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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                           (Omaha, Nebraska)
For Immediate Release                                   December 8, 2000

Fact Sheet

A Foreign Policy for the Global Age

Today, at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, President Clinton spoke about the role America has played in the world during the last several years, the principles that have guided the Administration's foreign policy and the path we should take in the future.

The broad outlines of a foreign policy for the global age are reflected in the principles that have guided the Clinton Administration's foreign policy over the past eight years.

  1. OUR ALLIANCES WITH EUROPE AND ASIA ARE THE CORNERSTONE OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY, BUT THEY MUST BE CONSTANTLY ADAPTED TO MEET EMERGING CHALLENGES. These core alliances are today stronger and arguably more durable because they are organized to advance a permanent set of shared interests, rather than to defeat a single threat. President Clinton broke new ground in 1993 by welcoming our European and Asian allies' desire to play a more responsible role while maintaining our troops and adapting our alliances in both regions.

Working for a Peaceful, Democratic, Undivided Europe -- Revitalized, adapted and expanded NATO from a static Cold War alliance to a magnet for new democracies, with new partners, members and missions; adapted its command structure; admitted Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic; created Partnership for Peace. -- Led NATO in its first military engagement and stopped the killing in Bosnia. The peace we brokered in Dayton has been sustained, a civil society complete with active opposition parties and non-governmental organizations is taking root, and national and local elections have taken place throughout the country.
-- Took military action in Kosovo to stop ethnic cleansing and regional instability. Forced withdrawal of Serb forces and deployed an international presence in Kosovo-- with a 47,000 strong NATO-led force providing security for the province. Achieved the safe and unconditional return of over 900,000 refugees, disbanded the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Adapting and Upholding our Alliance with Asia -- Updated our strategic alliance with Japan through adoption of the Defense Guidelines and Joint Security Declaration to define how to respond together to post-Cold War threats. -- Reduced the North Korean threat through deterrence, diplomacy. Negotiated the October 1994 Framework Agreement to freeze and dismantle North Korea's dangerous nuclear weapons fuel production and a moratorium on long-range missile testing in 1999.
-- Strengthened cooperation with South Korea to move forward to engage North Korea. Jointly engaged in Four Party Talks and established Trilateral Group (the United States, Japan and South Korea) to coordinate North Korea policy which helped create the conditions for an eventual North-South dialogue.

2. PEACE AND SECURITY FOR THE UNITED STATES DEPENDS ON BUILDING PRINCIPLED, CONSTRUCTIVE, CLEAR-EYED RELATIONS WITH OUR FORMER ADVERSARIES. We must continue to be mindful of threats to the peace while maximizing the chances that both nations evolve internally toward greater democracy, stability and prosperity. To achieve both goals, we must continue to seize on the desire of both Russia and China to participate in the global economy and global institutions, insisting they accept the obligations as well as the benefits of integration.

Building on Our Relationship with Russia -- Negotiated the exit of Russian troops from the Baltics, brought Russian troops into NATO missions in the Balkans and won Russia's active support for a just end to the Kosovo war. -- Brought Russia into the G-8, APEC, into a relationships with NATO and international financial institutions. -- Reduced the nuclear danger. Deactivated/dismantled over 1,700 nuclear warheads, 300 missile launchers, 425 ICBM and SLBMs; strengthened security and accounting of nuclear materials; purchased 500 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium; reached agreement for the safe, transparent and irreversible destruction of 68 metric tons of weapons-grade plutonium.
-- Supported economic reform and the creation of a market economy. Over 250,000 Russian entrepreneurs have received U.S. training, consulting services or loans. Today 70% of the Russian economy is in private hands.

Building on Our Relationship with China -- Helped maintain peace in the Taiwan Straits and worked with China to maintain stability on Korean Peninsula. -- Brought China into global non-proliferation regimes -- Chemical Weapons Convention, CTBT and Biological Weapons Convention. -- Negotiated terms for China's entry into the World Trade Organization, with Permanent Normal Trade Relations. Most constructive breakthrough in U.S.-China relations since normalization in 1979 -- will entangle China more deeply in a rules-based international system and change China internally.

3. LOCAL CONFLICTS CAN HAVE GLOBAL CONSEQUENCES. THE PURPOSE OF PEACEMAKING, WHETHER BY DIPLOMACY OR FORCE, MUST BE TO RESOLVE CONFLICTS BEFORE THEY ESCALATE AND HARM OUR VITAL INTERESTS. In a global age, arguments for peacemaking are even stronger: to defuse conflicts before they escalate and harm our interests. America's dominant power is more likely to be accepted if it is harnessed to the cause of peace.

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