Chuck Hagel speaks about Asia Pacific region at Malaysian Institute of Defense

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a speech on Sunday about the Asia Pacific region's relationship with the United States while visiting the Malaysian Ministry of Defense.

"Over the last half-century, this special bond has flourished into a robust diplomatic, economic and security relationship," Hagel said. "We're both multiethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-faith nations, where our peoples live together in harmony, despite their differences. Both our lands are blessed with abundant bounty and many natural resources that we have worked very hard to develop. And we are both trading nations, seeking to improve the lives of our people through the promotion of international commerce."

Hagel said the relationship between Malaysia and the United States is a significant one. The two countries have developed an ever expanding relationship in investments, trade, culture and education. He said that the United States and Malaysia's militaries cooperate more now than they have in the past, which is an important part of maritime security and counterterrorism efforts.

Hagel said that even though Malaysia has had trouble since its creation in 1963, it has grown to overcome numerous problems and obstacles. He also said the current rise of the Asian Pacific region is due to the people's resilience, energy and entrepreneurial spirit.

"Together, the United States and all the nations of this region are defining a new future, one where we embrace the obligation to conduct ourselves responsibly and identify ways to work together to solve common challenges," Hagel said. "In that spirit of cooperation, we can ensure that the peace and prosperity that this region has so far experienced will continue into the future."