Pompeo, Esper, Australian counterparts hold press conference
Traveling all this way halfway around the world to be with us today. That is a tough trip in ordinary, times. And. Your entire delegation, will be quarantining, when you get back. Not many partners would do that for us and so thank you to each of you and your teams. For being with us here in person it was very important that we all be together. To have this important conversation. Before she left australia, minister payne called this year's awesome in meetings. Quote the most significant. End of quote in her time. For australia's short medium and long-term, interest the same could be said. For our side as well. Our two great democracies, face. Immediate, crises, like the cobia 19 pandemic, and longer term challenges like the chinese communist party's ambitions. We need to deal with each of these challenges, simultaneously. We are lucky to count australia. As a close partner, throughout, all of this. When i was in sydney, last august i recall. Naming our relationship, as the unbreakable, alliance it's even more true, today. We started this morning by talking at length about the chinese communist party's malign activity, in the indo-pacific. Region. And indeed all around the world. The united states commends, the morrison, government. For standing up for democratic, values in the rule of law. Despite, intense. Continued. Coercive, pressure. From the chinese communist, party to bow to beijing's, wishes. It is unacceptable. For beijing. To use exports, or student fees as a cudgel, against, australia. We stand with our australian, friends. We also discussed, coven 19, pandemic. The united states commends, australia, for, publicly, condemning, china's disinformation. Campaign and insisting, on an independent review. Into this viruses. Origin. I also want to applaud. Your efforts to include taiwan on the world health assembly. So that the world might benefit, from, that vigorous democracy's. Wisdom. In dealing with the outbreak. We look forward to working together on our nation's ongoing economic, recovery, from this entirely, preventable, pandemic. Today we reaffirmed. Our collective, commitment to strengthening, supply chains, so that they are resilient against future pandemics. Ccp, retaliation. And the use of forced labor. Turning to hong kong. Our nations have both denounced the ccp's. Violation. Of its own treaty promises, and the crushing of hong kong's, people's, freedoms. The u.s applauds australia's, decisive. Response, to suspend its extradition, agreement. And extend, visas for residents, of hong kong. In australia. We also addressed the ccp's, attempts to dominate the technology, space we in fact spent a great deal of time on this issue. Astoria, was ahead of us in awakening, to the threat of untrusted. Vendors like huawei, and zte. We look forward to nations becoming clean countries, together. And finally. We'll keep working with our australian partners to reassert, the rule of law in the south china sea.
Which The united states and australia have both underscored, in recent, important statements. I'll let secretary, esper address. More about our military, cooperation, both there. And elsewhere. Ministers, as i, said. Just last week at the nixon library the burden. Australia, has undertaken to uphold democratic, values is not yours to bear alone. The united states knows the threats that you and the rest of the free world face. And the united states stands with you, in our unbreakable, alliance. Thank you again for being here today. Minister. Payton. Thank you very much uh, mike and to our, secretary, colleagues. Uh mark pompeo, and mark esper. It is a great pleasure to be here today both, minister linda reynolds and i, are very pleased that osmin, was, able to take place, in person, today. We know that we're living in a very constrained. Set of circumstances. So we particularly, appreciate, the effort made by the united states. To host us here. By the teams, who have, put together. An osmin, in, in these constrained. Circumstances. And i want to thank. All of those involved, i want to thank, ambassador, arthur cinedinis. And his team acknowledge, ambassador, a b culverhouse. Who's also made the trip from uh from canberra. And our secretaries. Uh francis, adamson, and greg moriarty, and the chief of the australian defence force general angus campbell. This year marks 80 years, of. Diplomatic. Relations. Between. Australia. And the united, states. This is the 30th. Osmin. Talks. And indeed, as uh mike. Referred to it is my fifth. In two incarnations. At least. It's hard to believe that it's a year, since we were in sydney. Because so much has happened. In the last, 12, months. And i want to particularly. Convey. My condolences. My sympathies. To. Those amongst the american, people who have lost loved ones, particularly. During the covert 19, pandemic. These are difficult, times, for all of us. As both secretary pompeo. And i have said, uh, at various, times. Australia. And the united, states, strong, and enduring, relationship. Is built on our shared, values. It's built on our resolute. Belief, in the rule of law, our respect, for human rights our promotion, of gender equality, our protection, of freedoms of religion, and belief. It's built on the fact that we are both strong. Liberal, democracies. That cherish, freedom of expression, and diversity, of opinion. And it's built, on our confidence, in making decisions, in our interests. At osmin, today we discussed, and reached agreement on a wide, range, of issues. We agreed. It's essential. That the alliance, remains, well positioned, to respond, to both the immediate, impacts of covert 19. As well as the long longer term economic, and security, challenges, that have emerged. Not just in the past six months but in recent years. Australia, in the united states, are deeply committed to strengthening, health security, efforts in the indo-pacific. To help states, combat covert, 19. And to prevent the emergence, of future, pandemics. So i'm pleased that as part of our talks today we have agreed to expand, cooperation. Under our health security, partnership. To explore, opportunities. To prevent, and respond. To detect and respond. To infectious, disease, threats including, ensuring, access to vital vaccines. Covert, 19, has without doubt, exacerbated. The security, challenges, in our region. Some countries, are using the pandemic, to undermine. Liberal democracy. The role, of multilateral. Institutions. Is more important, now, than ever. In supporting. Our values, and our strategic, objectives. As the world responds, to the health, and economic, challenges, of clover, 19.. We're therefore pleased also to be able to announce a new working group between, australia's, department of foreign affairs and trade, and the united states department of state to monitor. And respond. To harmful, disinformation. The rules-based. Global order, is a constant. Notwithstanding. Or, perhaps, even more so, given the impact, of the pandemic. We reiterated. Our commitment, to holding, states, to account when they breach international. Norms and laws. As we have done and will continue, to do so in relation. To china's, erosion, of freedoms. In hong kong. We also recognise, the importance, of international, leadership, and cooperation. Which for both of us involves, helping other countries, through the covert 19, crisis. We will step up. And ensure that we support, our mates further afield. That means working together to strengthen the capacity, of states in our region to recover, economically, from covert 19. Including, by supporting, infrastructure. Development. I'll work together for example. Along with the government of palau. And other partners, including japan, on the palau marine, cable, to provide, fast and affordable, internet to our pacific neighbor is a really good example of this, and i'm glad we've been able to progress our discussions, on these today.
We Will use the australian, us alliance as the basis, to deepen our friendship with others, we already do. We'll work more closely with existing partnerships. Such as the five eyes, asean, the quad, the trilateral, infrastructure, partnership, the east asia summit. And as we have through covert 19. We will build new, new groupings, cementing, friendships, improving. Our security, through a network, of nations that share, our vision. Of an open. Prosperous, and secure. Indo-pacific. I'm very proud to be here this week, i'm very proud that the enduring. Australia. Us, alliance, will be at the very heart. Of, this vision. Mike thank you and mark again for your hospitality. Well thank you minister payne, and minister reynolds maurice, linda, for coming all this way, to be here in person. Particularly, in the time of covid. Your presence, reflects, the strength of the u.s australian, alliance, and signifies. Our ever increasing, convergence. On the most important strategic, issues of our time. The united states and australia. Share a deep and enduring bond. United by common values, and forged through decades. Of shared sacrifice. Having fought shoulder to shoulder. In every, major conflict. Since world war one. Today. Our alliance remains strong and resilient, and is vital to stability. To security. And prosperity. Around the globe. And in the united states priority theater. The indo-pacific. Together we share a common vision for a free and open, indo-pacific. Where all nations. Big and small. Can enjoy the benefits, of sovereignty. Where free, fair and reciprocal, trade are the norm. Where states adhere to international, rules and norms. And where international, disputes, are resolved. Peacefully. Today we discussed, a range of issues regarding, the future of the region. Including the impact of the global pandemic. As well as the security, situation, in the south china sea specifically. And the indo-pacific. More generally. We appreciate, australia's. Significant, contributions. To covet 19, response, efforts, and we spoke in detail. About the chinese, communist, party's, destabilizing. Activities. And the fact that beijing. Is increasingly. Resorting to coercion, and intimidation. To advance, its strategic, objectives. At the expense. Of other nations. The united states seeks a constructive. Results-oriented. Relationship, with the prc. But we will stand firm. In upholding the international. Rules-based. Order. And we applaud, australia. For pushing back against the ccp's. Brazen, economic, threats, and coercive, behavior. And increasing risk. Of retaliation. We also discussed the prc's, less conspicuous, means of extending. Its influence through state-sponsored. Tech dominance. And we commend australia, for its decision to reject huawei, and zte. In its 5g network. Thus protecting, the integrity, of our intelligence, cooperation. And the many other aspects. Of our defense, relationship. In this regard i want to thank australia, for its continued support of the, marine, rotational, force at darwin.
Our Significant, presence there enables, excellent combined training between, the u.s, and australian, troops. And this year's rotation, is an important example. Of how we can meet our strategic, interests, as an alliance. While adapting, to health concerns, posed. By the coronavirus. We owe it to our partners to make sure that we deploy responsible. Responsibly. As i assured minister reynolds, of our preventative, measures. Additionally, last week, five australian, warships. Joined the uss, ronald reagan, carrier, strike group, and a japanese, destroyer. In conducting, a trilateral. Naval exercise. In the philippine, sea, ahead of the, upcoming, rib pack exercise, in hawaii. These exercises. Not only bolster interoperability. But also send a clear signal to beijing. That we will fly, we will sell and we will operate, wherever. International, law allows. And defend the rights of our allies and partners, to do the same. Amid these challenging and uncertain times the u.s australia, alliance, remains a powerful, force, for stability. And prosperity. In our region. And the world. And we thank you once again minister payne and minister reynolds, for your participation. Here today. Thank you. Well thank you very much secretary. To mark and to both of you mike thank you very much for your hospitality. And also for the very productive. Discussions, that we've had today. I'm delighted, that we're able to come here in person. Because there really is no, substitute. For face-to-face. Meetings that we've had here today. Since it's beginning, osmond has steered our alliance, through a rapidly, changing, world. From the cold war to confronting, extremism. And most recently, focusing the alliance activities. In the indo-pacific. But today we are both experiencing, a profound, change in the geopolitical, framework. That underpins. Our security. But also our prosperity. So now more than ever, we must put a premium on ensuring the alliance continues, to serve, both our nation's interests. And today, we have done, just that. Focusing, to ensure our alliance corporation. Is best placed to respond, to our shared, challenges. We've agreed an ambitious, set of defence, outcomes. Ones that advance our cooperation. In support of our shared vision. A vision for a region that is secure.
That Is open. And is also prosperous. Secretary esper and i signed a statement of principles. On alliance defence, cooperation. And on forced posture priorities. In the indo-pacific. This builds on our successful, forced posture cooperation. Over the past, 10 years. And it will drive the next decade, of our defence cooperation. In the indo-pacific. It will also strengthen, our shared ability, to contribute, to regional security. And to deter, malign, behaviour, in our region. We intend to establish, a u.s funded commercially, operated, strategic, military, fuel reserve. In darwin. We agreed to further deepen, our defence, science technology. And also our industrial, cooperation. This includes hypersonics. Electronic, warfare. And space-based. Capabilities. This will ensure the alliance, maintains, its capability, edge, in a rapidly, modernising. Environment. Further reducing, barriers to industrial, base integration. Will also, strengthen, our interoperability. And also, our shared resilience. When we released australia's, defence strategic, update, earlier this month. My prime minister, noted, that we now face a world, that is poorer. That is more dangerous. And that is, more disorderly. The australian, government's, 270. Billion dollar investment, in defence, capability. Over the next decade. Will build, capability. Resilience. And further agility. For the australian, defence forces. It will also allow australia, to make its strongest contribution. To our shared alliance security, interests. Right across the indo-pacific. And today. We reaffirmed, the importance, of working with partners, to strengthen, sovereignty. And also, resilience, to coercion. Our alliance. Is in great shape. But we cannot, ever, take it for granted. And this is why the substantial. Outcomes. And agreements we have reached today. Are so important for us both, thank you. Okay. For our first question let's go to nick schifrin from pbs. Newshour. Thank you very much uh mr secretary, minister payne if i could ask you both about china and mr secretary, more a more local question, um, mr secretary, uh, uh after your alliance of democracy, speech, uh you received some criticism. Uh by some people who called it unworkable, especially for european. Allies. As the trump administration. Pursues, a confrontational. Trade policy, on europe. And doesn't criticize. Other autocrats, including victor orban. How do you work through that. And minister payne another aspect of that speech. Was the admonition. Uh to help the chinese, people. Uh change the chinese government do you think that is possible. And or wise, uh mr secretary if i could quickly, more locally, you want you want three, questions. Yeah good try. Just quickly just let me let me just let me just let me just take your first question to me and then, uh minister payne can take the second one. No it's completely, workable. Uh as i said in that same set of remarks. This isn't about picking america, versus, china. This is about choosing freedom and democracy, against tyranny, and authoritarian, regime. And i am confident. That the democracies, are transatlantic. Alliance. All of those great nations, know, precisely, which side of that debate, they want to be on they know where their people's interests are they lie with freedom and democracy. And continued, economic prosperity, for their people that doesn't come. From. Partnering with or working with authoritarian. Regimes to threaten them but rather, working with countries like australia. And america, that value freedom and human rights in the same way that they do. You made a comment about the fact that, um we've not been consistent, on human rights i have a fundamentally, different view of that. We've been intensely. Focused on. Making sure that we stand up for the very values that the united states and, australia, alongside, of us. Care so deeply about i gave a set of remarks in philadelphia, now a couple weeks back. That talked about this and put it in sharp focus and talked about the unalienable, rights that matter so much. To the world. And we'll defend them everywhere. And i'm confident that our partners all across europe and frankly. Our democratic, friends all across the world whether that's in india or japan or south korea.
Or Australian partners here today, understand, that the challenge of our times is to make sure that those. Nations that do, value freedom. And do want economic, prosperity. Based on economic prosperity, based on, the rule of law. We'll join together to deliver that for our people. Last thing you asked the second question here i'm going to i'm going to take a, swing because you mischaracterized. Again what i said go back and look what i said, um. We need to make sure we're talking to everyone all across the world, the chinese when they come here they talk to democrats. They go they go to capitol hill and and lobby democrats, on capitol hill, uh american diplomats, ought to have that same opportunity. Uh so that we can speak to all people. That are part of the people's republic, of china it seems only appropriate, that we do that it seems. Quite necessary, indeed i would i would think that the government of beijing would want that, we encourage. Uh there to be freedom of speech, openness. The capacity, to work with. Elements, inside the united states that don't always agree with the administration. That's how that's how democracies, that's how economic, growth takes place those kinds of things are the right thing to do, and we're aiming, for our diplomatic, efforts to make sure that there's every opportunity. For people all across the world to speak to, all of the various views, that it contains, inside of the people's republic of china. Thanks very much mike and. Rather than i think make uh, individual, comments, on, the secretary's, speech secretary, speeches, are his own, australia's, positions, are our own, and, we operate. As you would expect on the basis of our, shared values, actually, which are reflected, in both the approach of the united states and the approach of australia. But most importantly from our perspective, we make our own, our own decisions our own judgments. In the australian, national, interest. And about upholding, our security. Our prosperity. And our values so we deal with china in the same way. We have, a strong economic, engagement, other engagement. And it works in the interests, of, both countries. That said of course we don't agree, on everything we are very different countries we are very different systems. And it's the points on which we disagree. That we should be able to articulate. In a mature, and. Sensible, way. And advance. As i said our interests, and, and our values. As my prime minister put it, recently, the relationship. That we have with china, is important. And we have no intention. Of injuring, it. But nor do we intend to do things that are contrary to our interests. And that is the premise from which we begin. Next can we go to sarah blake from news corps. Thank you, i have a question, for, both secretary, pompeo, and foreign minister, payne. Secretary, pompeo. There are currently, dozens, of australian, citizens. In syria. Who are the wives and children of captured islamic, state fighters. Do you think that australians should bring these people home, and if so why and if so why not. You know what i mean if you have a question for mr payne go and put that minister payne did the, question of the isis wives and children arise in your talks with secretary, pompeo, and will australia bring these people home and if so, why or why not maybe i'll let you go first since it's the same question in their australian, people, about which we speak well we've broadly discussed. A number of issues relating, to. Counter-terrorism. More broadly, and in relation, to syria it's important to note that australia, has repatriated. Some orphans, from syria but these are, very complex, challenges, and i don't think that that, should be underestimated. The priority, of the australian, government is the protection. Of australia. And the australian, community. We're a good international, citizen we don't shy away from our responsibilities. And those also of course, include our responsibilities. To citizens, at home, to our diplomats, and officials, who would be required, to travel into, what are very dangerous. Situations. And as, the government, has repeatedly, said the prime minister the minister for home affairs and i have repeatedly, said, we will not put australian, lives at risk to try, and to, extract, people. It's important to note i think that covert 19, has further complicated, this picture. Extensively. We have seen closed, borders.
Significant, Travel restrictions. Significant, international, travel bans put in place including, of course. In australia, itself. Movement, in syria, and in the region, is now more complex. Than ever. And at home we see our states and territories. Very stretched. As an understatement, in some cases. Because of the impact of covert 19. Infections. So any assessment, of the sorts of resources. That would be needed, to reintegrate. To monitor, to secure to de-radicalise. People who are brought home. Are under. Significantly. More pressure than they usually, would be and we will not put our communities, at home at risk, nor our officials, abroad. To extract, people from syria, under current, conditions. We will always take a case-by-case. Approach to returns. Of individuals. But at this point in time it's an extremely, complex, situation. And that remains, the government's, position. And we've made we've made very clear our expectation. Is that, uh the the places that. Uh these, uh, these fighters are being detained. May not be sustainable, and that we need to work with each host country. To bring those people back and bring them to justice back in, in their home. We think that's important we've been consistent with that all across. All the nations, that uh. That have fighters that are there, inside of syria. Third question, go to katie bill williams from defense. One. Thank you for, for doing this um first, to secretary, esper. Uh did the u.s and australia, discuss deploying either additional us troops or intermediate, range missiles, on australian, soil and can you give us any details, on the outcome of those conversations. And, secondly. Can you tell us what are your concerns. About military, style uniforms. Being worn by federal officers, conducting, civilian. Law enforcement, activities, in in portland. Um and then uh to minister reynolds. During your meetings this week um did, did the u.s side press, uh, did the u.s side press you to conduct freedom of navigation, operations. Closer to the disputed, island chains in the south china sea than australia, has has previously been willing. And and do you plan on honoring that request, um and and if so what has has changed, australia's, calculation. So i'll go first and i'll take your first question. Since it involves our australian, partners who have traveled 22, hours to be here today and. Face a 14-day, quarantine, on the back end let me just say we had a very wide-ranging. Discussion. About the capabilities. That the united states possesses, and that the capabilities, that australia possesses. And our desire to advance, them whether they are hypersonics. Or any other type of. Capability. And i think it's important as we think forward about how do we deter, bad behavior in the indo-pacific. And how we defend the international, rules-based, order, in this case specifically, with regard to china. I would like also to take this moment to commend australia. They recently announced, a bold, new. Defense strategy, that is far-reaching. And i think really. Really puts them at the forefront. As a really extremely, capable, partner, to the united states. And. A very capable partner in terms of defending that international, rules-based, order, and that will involve the full suite of capabilities. And strategies, we intend. To roll out together in the years ahead. Well thank you very much mark, and, katie, in relation, to.
Transiting, Through the region, and also freedom of navigation, and overflight. As you would expect. It was a subject of discussion. For those of you who know australia, has a long history. Of transiting, through the region. Unilaterally. Bilaterally. With, regional, friends. And also. Multilaterally. For example the adf, joint task group recently transited, through the south china sea, on its way to rimpac. And, as the secretary. Observed. We did a trilateral. Transit, through the philippine, sea. Our approach. Remains, consistent. And, we will continue, to transit through the region in accordance, with international, law. Okay last question, to amelia, adams, with nine. Network. Um secretary, pompeo if i could start with you there's. A lot of concern, um in australia, about the growing rift between. Euro administration. And china. As you know australia is very dependent on china. Should australians, be, concerned. About the long-term, consequences. Of the breakdown in relations, between your two countries, for our. Regional security. And perhaps. Minister payne if you could talk to the same. Question after the secretary. This isn't about a breakdown in relations, between the united states, and, china. This is about. Unlawful, misconduct, by the chinese communist party coercive, behavior. That frankly. Most western nations have permitted to go on for far too long president trump made very clear, as far back as his campaign. That we were no longer going to. Permit that to happen we were going to rebalance, the relationship, with the objective. Of getting a much more fair reciprocal, relationship, between the united states and china we've done it on multiple fronts we've seen it very publicly on trade. We've seen it the things we've done to make sure that we have. A safe and secure infrastructure. Australians, have been fantastic, at making sure, that australians. Information. Their private information didn't end up in the hands of the chinese communist party. So. Every nation, and its people. Needs to be aware of the threat that is posed by the chinese communist party to them, and i am confident that the australian government just like the american government, will act in ways that preserve their sovereignty, and secure freedoms for their own people. Amelia, i think in part i answered the question, uh in response, to uh the question from, our first uh representative, this afternoon, but, from australia's, perspective, let me reiterate.
That. We make our own decisions. We do that based on our values. Many of which, are shared values. Overwhelmingly. But most importantly, in australia's, national, interest. We do often hold, common positions, with the united states because we do share so many of those fundamental, values, and we both want the same kind of region. We want it to be secure. We want it to be stable. We want it to be free, we want it to be prosperous. And what this meeting is all about what osmin, is all about and has been in fact for its uh 30, iterations. Uh is. The alignment, of our broad, perspectives. Of australia, and the united, states on global, and regional, issues. That includes, our discussions, in in relation, to china it includes our discussions, in relation to covert 19. Response. And, recovery. We have i think, a demonstrable. Track record of making decisions. Based on our own interests. The number of those have been mentioned today in terms of protecting, australia, and australians. In the interests of national security, whether they are around countering, foreign interference. Whether they are ensuring, that our 5g, network, is protected, from high-risk, vendors. Whether they are about uh, the sorts of initiatives, that we've taken, more recently, around. Our foreign investment. Rules. We don't agree on everything though. And that's part of a respectful, relationship. It's part of a relationship. That has endured. Uh over a hundred years of, of mateship, to recoin, that phrase. And will endure, i am absolutely, confident, uh, face. Based on our fundamental. Shared values. For uh centuries, into the future. Thanks. Everyone.