WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and John McCain (R-Ariz.), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, introduced a Senate resolution Thursday reaffirming the United States’ strategic partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the multilateral organization that promotes stronger economic and cooperative ties among 10 nations and that for 50 years has contributed to greater stability, prosperity and peace in the region.
The resolution highlights areas of continued growth and development of the strategic U.S.-ASEAN partnership, focusing on issues such as trade; development and anti-corruption; transnational issues such as crime and drug trafficking; non-proliferation; maritime disputes; climate change; and democracy and human rights, including a call for the release of all political prisoners and an end to extra-judicial killings in the region.
The resolution also notes the foreign ministers of the ASEAN Member States are in Washington today meeting with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today, and welcomes recent remarks by Vice President Mike Pence on the U.S.-ASEAN alliance during his trip to Indonesia earlier this year.
Joining Senators Cardin and McCain in introducing the resolution as original cosponsors are U.S. Senators Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
“It is in the strategic interest of the United States to have a stable, peaceful, Asia-Pacific region bolstered by shared economic interests, security needs, and common values, and for a half century ASEAN has provided a platform for these aspirations in Southeast Asia,” said Senator Cardin. “I look forward to continued robust American collaboration with ASEAN and its Member States.”
“America’s interests in the Asia-Pacific region are deep and enduring, and this resolution recognizes ASEAN’s diplomatic, economic, and strategic importance to the United States,” said Senator McCain. “With challenges mounting in the region, we must work even closer with our ASEAN allies and partners to uphold a rules-based order centered on the principles of free peoples and free markets. Through the continued growth and development of the US-ASEAN partnership, we will send a strong signal of America’s enduring commitment to Asia’s security and prosperity.”
The resolution text can be found at this link.