Press Roundtable in Jakarta

Antony J. Blinken
Deputy Secretary of State
Jakarta, Indonesia
April 22, 2016

Good evening. Thank you all for coming. I have just wrapped up my second visit to Indonesia and my sixth to the overall region in just over a year. Earlier this week, I visited Tokyo, Seoul, and Hanoi.

On this trip, as with many of my others, it has been extraordinary to see the growing dividends of President Obama’s rebalance to Asia and our common efforts with our Pacific partners and friends to strengthen a rules-based, norms-based, institutions-based order that is addressing regional and increasingly global challenges.

Emblematic of this effort, our partnership with Indonesia represents the incredible range and reach of the economic, security, and cultural ties between the United States and, more broadly, Southeast Asia.

The bond between our two nations runs greater than the currents of the ocean whose shores we share, and it’s anchored by our common interests and democratic values.

No one believes this more strongly than President Obama, whose perspective on the world was forged right here, in part, in Indonesia.

My meetings and events today have confirmed that our relationship—already strong—is poised to reach even greater heights to the benefit of our two nations and peoples, and the world beyond.

Today, I participated in a very productive round of discussions, including with Vice Foreign Minister Fachir and Coordinating Minister Panjaitan.

We discussed strengthening our cooperation on a broad range of bilateral, regional, and global issues—from trade and investment to climate change to violent extremism. We also focused on maritime issues, including the South China Sea and the threat posed by North Korea’s nuclear and missile program.

We confirmed and reaffirmed our commitment to ASEAN—Southeast Asia’s most important institution and a standard-bearer for a common set of rules that underpin the regional and global order.

I was also very pleased to meet today with some of Indonesia’s young entrepreneurs and innovators, whose ideas and start-ups are driving the expansion of Indonesia’s digital economy and helping not just Indonesia but also the world tackle some of our greatest challenges, like climate change and clean energy. It was incredibly inspiring to meet with these young people, who have extraordinary capacity for creativity and innovation. Some of the ideas that we saw today, some of the products that have emerged, are not only going to change Indonesia, but they also have a huge potential to change the region and other parts of the world. And it is evidence yet again that no one has a monopoly on good ideas, creativity, and talent, and the role of government is to find ways to help unleash that talent, wherever it is found.

The United States is proud to support these bright young problem-solvers through a variety of partnerships, including something that President Obama cares deeply about, and that is the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative. In Indonesia alone, there are already over 12,000 YSEALI members, and we very pleased to work together to expand the horizons of their future.

I also met with an impressive group of community leaders who are pioneering new approaches to reach those who might be susceptible to the call of violent extremism, as we work together to prevent exclusion, alienation, and radicalization in the first place.

As a Pacific nation, the United States is committed to deepening and strengthening our ties with Indonesia, which have already done so much to reinforce an environment of peace, stability, inclusion, tolerance, and growth for all the people in the region.

We value our partnership and friendship with the people of Indonesia tremendously, and look forward to our continued leadership on regional and increasingly global issues.

Thank you very much. I look forward to your questions.