Three times in our generation, wars in Asia disturbed the peace of the world and drew America into serious conflict. On this Thanksgiving weekend, we give thanks that America--and Asia--are at peace.
Today I begin a mission to Asia to consolidate that peace and to visit our two newest States, Alaska and Hawaii, which are most mindful of the importance of peace in the Pacific.
I am traveling to the People's Republic of China to strengthen our new relationship with that great nation from whom we were isolated, in mutual suspicion, for almost a quarter of a century. Stability in Asia and international security benefit from this new relationship of mutual respect that we are developing between the United States and the People's Republic of China. We will stand for our own views, as we always have. But we will seek, in the American tradition, to foster mutual understanding.
I will also visit two important friends in Asia: the Philippines, one of our oldest partners, an ally which symbolizes America's historic link and commitment to Asia, and Indonesia, a nation of 120 million people, a good friend of the United States, and a country of tremendous potential and importance.
As I did last year on my visits to Japan and the Republic of Korea, I will reaffirm America's undiminished interest in the security and the well-being of Asia. That vast region is of vital importance to us and to the world.
I will bring to the people of Asia the good wishes and the friendship of the American people.
Thank you very, very much.