Remarks at a Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore in Singapore
President Bush. Thank you all. Mr. Prime Minister and Ms. Lee, thank you very much for your gracious hospitality. Laura and I are thrilled to be back here. I'm always amazed when I think about Singapore, a country that wasn't supposed to be; a part of the world where people basically said, "There's no chance for the good folks to survive and thrive." I'm amazed at your successes, and I appreciate the values on which your successes rest.
I congratulate the people of Singapore for being such a vivid example of enterprise and markets and hard work. I congratulate the Government for being visionary in its leadership. And I am thrilled that you allowed me to give a speech at one of your fine universities, talking about the importance of the Far East to the future of the United States.
I thank you very much for serving that meat. [Laughter] It was so good, it had to be from Texas. [Laughter]
The Prime Minister and I have had a lot of discussions about a variety of issues, and I shared with them one of my chief concerns, that our country would become— could possibly become isolationist and protectionist. In my speech today to the university, Mr. Prime Minister, I assured the listeners that it is in our interest to remain engaged in the world. It's in our economic interests and it's in our national interests that the United States work with strong friends and allies such as Singapore to spread prosperity and hope and to work to lay the foundations for peace.
Mr. Prime Minister, I appreciate your clear vision of the threats that we face. I appreciate the fact that you see the ideological struggle before us. I cannot think of a more steadfast leader in you and your willingness to make the hard steps necessary to deal with this challenge today so that our children won't have to deal with it in more severe terms tomorrow.
I'm proud to call you friend. Laura and I are proud to be in your presence. May God bless you and your important country.
Prime Minister Lee. Thank you very much.
NOTE: The President spoke at approximately 7:25 p.m. at the Istana. In his remarks, he referred to Ho Ching, wife of Prime Minister Lee. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of Prime Minister Lee. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.
George W. Bush, Remarks at a Dinner Hosted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore in Singapore Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/271967