because it’s critical to us thriving in the 21st century economy.

But we know that new technologies aren’t automatically beneficial.  And those who use them don’t always have good intentions.  We need to make sure technologies protect your privacy, make the world safer and healthier, and make democracies more resilient.  That’s where American diplomacy comes in.  We’re going to bring our friends and partners together to shape behavior around emerging technologies and establish guardrails against misuse.

At the same time, we must strengthen our tech defenses and deterrents.  We need only look at SolarWinds, the major hack of U.S. Government networks last year, to see how determined our adversaries are to use technology to undermine us.  Today, safeguarding our national security means investing in our technological capabilities and elevating this issue in our diplomacy and our defense. We will do both.

And eighth, we will manage the biggest geopolitical test of the 21st century: our relationship with China.

Several countries present us with serious challenges, including Russia, Iran, North Korea.  And there are serious crises we have to deal with, including in Yemen, Ethiopia, and Burma.

But the challenge posed by China is different.  China is the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system – all the rules, values, and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to, because it ultimately serves the interests and reflects the values of the American people.

Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should be, collaborative when it can be, and adversarial when it must be.  The common denominator is the need to engage China from a position of strength.

That requires working with allies and partners, not denigrating them, because our combined weight is much harder for China to ignore.  It requires engaging in diplomacy and in international organizations, because where we have pulled back, China has filled in.  It requires standing up for our values when human rights are abused in Xinjiang or when democracy is trampled in Hong Kong, because if we don’t, China will act with even greater impunity.  And it means investing in American workers, companies, and technologies, and insisting on a level playing field, because when we do, we can out-compete anyone.

These are the eight top foreign policy priorities of the Biden administration.  You may notice some things about that list.

First, important items are not on it.  That doesn’t mean they don’t matter to us or that we won’t work hard on them.  Indeed, I look forward to setting out what we’ll do on other vital pieces of our foreign policy in the days and weeks ahead.

But these priorities – the ones I’ve talked about today – are the most urgent, the ones on which we must make swift and sustained progress.

They’re also all simultaneously domestic and foreign issues.  And we’ve got to approach them that way, or we’ll fall short.  Beating COVID means vaccinating people at home and abroad.  Winning in the global economy means making the right investments at home and pushing back against unfair trading practices by China and others.  Dealing with climate change means investing in resilience and green energy here at home and leading a global effort to reduce carbon pollution.

More than at any other time in my career – maybe in my lifetime – distinctions between domestic and foreign policy have simply fallen away.  Our domestic renewal and our strength in the world are completely entwined. And how we work will reflect that reality.

And finally, as the President has promised, diplomacy – not military action – will always come first.

Again, this is shaped by hard lessons learned.  Americans are rightly wary of prolonged U.S. military interventions abroad.  We’ve seen how they’ve often come at far too high a cost, both to us and to others.  When we look back at the past decades of our military involvement in the world, especially in Afghanistan and the Middle East, we must remember what we’ve learned about the limits of force to build a durable peace; that the day after a major military intervention is always harder than we imagine; and how critical it is to pursue every possible avenue to a diplomatic solution.

Of course, we will never hesitate to use force when American lives and vital interests are at stake.  That’s why President Biden authorized an airstrike last week against Iranian-backed militia groups targeting U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq.  But in that case – and in future cases when we must take military action – we will do so only when the objectives and mission are clear and achievable, consistent with our values and laws, and with the informed consent of the American people.  And we’ll do it together with diplomacy.

Finally, all our priorities go directly to our core sources of national strength.  And we define strength broadly, because a truly strong country is strong in many ways at once.  Real strength isn’t bluster or bullying.  And it’s not based in military power alone.

Real strength is that and more.

It’s making sure our most valuable commodity as a nation – our human resources – can meet their full potential.

It’s a flourishing democracy and an innovative and inclusive economy.

It’s the ability to bring countries together because they trust us to lead, and no one can unite others like we can.

It’s having our diplomats walk into buildings around the world and be respected because they have the confidence and trust of the American people.

And it means leading with our values.  That’s what I want to close on today.

At our best, the United States is a country with integrity and a heart.  That’s what makes us proud to be Americans and why so many people around the world have given everything to become Americans.

That includes members of my own family, and many of your families, too.

The Biden administration’s foreign policy will reflect our values.

We will stand firm behind our commitments to human rights, democracy, the rule of law.  And we’ll stand up against injustice toward women and girls, LGBTQI people, religious minorities, and people of all races and ethnicities.  Because all human beings are equal in rights and dignity, no matter where they live or who they are.

We will respect science and data, and we will fight misinformation and disinformation, because the truth is the cornerstone of our democracy.

We’ll work with Congress whenever we can – on the take-off, not just the landing – because they represent the will of our people, and our foreign policy is stronger when the American people support it.

We’ll build a national security workforce that reflects America in all its diversity, because we’re operating in a diverse world, and our diversity is a unique source of strength that few countries can match.  When we don’t have a diverse team, it’s like we’re conducting diplomacy with one arm tied behind our back.  This is a national security imperative and a personal priority for me.

We will bring nonpartisanship back to our foreign policy. There was a time, as the saying goes, when politics stopped at the water’s edge.  Secretaries of State didn’t represent Democrats or Republicans.  We represented all Americans.  Some might think the idea is quaint now.  Well, I don’t.  And the President doesn’t either.

We will balance humility with confidence.  I have always believed they should be the flip sides of America’s leadership coin.  Humility because we aren’t perfect, we don’t have all the answers, and a lot of the world’s problems aren’t mainly about us, even as they affect us.  But confidence because America at its best has a greater ability than any country on Earth to mobilize others for the common good and for the good of our people.

Above all, we’ll hold ourselves accountable to a single, overarching measure of success:  Are we delivering results for you?

Are we making your lives more secure and creating opportunities for your families?  Are we protecting the planet for your children and grandchildren?  Are we honoring your values, and proving worthy of your trust?

It’s the honor of my life to serve as your Secretary of State.  And I’m aware every day that we’re writing the next chapter of our history.  It’s up to us whether the story of this time will be one of peace and prosperity, security and equality; whether we will help more people in more places live in dignity and whether we will leave the United States stronger at home and in the world.

That’s our mission.  That’s our opportunity.  We will not squander it.

We serve the American people.  And we will do everything we can to make you proud.

Thank you very much.

------------------

Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III Message to the Force

MARCH 4, 2021

Today, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, published his Message to the Force, which committed to ensuring that the Department develops the right people, priorities, and purpose of mission to continue to defend the Nation from enemies foreign and domestic.

Secretary Austin provided his top three priorities and specific areas of focus:

1. Defend the Nation

  • Defeat COVID-19
  • Prioritize China as the Pacing Challenge
  • Address Advanced and Persistent Threats
  • Innovate and Modernize the DoD
  • Tackle the Climate Crisis

2. Take care of our people

  • Grow our Talent
  • Build Resilience and Readiness
  • Ensure Accountable Leadership

3. Succeed through teamwork

  • Join Forces with our Allies and Partners
  • Work in Partnership with Our Nation
  • Build Unity Within the DoD

Secretary Austin reiterated the need for resources matched to strategy, strategy matched to policy, and policy matched to the will of the American people.

The Secretary closed the message by thanking the women and men of the Department of Defense for their service to the country and commitment to the security of the Nation.

Secretary Austin’s full message can be found here.

media.defense.gov/2021/Mar/04/2002593656/-1/-1/0/SECRETARY-LLOYD-J-AUSTIN-III-MESSAGE-TO-THE-FORCE.PDF

 

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THURSDAY, JANUARY 20, 1977

For myself and for our Nation, I want to thank my predecessor for all he has done to heal our land.

In this outward and physical ceremony we attest once again to the inner and spiritual strength of our Nation. As my high school teacher, Miss Julia Coleman, used to say: "We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles."

Here before me is the Bible used in the inauguration of our first President, in 1789, and I have just taken the oath of office on the Bible my mother gave me a few years ago, opened to a timeless admonition from the ancient prophet Micah:

"He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God." (Micah 6: 8)

This inauguration ceremony marks a new beginning, a new dedication within our Government, and a new spirit among us all. A President may sense and proclaim that new spirit, but only a people can provide it.

Two centuries ago our Nation's birth was a milestone in the long quest for freedom, but the bold and brilliant dream which excited the founders of this Nation still awaits its consummation. I have no new dream to set forth today, but rather urge a fresh faith in the old dream.

Ours was the first society openly to define itself in terms of both spirituality and of human liberty. It is that unique self- definition which has given us an exceptional appeal, but it also imposes on us a special obligation, to take on those moral duties which, when assumed, seem invariably to be in our own best interests.

You have given me a great responsibility--to stay close to you, to be worthy of you, and to exemplify what you are. Let us create together a new national spirit of unity and trust. Your strength can compensate for my weakness, and your wisdom can help to minimize my mistakes.

Let us learn together and laugh together and work together and pray together, confident that in the end we will triumph together in the right.

The American dream endures. We must once again have full faith in our country--and in one another. I believe America can be better. We can be even stronger than before.

Let our recent mistakes bring a resurgent commitment to the basic principles of our Nation, for we know that if we despise our own government we have no future. We recall in special times when we have stood briefly, but magnificently, united. In those times no prize was beyond our grasp.

But we cannot dwell upon remembered glory. We cannot afford to drift. We reject the prospect of failure or mediocrity or an inferior quality of life for any person. Our Government must at the same time be both competent and compassionate.

We have already found a high degree of personal liberty, and we are now struggling to enhance equality of opportunity. Our commitment to human rights must be absolute, our laws fair, our natural beauty preserved; the powerful must not persecute the weak, and human dignity must be enhanced.

We have learned that "more" is not necessarily "better," that even our great Nation has its recognized limits, and that we can neither answer all questions nor solve all problems. We cannot afford to do everything, nor can we afford to lack boldness as we meet the future. So, together, in a spirit of individual sacrifice for the common good, we must simply do our best.

Our Nation can be strong abroad only if it is strong at home. And we know that the best way to enhance freedom in other lands is to demonstrate here that our democratic system is worthy of emulation.

To be true to ourselves, we must be true to others. We will not behave in foreign places so as to violate our rules and standards here at home, for we know that the trust which our Nation earns is essential to our strength.

The world itself is now dominated by a new spirit. Peoples more numerous and more politically aware are craving and now demanding their place in the sun--not just for the benefit of their own physical condition, but for basic human rights.

The passion for freedom is on the rise. Tapping this new spirit, there can be no nobler nor more ambitious task for America to undertake on this day of a new beginning than to help shape a just and peaceful world that is truly humane.

We are a strong nation, and we will maintain strength so sufficient that it need not be proven in combat--a quiet strength based not merely on the size of an arsenal, but on the nobility of ideas.

We will be ever vigilant and never vulnerable, and we will fight our wars against poverty, ignorance, and injustice--for those are the enemies against which our forces can be honorably marshaled.

We are a purely idealistic Nation, but let no one confuse our idealism with weakness.

Because we are free we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere. Our moral sense dictates a clearcut preference for these societies which share with us an abiding respect for individual human rights. We do not seek to intimidate, but it is clear that a world which others can dominate with impunity would be inhospitable to decency and a threat to the well-being of all people.

The world is still engaged in a massive armaments race designed to ensure continuing equivalent strength among potential adversaries. We pledge perseverance and wisdom in our efforts to limit the world's armaments to those necessary for each nation's own domestic safety. And we will move this year a step toward ultimate goal--the elimination of all nuclear weapons from this Earth. We urge all other people to join us, for success can mean life instead of death.

Within us, the people of the United States, there is evident a serious and purposeful rekindling of confidence. And I join in the hope that when my time as your President has ended, people might say this about our Nation:

- that we had remembered the words of Micah and renewed our search for humility, mercy, and justice;

- that we had torn down the barriers that separated those of different race and region and religion, and where there had been mistrust, built unity, with a respect for diversity;

- that we had found productive work for those able to perform it;

- that we had strengthened the American family, which is the basis of our society;

- that we had ensured respect for the law, and equal treatment under the law, for the weak and the powerful, for the rich and the poor;

- and that we had enabled our people to be proud of their own Government once again.

I would hope that the nations of the world might say that we had built a lasting peace, built not on weapons of war but on international policies which reflect our own most precious values.

These are not just my goals, and they will not be my accomplishments, but the affirmation of our Nation's continuing moral strength and our belief in an undiminished, ever-expanding American dream.

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Inaugural Address by President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
JANUARY 20, 2021  SPEECHES AND REMARKS
The United States Capitol

11:52 AM EST

Chief Justice Roberts, Vice President Harris, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Leader McConnell, Vice President Pence, distinguished guests, and my fellow Americans.

This is America’s day.
This is democracy’s day.
A day of history and hope.
Of renewal and resolve.

Through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge.
Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy.
The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.
We have learned again that democracy is precious.

Democracy is fragile.
And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.
So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.
We look ahead in our uniquely American way - restless, bold, optimistic - and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.

I thank my predecessors of both parties for their presence here.
I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
You know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength of our nation.
As does President Carter, who I spoke to last night but who cannot be with us today, but whom we salute for his lifetime of service.
I have just taken the sacred oath each of these patriots took - an oath first sworn by George Washington.
But the American story depends not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us.

On “We the People(백악관 온라인 신문고)” who seek a more perfect Union.
This is a great nation and we are a good people.
Over the centuries through storm and strife, in peace and in war, we have come so far. But we still have far to go.
We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do (in this winter of peril and possibility).

Much to repair.
Much to restore.
Much to heal.
Much to build.
And much to gain.

Few periods in our nation’s history have been more challenging or difficult than the one we’re in now.
A once-in-a-century virus silently stalks the country.
It’s taken as many lives in one year as America lost in all of World War II.
Millions of jobs have been lost.
Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed.

A cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.
A cry for survival comes from the planet itself. A cry that can’t be any more desperate or any more clear.
And now, a rise in political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism that we must confront and we will defeat.
To overcome these challenges - to restore the soul and to secure the future of America - requires more than words.

It requires that most elusive of things in a democracy:
Unity.
Unity.
In another January in Washington, on New Year’s Day 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
When he put pen to paper, the President said, “If my name ever goes down into history it will be for this act and my whole soul is in it.”
My whole soul is in it.
Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this:

Bringing America together.
Uniting our people.
And uniting our nation.
I ask every American to join me in this cause.
Uniting to fight the common foes we face:
Anger, resentment, hatred.
Extremism, lawlessness, violence.
Disease, joblessness, hopelessness.
With unity we can do great things. Important things.

We can right wrongs.
We can put people to work in good jobs.
We can teach our children in safe schools.
We can overcome this deadly virus.
We can reward work, rebuild the middle class, and make health care
secure for all.
We can deliver racial justice.
We can make America, once again, the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy.
I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real.
But I also know they are not new.

Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal that we are all created equal and the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear, and demonization have long torn us apart.
The battle is perennial.
Victory is never assured.

Through the Civil War, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks, our “better angels” have always prevailed.
In each of these moments, enough of us came together to carry all of us forward.
And, we can do so now.
History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.
We can treat each other with dignity and respect.
We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower the temperature.

For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury.

No progress, only exhausting outrage.
No nation, only a state of chaos.
This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge, and unity is the path forward.
And, we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee you, we will not fail.
We have never, ever, ever failed in America when we have acted together.
And so today, at this time and in this place, let us start afresh.
All of us.
Let us listen to one another.
Hear one another.
See one another.
Show respect to one another.
Politics need not be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.
Every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.
And, we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this.
America has to be better than this.
And, I believe America is better than this.
Just look around.
Here we stand, in the shadow of a Capitol dome that was completed amid the Civil War, when the Union itself hung in the balance.

Yet we endured and we prevailed.
Here we stand looking out to the great Mall where Dr. King spoke of his dream.
Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protestors tried to block brave women from marching for the right to vote.

Today, we mark the swearing-in of the first woman in American history elected to national office - Vice President Kamala Harris.
Don’t tell me things can’t change.
Here we stand across the Potomac from Arlington National Cemetery, where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.
And here we stand, just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, and to drive us from this sacred ground.

That did not happen.
It will never happen.
Not today.
Not tomorrow.
Not ever.

To all those who supported our campaign I am humbled by the faith you have placed in us.
To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.
And if you still disagree, so be it.
That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably, within the guardrails of our Republic, is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength.
Yet hear me clearly: Disagreement must not lead to disunion.
And I pledge this to you: I will be a President for all Americans.
I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, Saint Augustine, a saint of my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love.
What are the common objects we love that define us as Americans?
I think I know.
Opportunity.
Security.
Liberty.
Dignity.
Respect.
Honor.
And, yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson.
There is truth and there are lies.
Lies told for power and for profit.
And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders - leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation - to defend the truth and to defeat the lies.

I understand that many Americans view the future with some fear and trepidation.
I understand they worry about their jobs, about taking care of their families, about what comes next.
I get it.

But the answer is not to turn inward, to retreat into competing factions, distrusting those who don’t look like you do, or worship the way you do, or don’t get their news from the same sources you do.
We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal.
We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.

If we show a little tolerance and humility.
If we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes just for a moment.
Because here is the thing about life: There is no accounting for what fate will deal you.
There are some days when we need a hand.
There are other days when we’re called on to lend one.
That is how we must be with one another.
And, if we are this way, our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us, we will need each other.
We will need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter.
We are entering what may well be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus.
We must set aside the politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation.
I promise you this: as the Bible says weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning.
We will get through this, together
The world is watching today.

So here is my message to those beyond our borders: America has been tested and we have come out stronger for it.
We will repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.
Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s.
We will lead not merely by the example of our power but by the power of our example.
We will be a strong and trusted partner for peace, progress, and security.
We have been through so much in this nation.

And, in my first act as President, I would like to ask you to join me in a moment of silent prayer to remember all those we lost this past year to the pandemic. 
To those 400,000 fellow Americans ? mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
We will honor them by becoming the people and nation we know we can and should be.
Let us say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, for those they left behind, and for our country. (전체 묵념)
Amen.

This is a time of testing.
We face an attack on democracy and on truth.
A raging virus.
Growing inequity.
The sting of systemic racism.
A climate in crisis.
America’s role in the world.
Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways.

But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with the gravest of responsibilities.
Now we must step up.
All of us.
It is a time for boldness, for there is so much to do.
And, this is certain.
We will be judged, you and I, for how we resolve the cascading crises of our era.

Will we rise to the occasion?
Will we master this rare and difficult hour?
Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world for our children?
I believe we must and I believe we will.
And when we do, we will write the next chapter in the American story.

It’s a story that might sound something like a song that means a lot to me.
It’s called “American Anthem” and there is one verse stands out for me:
“The work and prayers
of centuries have brought us to this day

What shall be our legacy?
What will our children say?...
Let me know in my heart
When my days are through
America
America
I gave my best to you.”
Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our nation.
If we do this then when our days are through our children and our children’s children will say of us they gave their best.
They did their duty.
They healed a broken land.
My fellow Americans, I close today where I began, with a sacred oath.

Before God and all of you I give you my word.
I will always level with you.
I will defend the Constitution.
I will defend our democracy.
I will defend America.
I will give my all in your service thinking not of power, but of possibilities.
Not of personal interest, but of the public good.

And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear.
Of unity, not division.
Of light, not darkness.
An American story of decency and dignity.
Of love and of healing.
Of greatness and of goodness.
May this be the story that guides us.
The story that inspires us.
The story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history.
We met the moment.
That democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrived.
That our America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world.
That is what we owe our forebearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So, with purpose and resolve we turn to the tasks of our time.
Sustained by faith.
Driven by conviction.
And, devoted to one another and to this country we love with all our hearts.

May God bless America and may God protect our troops.
Thank you, America.

 

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First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln
MONDAY, MARCH 4, 1861Fellow-Citizens of the United States:

In compliance with a custom as old as the Government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly and to take in your presence the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States to be taken by the President before he enters on the execution of this office."

I do not consider it necessary at present for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety or excitement.

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican Administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that--

I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.

Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations and had never recanted them; and more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

Resolved, That the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend; and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes.

I now reiterate these sentiments, and in doing so I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming Administration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause--as cheerfully to one section as to another.

There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:

No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.

It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law. All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution--to this provision as much as to any other. To the proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause "shall be delivered up" their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not with nearly equal unanimity frame and pass a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?

There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by State authority, but surely that difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him or to others by which authority it is done. And should anyone in any case be content that his oath shall go unkept on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to how it shall be kept?

Again: In any law upon this subject ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced, so that a free man be not in any case surrendered as a slave? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which guarantees that "the citizens of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States"?

I take the official oath to-day with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules; and while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed than to violate any of them trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unconstitutional.

It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our National Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens have in succession administered the executive branch of the Government. They have conducted it through many perils, and generally with great success. Yet, with all this scope of precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief constitutional term of four years under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.

I hold that in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.

Again: If the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as acontract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it--break it, so to speak--but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?

(Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. )The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And finally, in 1787, one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was "to form a more perfect Union."

But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that resolves and ordinances to that effect are legally void, and that acts of violence within any State or States against the authority of the United States are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws the Union is unbroken, and to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part, and Ishall perform it so far as practicable unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it will constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence, and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the Government and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States in any interior locality shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the Government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating and so nearly impracticable withal that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices.

The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts of the Union. So far as possible the people everywhere shall have that sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed unless current events and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper, and in every case and exigency my best discretion will be exercised, according to circumstances actually existing and with a view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections.

That there are persons in one section or another who seek to destroy the Union at all events and are glad of any pretext to do it I will neither affirm nor deny; but if there be such, I need address no word to them. To those, however, who really love the Union may I not speak?

Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater than all the real ones you fly from, will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake?

All profess to be content in the Union if all constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right plainly written in the Constitution has been denied? I think not. Happily, the human mind is so constituted that no party can reach to the audacity of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might in a moral point of view justify revolution; certainly would if such right were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so plainly assured to them by affirmations and negations, guaranties and prohibitions, in the Constitution that controversies never arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate nor any document of reasonable length contain express provisions for all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or by State authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. May Congress prohibit slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say. Must Congress protect slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say.

From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the Government must cease. There is no other alternative, for continuing the Government is acquiescence on one side or the other. If a minority in such case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which in turn will divide and ruin them, for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy a year or two hence arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this.

Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new union as to produce harmony only and prevent renewed secession?

Plainly the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does of necessity fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible. The rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.

I do not forget the position assumed by some that constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court, nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding in any case upon the parties to a suit as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the Government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the Government upon vital questions affecting the whole people is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their Government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

One section of our country believes slavery is right and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive- slave clause of the Constitution and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave trade are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, can not be perfectly cured, and it would be worse in both cases after the separation of the sections than before. The foreign slave trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived without restriction in one section, while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.

Physically speaking, we can not separate. We can not remove our respective sections from each other nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other, but the different parts of our country can not do this. They can not but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you can not fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing Government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it. I can not be ignorant of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are desirous of having the National Constitution amended. While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it. I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others, not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or refuse. I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution--which amendment, however, I have not seen--has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.

The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have referred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. The people themselves can do this if also they choose, but the Executive as such has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present Government as it came to his hands and to transmit it unimpaired by him to his successor.

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.

By the frame of the Government under which we live this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief, and have with equal wisdom provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new Administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."

I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

Yale law school, the Avalon Project

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[2021년 신년사]
(2020년 12월 31일)


여러분 안녕하세요. 2021년의 발걸음이 점점 가까워지고 있습니다. 저는 베이징에서 여러분들에게 새 해의 아름다운 축복을 보냅니다. 

2020년은 지극히 평범하지 않은 한 해였습니다. 갑자기 나타난 코로나19 전염병 상황과 마주하여 우리들은 인민지상(人民至上), 생명지상(生命至上)으로 인간의 큰 사랑(人間大愛)을 표현해냈으며, 많은 사람들이 합심하여(眾志成城), 굳센 마음으로 흔들리지 않고(堅忍不拔) 전염병에 대항하는 서사시(史詩)를 썼습니다. 함께 어려움을 극복하는 나날에, 길을 거슬러 출정하는 용맹함이 있고, 완강하고 꺾이지 않는 결연함이 있고, 환난을 함께 견뎌내려는 마음이 있고, 영용하고 두려워하지 않은 희생이 있었으며, 서로 위험을 보고 서로 돕는(守望相助) 감동이 있었습니다. 백의의 천사에서 인민의 병사들까지, 과학연구 종사자부터 지역사회 종사자까지, 자원봉사자부터 공정(工程) 건설자까지, 고희의 노인부터 ‘90년대생’, ‘2000년대생’의 청년세대까지, 무수히 많은 사람들이 생명을 던져 사명을 다하고, 진실한 사랑으로 인민을 보호하고, 매우 작은 힘들을 모아서 거대한 위력을 만들어내고, 생명을 수호하는 철옹성(銅牆鐵壁)을 구축했습니다. 정의를 위해서 주저하지 않고 앞으로 나아가는 모습, 마음과 손이 서로 이어지는 릴레이, 사람들을 감동시키는 깊이 있는 장면들이 전염병에 맞서는 위대한 정신을 생동감 있게 보여주었습니다. 평범함이 위대함을 주조해내고, 영웅은 인민에서 나옵니다. 한 사람 한 사람이 모두 훌륭합니다(了不起). 불행하게 감염된 모든 환자들에게 위로를 표시합니다. 모든 평범한 영웅들에게 경의를 표합니다. 저는 위대한 조국과 인민이 자랑스럽고, 자강불식(自強不息)의 민족정신이 자랑스럽습니다. 


어려움을 겪어야 바야흐로 용감하고 의연하게 보이고, 연마를 거쳐야 옥이 될 수 있습니다. 우리는 전염병 영향을 극복하고, 종합적인 전염병의 방역과 통제, 경제사회발전에서 중대한 성과를 얻었습니다. ‘13.5’는 원만하게 마무리되고, ‘14.5’는 전면적으로 계획하고 있습니다. 새로운 발전 구도는 빠르게 구축되고, 고품질 발전은 깊게 실시되고 있습니다. 우리나라는 세계 주요 경제체 가운데 앞장서서 플러스 성장을 실현했습니다. 2020년 GDP는 백조 위안 이상의 새로운 단계로 나아갈 것으로 전망됩니다. 식량 생산은 17년 연속 풍년을 거두었습니다. 톈원1호(天問一號), 창어5호(嫦娥五號), 분투자(奮鬥者)호 등 과학 탐측에서 중대한 진전을 이루었습니다. 하이난 자유무역항 건설은 활발히 진행되고 있습니다. 또한 우리들은 엄중한 홍수와 재해를 막아냈습니다. 수많은 군민들이 위험을 두려워하지 않고 한 마음으로 협력하여 재난에 맞섰으며 손실을 최대한 낮추는 데 노력했습니다. 제가 13개 성(省), 구(區), 시(市)를 시찰할 때, 여러분들이 열심히 구체적으로 방역 조치를 실행하고, 시간을 다투어 생산 회복에 노력하고, 온 힘을 다해서 혁신과 창조에 힘써서, 전국 곳곳이 자신자강(自信自強)하고, 강인함이 충만하고, 아침 저녁으로 노력하는 생기발랄한 장면들을 기쁘게 봤습니다.  

2020년, 전면소강사회건설에서 위대한 역사적 성취를 얻어냈고, 빈곤탈출 난관공략의 최종 전쟁에서 결정적인 승리를 얻어냈습니다. 우리는 깊은 빈곤의 보루를 향해 총공격을 개시하여 가장 어려운 임무(硬骨頭)를 해결했습니다. 8년 동안 지금 기준으로 근 1억 명의 농촌 빈곤인구가 전부 빈곤에서 벗어났으며, 832개 빈곤현(貧困縣)은 전부 빈곤의 모자를 벗었습니다. 최근 몇 년 동안 저는 전국 14개 특별 빈곤 지역을 갔습니다. 마음 사람들의 우공이산(愚公移山)의 열정, 많은 빈곤 구제 간부들의 쏟아부은 모든 헌신이 늘 뇌리에 떠돕니다. 우리들은 또한 생태(青山)도 느슨하게 하지 않고, 성실하게 힘써 추진하고, 농촌진흥의 장중하고 아름다운 그림을 그리도록 노력하고, 공동부유의 목표를 향해서 점점 앞으로 나아가야 합니다. 

올해, 우리들은 선전(深圳) 등 경제특구 건립 40주년, 상하이 포동(浦東) 개발과 개방 30주년을 장중하게 경축했습니다. 봄날의 조수가 넘쳐흐르는 남해의 해변가에, 눈부시게 아름다운 다채로운 황포강변(黃浦江畔)에 서면 만감이 교차합니다. 선행(先行)과 선시도(先試)가 시범의 리더가 되었으며, 탐색과 혁신이 혁신의 리더가 되었습니다. 개혁개방은 발전의 기적을 창조했습니다. 앞으로 더 큰 기백으로 개혁을 심화하고 개방을 확대하여 더 많은 “봄날의 이야기”를 써 내려가야 합니다.  

큰 길을 가는데는 외롭지 않으며, 천하는 한 가족(大道不孤, 天下一家)입니다. 1년여 동안 어려움(風雨)을 겪으면서 우리들은 어느 때보다도 더 깊고 절실하게 인류운명공동체의 의미를 절감했습니다. 저는 국제적으로 새로운 친구, 옛 친구와 수 차례 통화를 하고, 여러 ‘클라우드 회의(雲會議)’에 참석했습니다. 가장 많이 언급한 것은 바로 마음을 합쳐 서로 돕고(和衷共濟), 단결하여 방역하자(團結抗疫)였습니다. 전염병 상황의 예방과 통제는 아직 책임이 무겁고 갈 길이 멉니다. 세계 각국 인민들은 손을 잡고, 어려움이라는 한 배를 타고, 빠른 시일 내 전염병 상황의 흐릿한 현상(陰霾)을 걷어내고, 훨씬 더 아름다운 지구라는 집을 건설하는데 노력해야 합니다,  

2021년은 중국공산당 탄생 100년(華誕)입니다. 백년의 역정은 파란만장했으며 백년의 초심은 오랫동안 점점 더 굳건해졌습니다. 상하이의 석고문(石庫門)에서 자싱(嘉興)의 난후(南湖)에 이르기까지, 작은 붉은 배(紅船)는 인민의 무거운 부탁, 민족의 희망을 싣고, 급류와 험난한 여울을 넘고, 성난 파도와 거친 물결을 뚫고, 중국을 안전하게 멀리 이끄는 높고 거대한 배(巨船)가 되었습니다. 가슴에 천추의 위업을 품고, 백년의 풍채를 이어왔습니다(胸懷千秋偉業, 恰是百年風華). 우리들은 인민을 중심에 두고, 초심을 지키고 사명을 깊이 새기며, 바람을 타고 파도를 헤치며, 돛을 날리며 멀리 항해에 나서 반드시 중화민족의 위대한 부흥을 실현할 수 있을 것입니다. 

두 개 백년의 역사의 교차점에 선 지금 전면적인 사회주의 현대화 국가 건설의 새로운 길(征程)이 곧 열릴 것입니다. 그 길은 아득히 멀고, 오직 분투가 있을 뿐입니다. 우리들은 분투를 통해서 가시밭길을 헤치고 온갖 어려움(萬水千山)을 걸어왔습니다. 우리들은 더 계속해서 분투하고, 용감하게 앞으로 나아가, 훨씬 더 찬란한 광휘를 창조해야 합니다. 

이 시간 화려한 불빛이 밝혀지고 온 식구들이 함께 모여 앉았습니다. 새해가 곧 옵니다. 오로지 금수강산(山河錦繡)과 국태민안(國泰民安)을 염원합니다. 오로지 화순하고 상서롭고(和順致祥), 행복이 아름답고 충만하기(幸福美滿)를 염원합니다.  

여러분 감사합니다. 
//끝// 
大家好!2021年的脚步越来越近, 我在北京向大家致以新年的美好祝福!

2020年是极不平凡的一年。面对突如其来的新冠肺炎疫情, 我们以人民至上、生命至上诠释了人间大爱, 用众志成城、坚忍不拔书写了抗疫史诗。在共克时艰的日子里, 有逆行出征的豪迈, 有顽强不屈的坚守, 有患难与共的担当, 有英勇无畏的牺牲, 有守望相助的感动。从白衣天使到人民子弟兵, 从科研人员到社区工作者, 从志愿者到工程建设者, 从古稀老人到“90后”、“00后”青年一代, 无数人以生命赴使命、用挚爱护苍生, 将涓滴之力汇聚成磅礴伟力, 构筑起守护生命的铜墙铁壁。一个个义无反顾的身影, 一次次心手相连的接力, 一幕幕感人至深的场景, 生动展示了伟大抗疫精神。平凡铸就伟大, 英雄来自人民。每个人都了不起!向所有不幸感染的病患者表示慰问!向所有平凡的英雄致敬!我为伟大的祖国和人民而骄傲, 为自强不息的民族精神而自豪!

艰难方显勇毅, 磨砺始得玉成。我们克服疫情影响, 统筹疫情防控和经济社会发展取得重大成果。“十三五”圆满收官, “十四五”全面擘画。新发展格局加快构建, 高质量发展深入实施。我国在世界主要经济体中率先实现正增长, 预计2020年国内生产总值迈上百万亿元新台阶。粮食生产喜获“十七连丰”。“天问一号”、“嫦娥五号”、“奋斗者”号等科学探测实现重大突破。海南自由贸易港建设蓬勃展开。我们还抵御了严重洪涝灾害, 广大军民不畏艰险, 同心协力抗洪救灾, 努力把损失降到了最低。我到13个省区市考察时欣喜看到, 大家认真细致落实防疫措施, 争分夺秒复工复产, 全力以赴创新创造, 神州大地自信自强、充满韧劲, 一派只争朝夕、生机勃勃的景象。

2020年, 全面建成小康社会取得伟大历史性成就, 决战脱贫攻坚取得决定性胜利。我们向深度贫困堡垒发起总攻, 啃下了最难啃的“硬骨头”。历经8年, 现行标准下近1亿农村贫困人口全部脱贫, 832个贫困县全部摘帽。这些年, 我去了全国14个集中连片特困地区, 乡亲们愚公移山的干劲, 广大扶贫干部倾情投入的奉献, 时常浮现在脑海。我们还要咬定青山不放松, 脚踏实地加油干, 努力绘就乡村振兴的壮美画卷, 朝着共同富裕的目标稳步前行。

今年, 我们隆重庆祝深圳等经济特区建立40周年、上海浦东开发开放30周年。置身春潮涌动的南海之滨、绚丽多姿的黄浦江畔, 令人百感交集, 先行先试变成了示范引领, 探索创新成为了创新引领。改革开放创造了发展奇迹, 今后还要以更大气魄深化改革、扩大开放, 续写更多“春天的故事”。

大道不孤, 天下一家。经历了一年来的风雨, 我们比任何时候都更加深切体会到人类命运共同体的意义。我同国际上新老朋友进行了多次通话, 出席了多场“云会议”, 谈得最多的就是和衷共济、团结抗疫。疫情防控任重道远。世界各国人民要携起手来, 风雨同舟, 早日驱散疫情的阴霾, 努力建设更加美好的地球家园。

2021年是中国共产党百年华诞。百年征程波澜壮阔, 百年初心历久弥坚。从上海石库门到嘉兴南湖, 一艘小小红船承载着人民的重托、民族的希望, 越过急流险滩, 穿过惊涛骇浪, 成为领航中国行稳致远的巍巍巨轮。胸怀千秋伟业, 恰是百年风华。我们秉持以人民为中心, 永葆初心、牢记使命, 乘风破浪、扬帆远航, 一定能实现中华民族伟大复兴。

站在“两个一百年”的历史交汇点, 全面建设社会主义现代化国家新征程即将开启。征途漫漫, 惟有奋斗。我们通过奋斗, 披荆斩棘, 走过了万水千山。我们还要继续奋斗, 勇往直前, 创造更加灿烂的辉煌!

此时此刻, 华灯初上, 万家团圆。新年将至, 惟愿山河锦绣、国泰民安!惟愿和顺致祥、幸福美满!

谢谢大家!


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www.state.gov/communist-china-and-the-free-worlds-future/

 

Communist China and the Free World’s Future - United States Department of State

GOVERNOR WILSON: Well, thank you very much, Chris. Most generous. I’m not sure your grandfather would have recognized me. I have the great pleasure – in addition to welcoming all of you to the Nixon birthplace and library, I have the great pleasure of

www.state.gov

 

Communist China and the Free World’s Future

MICHAEL R. POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE

THE RICHARD NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM

YORBA LINDA, CALIFORNIA

JULY 23, 2020

GOVERNOR WILSON: Well, thank you very much, Chris. Most generous. I’m not sure your grandfather would have recognized me.

I have the great pleasure – in addition to welcoming all of you to the Nixon birthplace and library, I have the great pleasure of introducing to you an extraordinary American who is here at an extraordinary time. But the fun of it is in introducing our honored guest, I also am welcoming him not just to the Nixon Library, but I’m welcoming him back home to Orange County. (Applause.) That’s right. Mike Pompeo was born in Orange. (Applause.)

He attended Los Amigos High School in Fountain Valley, where he was an outstanding student and athlete. In fact, I have it on good authority that among the fans of glory days of Lobo basketball, a reverent hush descends upon the crowd whenever the name “Pompeo” is mentioned. (Laughter.)

The Secretary was first in his class at West Point. He won the award as the most distinguished cadet. He won another award for the highest achievement in engineering management. He spent his active duty years, his Army years, in West Germany, and as he put it, patrolling the Iron Curtain before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In 1988 – excuse me – retiring with a rank of captain, he went on to Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. In 1988, he returned to his mother’s home state of Kansas and began a stunningly successful business career. He was elected to the House of Representatives from Kansas in 2011, where he soon gained great respect for a reputation as one of the most diligent and astute members of the House Arms – excuse me, the House Intelligence Committee.

In 2017, President Trump nominated him to be the director of Central Intelligence. And in 2018, he was confirmed as our 70th Secretary of State.

You have to admit, that’s quite an impressive resume. So it’s sad there’s only one thing missing, prevents it from being perfect. If only Mike had been a Marine. (Laughter.) Don’t worry, he’ll get even.

Mike Pompeo is a man devoted to his family. He is a man of faith, of the greatest patriotism and the highest principle. One of his most important initiatives at the State Department has been the creation of a Commission on Unalienable Rights where academicians, philosophers, and ethicists advise him on human rights grounded in America’s founding principles and the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Rights.

He is here today for a very special reason. The epitaph on President Nixon’s gravestone is a sentence from his first inaugural address. It says, quote, “The greatest honor history can bestow is the title of peacemaker.” Richard Nixon received that title. He won that honor not only because he was acknowledged even by his critics to be a brilliant foreign policy strategist, but it was far more because he earned it. He learned as congressman, senator, president, and every day thereafter as a private citizen ambassador that peace is not achieved by signing documents and declaring the job done. To the contrary, he knew that peace is always a work in progress. He knew that peace must be fought for and won anew in every generation.

It was President Nixon’s vision, determination, and courage that opened China to America and to the Western world. As president and for the rest of his life, Richard Nixon worked to build a relationship with China based upon mutual benefits and obligations that respected America’s bedrock national interests.

Today, we in America are obliged to assess whether or not President Nixon’s labors and his hopes for such a relationship have been met or whether they are being undermined.

That is why it is of such great significance that our honored guest, Secretary Pompeo, has chosen the Nixon Library from which to deliver a major China policy statement. It will, I promise you, be a statement of complete clarity delivered with force and with belief because it is of critical importance.

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor and pleasure to welcome to this podium and to this audience our honored guest, the Secretary of State of the United States of America, the honorable and really quite remarkable – honorable Michael R. Pompeo. (Applause.)

 

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you, Governor, for that very, very generous introduction. It is true: When you walk in that gym and you say the name “Pompeo,” there is a whisper. I had a brother, Mark, who was really good – a really good basketball player.

And how about another round of applause for the Blue Eagles Honor Guard and Senior Airman Kayla Highsmith, and her wonderful rendition of the national anthem? (Applause.)

Thank you, too, to Pastor Laurie for that moving prayer, and I want to thank Hugh Hewitt and the Nixon Foundation for your invitation to speak at this important American institution. It was great to be sung to by an Air Force person, introduced by a Marine, and they let the Army guy in in front of the Navy guy’s house. (Laughter.) It’s all good.

It’s an honor to be here in Yorba Linda, where Nixon’s father built the house in which he was born and raised.

To all the Nixon Center board and staff who made today possible – it’s difficult in these times – thanks for making this day possible for me and for my team.

We are blessed to have some incredibly special people in the audience, including Chris, who I’ve gotten to know – Chris Nixon. I also want to thank Tricia Nixon and Julie Nixon Eisenhower for their support of this visit as well.

I want to recognize several courageous Chinese dissidents who have joined us here today and made a long trip.

And to all the other distinguished guests – (applause) – to all the other distinguished guests, thank you for being here. For those of you who got under the tent, you must have paid extra.

And those of you watching live, thank you for tuning in.

And finally, as the governor mentioned, I was born here in Santa Ana, not very far from here. I’ve got my sister and her husband in the audience today. Thank you all for coming out. I bet you never thought that I’d be standing up here.

My remarks today are the fourth set of remarks in a series of China speeches that I asked National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Chris Wray, and the Attorney General Barr to deliver alongside me.

We had a very clear purpose, a real mission. It was to explain the different facets of America’s relationship with China, the massive imbalances in that relationship that have built up over decades, and the Chinese Communist Party’s designs for hegemony.

Our goal was to make clear that the threats to Americans that President Trump’s China policy aims to address are clear and our strategy for securing those freedoms established.

(Ambassador O’Brien spoke about ideology. FBI Director Wray talked about espionage. Attorney General Barr spoke about economics.) And now my goal today is to put it all together for the American people and detail what the China threat means for our economy, for our liberty, and indeed for the future of free democracies around the world.

Next year marks half a century since Dr. Kissinger’s secret mission to China, and the 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s trip isn’t too far away in 2022.

The world was much different then.

We imagined engagement with China would produce a future with bright promise of comity and cooperation.

But today – today we’re all still wearing masks and watching the pandemic’s body count rise because the CCP failed in its promises to the world. We’re reading every morning new headlines of repression in Hong Kong and in Xinjiang.

We’re seeing staggering statistics of Chinese trade abuses that cost American jobs and strike enormous blows to the economies all across America, including here in southern California. And we’re watching a Chinese military that grows stronger and stronger, and indeed more menacing.

I’ll echo the questions ringing in the hearts and minds of Americans from here in California to my home state of Kansas and beyond:

What do the American people have to show now 50 years on from engagement with China?

Did the theories of our leaders that proposed a Chinese evolution towards freedom and democracy prove to be true?

Is this China’s definition of a win-win situation?

And indeed, centrally, from the Secretary of State’s perspective, is America safer? Do we have a greater likelihood of peace for ourselves and peace for the generations which will follow us?

Look, we have to admit a hard truth. We must admit a hard truth that should guide us in the years and decades to come, that if we want to have a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century (of which Xi Jinping dreams, )the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won’t get it done. We must not continue it and we must not return to it.

As President Trump has made very clear, we need a strategy that protects the American economy, and indeed our way of life. The free world must triumph over this new tyranny.

Now, before I seem too eager to tear down President Nixon’s legacy, I want to be clear that he did what he believed was best for the American people at the time, and he may well have been right.

He was a brilliant student of China, a fierce cold warrior, and a tremendous admirer of the Chinese people, just as I think we all are.

He deserves enormous credit for realizing that China was too important to be ignored, even when the nation was weakened because of its own self-inflicted communist brutality.

In 1967, in a very famous Foreign Affairs article, Nixon explained his future strategy. Here’s what he said:

He said, “Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside of the family of nations…The world cannot be safe until China changes. Thus, our aim – to the extent we can, we must influence events. Our goal should be to induce change.”

And I think that’s the key phrase from the entire article: “to induce change.”

So, with that historic trip to Beijing, President Nixon kicked off our engagement strategy. He nobly sought a freer and safer world, and he hoped that the Chinese Communist Party would return that commitment.

As time went on, American policymakers increasingly presumed that as China became more prosperous, it would open up, it would become freer at home, and indeed present less of a threat abroad, it’d be friendlier. It all seemed, I am sure, so inevitable.

But that age of inevitability is over. The kind of engagement we have been pursuing has not brought the kind of change inside of China that President Nixon had hoped to induce.

The truth is that our policies – and those of other free nations – resurrected China’s failing economy, only to see Beijing bite the international hands that were feeding it.

We opened our arms to Chinese citizens, only to see the Chinese Communist Party exploit our free and open society. China sent propagandists into our press conferences, our research centers, our high-schools, our colleges, and even into our PTA meetings.

We marginalized our friends in Taiwan, which later blossomed into a vigorous democracy.

We gave the Chinese Communist Party and the regime itself special economic treatment, only to see the CCP insist on silence over its human rights abuses as the price of admission for Western companies entering China.

Ambassador O’Brien ticked off a few examples just the other day: Marriott, American Airlines, Delta, United all removed references to Taiwan from their corporate websites, so as not to anger Beijing.

In Hollywood, not too far from here – the epicenter of American creative freedom, and self-appointed arbiters of social justice – self-censors even the most mildly unfavorable reference to China.

This corporate acquiescence to the CCP happens all over the world, too.

And how has this corporate fealty worked? Is its flattery rewarded? I’ll give you a quote from the speech that General Barr gave, Attorney General Barr. In a speech last week, he said that “The ultimate ambition of China’s rulers isn’t to trade with the United States. It is to raid the United States.

China ripped off our prized intellectual property and trade secrets, causing(costing) [1] millions of jobs all across America.

It sucked supply chains away from America, and then added a widget made of slave labor.

It made the world’s key waterways less safe for international commerce.

President Nixon once said he feared he had created a “Frankenstein” by opening the world to the CCP, and here we are.

Now, people of good faith can debate why free nations allowed these bad things to happen for all these years. Perhaps we were naive about China’s virulent strain of communism, or triumphalist after our victory in the Cold War, or cravenly capitalist, or hoodwinked by Beijing’s talk of a “peaceful rise.”

Whatever the reason – whatever the reason, today China is increasingly authoritarian at home, and more aggressive in its hostility to freedom everywhere else.

And President Trump has said: enough.

I don’t think many people on either side of the aisle dispute the facts that I have laid out today. But even now, some are insisting that we preserve the model of dialogue for dialogue’s sake.

Now, to be clear, we’ll keep on talking. But the conversations are different these days. I traveled to Honolulu now just a few weeks back to meet with Yang Jiechi.

It was the same old story – plenty of words, but literally no offer to change any of the behaviors.

Yang’s promises, like so many the CCP made before him, were empty. His expectations, I surmise, were that I’d cave to their demands, because frankly this is what too many prior administrations have done. I didn’t, and President Trump will not either.

As Ambassador O’Brien explained so well, we have to keep in mind that the CCP regime is a Marxist-Leninist regime. General Secretary Xi Jinping is a true believer in a bankrupt totalitarian ideology.

It’s this ideology, it’s this ideology that informs his decades-long desire for global hegemony of Chinese communism. America can no longer ignore the fundamental political and ideological differences between our countries, just as the CCP has never ignored them.

My experience in the House Intelligence Committee, and then as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and my now two-plus years as America’s Secretary of State have led me to this central understanding:

That the only way – the only way to truly change communist China is to act not on the basis of what Chinese leaders say, but how they behave. And you can see American policy responding to this conclusion. President Reagan said that he dealt with the Soviet Union on the basis of “trust but verify.” When it comes to the CCP, I say we must distrust and verify. (Applause.)

We, the freedom-loving nations of the world, must induce China to change, just as President Nixon wanted. We must induce China to change in more creative and assertive ways, because Beijing’s actions threaten our people and our prosperity.

We must start by changing how our people and our partners perceive the Chinese Communist Party. We have to tell the truth. We can’t treat this incarnation of China as a normal country, just like any other.

We know that trading with China is not like trading with a normal, law-abiding nation. Beijing threatens international agreements as – treats international suggestions as – or agreements as suggestions, as conduits for global dominance.

But by insisting on fair terms, as our trade representative did when he secured our phase one trade deal, we can force China to reckon with its intellectual property theft and policies that harmed American workers.

We know too that doing business with a CCP-backed company is not the same as doing business with, say, a Canadian company. They don’t answer to independent boards, and many of them are state-sponsored and so have no need to pursue profits.

A good example is Huawei. We stopped pretending Huawei is an innocent telecommunications company that’s just showing up to make sure you can talk to your friends. We’ve called it what it is – a true national security threat – and we’ve taken action accordingly.

We know too that if our companies invest in China, they may wittingly or unwittingly support the Communist Party’s gross human rights violations.

Our Departments of Treasury and Commerce have thus sanctioned and blacklisted Chinese leaders and entities that are harming and abusing the most basic rights for people all across the world. Several agencies have worked together on a business advisory to make certain our CEOs are informed of how their supply chains are behaving inside of China.

We know too, we know too that not all Chinese students and employees are just normal students and workers that are coming here to make a little bit of money and to garner themselves some knowledge. Too many of them come here to steal our intellectual property and to take this back to their country.

The Department of Justice and other agencies have vigorously pursued punishment for these crimes.

We know that the People’s Liberation Army is not a normal army, too. Its purpose is to uphold the absolute rule of the Chinese Communist Party elites and expand a Chinese empire, not to protect the Chinese people.

And so our Department of Defense has ramped up its efforts, freedom of navigation operations out and throughout the East and South China Seas, and in the Taiwan Strait as well. And we’ve created a Space Force to help deter China from aggression on that final frontier.

And so too, frankly, we’ve built out a new set of policies at the State Department dealing with China, pushing President Trump’s goals for fairness and reciprocity, to rewrite the imbalances that have grown over decades.

Just this week, we announced the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston because it was a hub of spying and intellectual property theft. (Applause.)

We reversed, two weeks ago, eight years of cheek-turning with respect to international law in the South China Sea.

We’ve called on China to conform its nuclear capabilities to the strategic realities of our time.

And the State Department – at every level, all across the world – has engaged with our Chinese counterparts simply to demand fairness and reciprocity.

But our approach can’t just be about getting tough. That’s unlikely to achieve the outcome that we desire. We must also engage and empower the Chinese people – a dynamic, freedom-loving people who are completely distinct from the Chinese Communist Party.

That begins with in-person diplomacy. (Applause.) I’ve met Chinese men and women of great talent and diligence wherever I go.

I’ve met with Uyghurs and ethnic Kazakhs who escaped Xinjiang’s concentration camps. I’ve talked with Hong Kong’s democracy leaders, from Cardinal Zen to Jimmy Lai. Two days ago in London, I met with Hong Kong freedom fighter Nathan Law.

And last month in my office, I heard the stories of Tiananmen Square survivors. One of them is here today.

Wang Dan was a key student who has never stopped fighting for freedom for the Chinese people. Mr. Wang, will you please stand so that we may recognize you? (Applause.)

Also with us today is the father of the Chinese democracy movement, Wei Jingsheng. He spent decades in Chinese labor camps for his advocacy. Mr. Wei, will you please stand? (Applause.)

I grew up and served my time in the Army during the Cold War. And if there is one thing I learned, communists almost always lie. The biggest lie that they tell is to think that they speak for 1.4 billion people who are surveilled, oppressed, and scared to speak out.

Quite the contrary. The CCP fears the Chinese people’s honest opinions more than any foe, and save for losing their own grip on power, they have reason – no reason to.

Just think how much better off the world would be – not to mention the people inside of China – if we had been able to hear from the doctors in Wuhan and they’d been allowed to raise the alarm about the outbreak of a new and novel virus.

For too many decades, our leaders have ignored, downplayed the words of brave Chinese dissidents who warned us about the nature of the regime we’re facing.

And we can’t ignore it any longer. They know as well as anyone that we can never go back to the status quo.

But changing the CCP’s behavior cannot be the mission of the Chinese people alone. Free nations have to work to defend freedom. It’s the furthest thing from easy.

But I have faith we can do it. I have faith because we’ve done it before. We know how this goes.

I have faith because the CCP is repeating some of the same mistakes that the Soviet Union made – alienating potential allies, breaking trust at home and abroad, rejecting property rights and predictable rule of law.

I have faith. I have faith because of the awakening I see among other nations that know we can’t go back to the past in the same way that we do here in America. I’ve heard this from Brussels, to Sydney, to Hanoi.

And most of all, I have faith we can defend freedom because of the sweet appeal of freedom itself.

Look at the Hong Kongers clamoring to emigrate abroad as the CCP tightens its grip on that proud city. They wave American flags.

It’s true, there are differences. Unlike the Soviet Union, China is deeply integrated into the global economy. But Beijing is more dependent on us than we are on them. (Applause.)

Look, I reject the notion that we’re living in an age of inevitability, that some trap is pre-ordained, that CCP supremacy is the future. Our approach isn’t destined to fail because America is in decline. As I said in Munich earlier this year, the free world is still winning. We just need to believe it and know it and be proud of it. People from all over the world still want to come to open societies. They come here to study, they come here to work, they come here to build a life for their families. They’re not desperate to settle in China.

It’s time. It’s great to be here today. The timing is perfect. It’s time for free nations to act. Not every nation will approach China in the same way, nor should they. Every nation will have to come to its own understanding of how to protect its own sovereignty, how to protect its own economic prosperity, and how to protect its ideals from the tentacles of the Chinese Communist Party.

But I call on every leader of every nation to start by doing what America has done – to simply insist on reciprocity, to insist on transparency and accountability from the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a cadre of rulers that are far from homogeneous.

And these simple and powerful standards will achieve a great deal. For too long we let the CCP set the terms of engagement, but no longer. Free nations must set the tone. We must operate on the same principles.

We have to draw common lines in the sand that cannot be washed away by the CCP’s bargains or their blandishments. Indeed, this is what the United States did recently when we rejected China’s unlawful claims in the South China Sea once and for all, as we have urged countries to become Clean Countries so that their citizens’ private information doesn’t end up in the hand of the Chinese Communist Party. We did it by setting standards.

Now, it’s true, it’s difficult. It’s difficult for some small countries. They fear being picked off. Some of them for that reason simply don’t have the ability, the courage to stand with us for the moment.

Indeed, we have a NATO ally of ours that hasn’t stood up in the way that it needs to with respect to Hong Kong because they fear Beijing will restrict access to China’s market. This is the kind of timidity that will lead to historic failure, and we can’t repeat it.

We cannot repeat the mistakes of these past years. The challenge of China demands exertion, energy from democracies – those in Europe, those in Africa, those in South America, and especially those in the Indo-Pacific region.

And if we don’t act now, ultimately the CCP will erode our freedoms and subvert the rules-based order that our societies have worked so hard to build. If we bend the knee now, our children’s children may be at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party, whose actions are the primary challenge today in the free world.

General Secretary Xi is not destined to tyrannize inside and outside of China forever, unless we allow it.

Now, this isn’t about containment. Don’t buy that. It’s about a complex new challenge that we’ve never faced before. The USSR was closed off from the free world. Communist China is already within our borders.

So we can’t face this challenge alone. The United Nations, NATO, the G7 countries, the G20, our combined economic, diplomatic, and military power is surely enough to meet this challenge if we direct it clearly and with great courage.

Maybe it’s time for a new grouping of like-minded nations, a new alliance of democracies.

We have the tools. I know we can do it. Now we need the will. To quote scripture, I ask is “our spirit willing but our flesh weak?”

If the free world doesn’t change – doesn’t change, communist China will surely change us. There can’t be a return to the past practices because they’re comfortable or because they’re convenient.

Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party is the mission of our time, and America is perfectly positioned to lead it because our founding principles give us that opportunity.

As I explained in Philadelphia last week, standing, staring at Independence Hall, our nation was founded on the premise that all human beings possess certain rights that are unalienable.

And it’s our government’s job to secure those rights. It is a simple and powerful truth. It’s made us a beacon of freedom for people all around the world, including people inside of China.

Indeed, Richard Nixon was right when he wrote in 1967 that “the world cannot be safe until China changes.” Now it’s up to us to heed his words.

Today the danger is clear.

And today the awakening is happening.

Today the free world must respond.

We can never go back to the past.

May God bless each of you.

May God bless the Chinese people.

And may God bless the people of the United States of America.

Thank you all.

(Applause.)

MR HEWITT: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Please be seated. I’m Hugh Hewitt, the president of the library, and Secretary Pompeo graciously invited some questions as I was listening. Thank you for joining us, Mr. Secretary, at the Nixon Library.

My first question has to do with the context of the president’s visit in 1972. You mentioned the Soviet Union was isolated, but it was dangerous. He went to the People’s Republic of China in 1972 to try and ally and combine interests with them against the Soviet Union; it was successful.

Does Russia present an opportunity now to the United States to coax them into the battle to be relentlessly candid about the Chinese Communist Party?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So I do think there’s that opportunity. That opportunity is born of the relationship, the natural relationship between Russia and China, and we can do something as well. There are places where we need to work with Russia. Today – or tomorrow, I guess it is, our teams will be on the ground with the Russians working on a strategic dialogue to hopefully create the next generation of arms control agreements like Reagan did. It’s in our interest, it’s in Russia’s interest. We’ve asked the Chinese to participate. They’ve declined to date. We hope they’ll change their mind.

It’s these kind of things – these proliferation issues, these big strategic challenges – that if we work alongside Russia, I’m convinced we can make the world safer. And so there – I think there is a place for us to work with the Russians to achieve a more likely outcome of peace not only for the United States but for the world.

MR HEWITT: President Nixon also put quite a lot of store in personal relationships over many years with individuals. That can lead wrong. President Bush famously misjudged Vladimir Putin and said so afterwards. You have met President Xi often. Is the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party someone with whom we can deal on a transparent and reliable basis, in your opinion, based on your personal diplomacy with him?

SECRETARY POMPEO: So the meetings that I’ve had and the meeting that the President – we’ve had – they’ve been good, frank conversations. He is the most powerful leader of China since Mao. He has also in many ways deinstitutionalized the Chinese Communist Party, thus giving him even more capacity and more power.

But Hugh, I think the way to think about it is how I spoke about this today: It’s about actions. And so how one evaluates one’s counterparts sitting across the table from them – it’s important to think about how you can find common understandings and make progress. But in the end, it’s not about what someone says or the agreement that they sign, but are they prepared to lead, to do the things that they committed to? Are they prepared to fulfill their promises?

And we’ve watched – we’ve watched this China walk away from their promises to the world on Hong Kong, we watched their – General Secretary Xi promised President Obama in the Rose Garden in 2015 that he wouldn’t militarize the South China Sea. And Google the South China Sea and arms; you’ll see another promise broken.

So in the end, from my perspective, it’s much more important to watch how leaders behave and how they lead than what it is you think when you have a chance to talk to them on the phone or meet them in person.

MR HEWITT: Mr. Secretary, you said this is not containment. I heard that very clearly. I have read the three previous speeches by Ambassador O’Brien, Director Wray, Attorney General Barr, and now listened to you very closely. It isn’t containment, but it is a fairly comprehensive, multidimensional, relentlessly objective candor. Is that dangerous in a world that’s not used to speaking clearly about delicate subjects?

SECRETARY POMPEO: My experience, and I think President Trump’s experience too in his life as a businessman, is the best policy is always true candor, identifying the places that you have a redline, identifying places that you have a real interest, making clear if there’s places where you don’t, and there’s things that you can work on alongside each other.

I think the real danger comes from misunderstandings and miscommunication and the failure to be honest about the things that matter to you, because others will move into that space and then conflict arises. I think the world is a heck of a lot safer when you have leaders who are prepared to be honest about the things that matter and prepared to talk about the things their nation is prepared to do to secure those interests. And you can reduce risk by these conversations so long as you’re honest about it.

So I – no, I don’t think it’s dangerous. I think it’s just the opposite of that.

MR HEWITT: You also said – and I’m sure the speech will be known as the “distrust but verify” speech – when you distrust but verify, that still premises verification is possible. It is still possible to do agreements and to verify them; correct?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It is, yeah, you can still do it. Each nation’s got to be prepared for a certain amount of intrusiveness connected to that. And it is not in the nature of communist regimes to allow transparency inside of their country. And so it’s been done before. We’ve had – we had arms control agreements with the Soviet Union that we got verification that was sufficient to ensure that we protected American interests. I believe we can do it again. I hope that we can do this on these – I mean, the Chinese Communist Party has several hundred nuclear warheads. This is a serious global power. And to the extent we can find common ground, a common set of understandings to reduce risk that there’s ever a really bad day for the world, we ought to do it, and it’s going to require agreement and verification.

MR HEWITT: Ambassador Richard Haass, who is now chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, said very recently – it may have been yesterday, it might have been this morning; I saw it this morning preparing – quote, “Secretary Pompeo doesn’t speak of China but of the Chinese Communist Party /as if there were a China apart from the party. This is meant to antagonize and make diplomacy impossible. Quite a stance for America’s chief diplomat to take unless his goal is to ensure diplomacy fails.” Is that your goal?

SECRETARY POMPEO: (Laughter.) Ah, goodness. Hard to begin. Here’s where I’ll begin: It’s a bit patronizing to the people of China to make such an assertion that they are not free-thinking beings, that they’re not rational people who were given – I mean, they too were made in the image of God, right. They have all the capacity that anybody in the world does. So to somehow think that we ought to ignore the voices of the people of China seems to me the wrong approach. It is true the Chinese Communist Party is a one-party rule. And so we will deal with the Chinese Communist Party as the head of state for China, and we need to, and we need to engage in dialogue. But it seems to me we would dishonor ourselves and the people of China if we ignored them.

MR HEWITT: Now, Ambassador O’Brien, whose speech you referenced, put heavy emphasis on the ideology of Marxist-Leninism. It was almost quaint to hear that conversation again; it’s gone from our vocabulary. Does the American people, and especially American media, need to reacquaint itself with what Marxist-Leninists believe, because the CCP genuinely does believe it?

SECRETARY POMPEO: I always get in trouble, Hugh, when I comment on the media. So I’ll say this much: For those of us who have lived and seen and observed, there are other Marxist-Leninist nations today as well – and have seen – they believe – they have an understanding, a central understanding of how people interact and how societies ought to interact. And it is certainly the case today that the leadership in China believes that.

We should acknowledge that, and we should make sure that we don’t for a moment think that they don’t believe it. It’s what Ambassador O’Brien’s speech was about. It was the fact – it was acknowledging that they believe it and recognizing that we have to respond in a way that reflects our understanding of the way they view the world.

MR HEWITT: Let’s not talk about the American media. I want to talk about the Chinese media for a moment. T