美国总统奥巴马在上海与中国青年对话演讲,中文全文

美国总统奥巴马在上海与中国青年对话演讲,中文全文

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你们好。能够有机会在上海跟你们大家交谈,我深感荣幸。我要感谢复旦大学的杨校长,感谢他的款待和热情的欢迎。我还要感谢我们出色的大使洪博培,他代表了我们两国之间的深远联系和相互尊重。我不知道他刚才中文说了什么,但是,希望他说得不错。(笑声)

我今天准备先做一个开场白,但我真正希望做的,是回答问题,不但,回答在座的学生提出的问题,同时,也回答从网上提出的一些问题,这些问题,由在座的一些学生和洪博培大使代为提出。很抱歉,我的中文,不如你们的英文,但我期待着这个和你们对话的机会。

这是我首次访问中国,看到你们壮丽的国家,我感到很兴奋。在上海,我们看到了全球瞩目的发展——高耸的大厦、繁忙的街道,和如火如荼的商业活动。中国迈向21世纪的这些景象,给我留下了深刻印象。同时,我也期盼看到,向我们展现中国悠久历史的古迹。明天和后天,我会在北京,希望有机会,看到壮观的故宫和被誉为“奇迹”的长城。的确,这是一个既有丰富的历史,又对未来的希望,充满信心的国家。

我们两国的关系,也是如此。毫无疑问,上海在美国中国关系史上,是一个具有重大意义的城市。正是在这里,37年前,发布的《 上海公报》(Shanghai Communique)开启了我们两国政府和两国人民接触交往的新篇章。然而,美国与这个城市以及这个国家的纽带,可以追溯到更久远的过去,直至美国独立初期。

1784年,我们的建国之父-乔治·华盛顿派遣“中国女皇号”(Empress of China)驶往中国海岸,寻求与清朝通商。华盛顿希望看到这条悬挂美国国旗的船,前往世界各地,与像中国这样的国家,建立新的关系。这是美国人一贯的愿望——希望与新的国家建立新的、互利的伙伴关系。

在此后的两个世纪中,历史洪流,使我们两国关系,向许多不同的方向发展,但,即使在动荡的岁月中,两国人民也抓住机会,发展了深入的、甚至极不平凡的关系。例如,美国人民永远不会忘记,二战期间,美国飞行员在中国上空被击落后,中国公民冒着失去一切的危险,护理他们。参加过二战的中国老兵,仍然热情欢迎故地重游的美国老兵,他们曾经在那里作战,帮助中国从殖民统治下,获得解放。

近40年前,一个小小的乒乓球,带来了两国关系的解冻,使我们两国建立起另一种联系。这种方式,令人意外,但却恰恰促成了其成功,因为,尽管我们之间存在许多分歧,但是,我们共同的人性和共同的好奇心,得以从中显现。正如一位美国乒乓球队员,在回忆对中国的访问时,说:“那里的人民,和我们一样……这个国家和美国,有许多相似之处,也有很大区别。” 无须赘言,这个小小的契机,带来了《 上海公报》的问世,并最终促使(美国中国)两国,在1979年,建立正式外交关系。请看在此后的30年,我们取得了多么长足的进展。

1979年,美国中国贸易额约为50亿美元,今天,年度贸易额已经超过4000亿美元。贸易在许多方面,影响着两国人民的生活,美国电脑中的许多元件,以及我们所穿的衣服,都是从中国进口的,我们向中国出口你们的工业需要的机器。这种贸易,可以在太平洋两岸,创造更多的就业机会,让我们的人民,过上质量更高的生活。随着需求趋于平衡,双方的贸易,能够让两国的经济更为繁荣。

1979年,美国中国之间的政治合作,主要立足于双方共同面对的竞争对手苏联。如今,我们享有积极的、建设性的、全面的关系,为我们在当今时代的关键性全球问题上,建立伙伴关系,打开了大门,这些问题,包括:经济复苏和清洁能源开发、制止核武器扩散和气候变化的影响、在亚洲及全球各地,促进和平与安全。所有这些问题,都是我明天与胡主席会谈的内容。

1979年,我们两国人民的联系,十分有限。今天,我们看到当年乒乓球队员的好奇心,已经化为许多领域的纽带,中国留学生,在美国的人数,名列第二,而在美国学生中,学中文的人数,增加了50%。我们两国,有近200个友好城市,把我们的社区连接在一起。美国中国科学家合作开展新的研究与探索。当然,姚明只是我们两国人民共同热爱篮球的其中一个标志——遗憾的是,此行,我不能观看上海大鲨鱼篮球队的比赛。

我们两国之间的关系,相伴着一个积极变化的时期,这不是偶然的。中国实现了亿万人民脱贫,这一成就,史无前例,同时,中国在全球问题中,也在发挥更大的作用。美国在促使冷战顺利结束的同时,也取得了经济发展,人民的生活水平得到提高。

中国有句名言:“温故而知新。”当然,过去30年中,我们也曾遇到挫折和挑战,我们的关系,不是没有分歧和困难。但是,“我们必然是对手”的概念,并非是注定不变的——回顾过去,不会是这样。由于我们的合作,美国中国两国都更加繁荣、更加安全。我们已经看到:我们本着共同的利益和相互的尊重,去努力所能取得的成果。

可是,这种接触的成功,取决于理解,取决于继续进行开诚布公的对话,相互了解,相互学习。正如前面提到的-那位美国乒乓球队员所说——作为人,我们有着许多共同之处,但是,我们两国在某些方面,存在着差别。

我认为:每个国家都必须规划自己的前进方向。中国是一个文明古国,文化深远。而美国相对而言,是一个年轻的国家,它的文化,由来自许多不同国家的移民以及指导我国民主制度的建国纲领所形成。这些纲领中,提出了对人类事务的简单明了的瞩望,并包含了一些核心原则——不论男女,人人生而平等,都享有某些基本权利;政府应当反映民意,并对人民的愿望作出回应;商贸应该是开放的,信息应该自由流通;司法保障,应该来自法治,而不是人治。

当然,我国的历史,也并非没有困难的篇章。在很多方面,在很长的时间里,我们要通过斗争,去实现这些原则,对全体人民的承诺,缔造一个更趋完善的联邦。我们曾打过一场很痛苦的南北战争,将我国的一部分人口,从奴役下解放出来。妇女获得投票权、劳工赢得组织权、来自世界各地的移民,得到完全的接纳——这些,都是经过了一段时间才实现的。非洲裔美国人,即使在获得自由后,依然生活在被隔离和不平等的条件下,他们经过不懈努力,才最终赢得全面、平等的权利。

所有这些,都不曾轻而易举。但是,由于我们对这些核心原则的坚定信念,我们取得了进步,这些原则指引我们冲过了最黑暗的风暴。这就是-为什么林肯能在南北战争中,挺身而出并宣布,这是一场考验一个孕育于自由之中、“忠实于人人生而平等这一原则”的国家能否永存的斗争。这也就是-为什么马丁·路德·金博士能够站立在林肯纪念堂的台阶上,要求我们的国家,实践自身信仰的真正含义。这也就是-为什么来自从中国到肯尼亚的各国移民,能够在我国的土地上安家;为什么所有努力寻求机会的人,都能获得机会;为什么像我这种-在不到50年前,在美国的某些地方,连投票都遇到困难的人,现在,能够出任这个国家的总统。

这就是为什么,美国一直在全世界,为这些核心原则,而大声疾呼。我们不寻求把任何政治体制强加给任何别的国家,但是,我们也不认为我们主张的这些原则是我们国家所独有的。表达自由和宗教信仰自由——获得信息和政治参与的自由——我们认为:这些自由都是普世的权利,所有人都应当享有,包括少数民族和宗教少数派,不管是在美国、中国,还是在任何其他国家。正是对普世权利的尊重,指导着美国向其他国家开放,尊重各种不同的文化,致力于遵守国际法,并对未来抱有信念。

这些,都是你们应当了解的美国的情况。我也知道:中国有很多有待我们了解的情况。环顾一下这座伟大的城市——环顾一下这个大厅——我确信:我们两个国家,有一个很重要的共同点,那就是:我们对未来的信念。美国和中国都不想满足于已取得的成就,止步不前。虽然,中国是一个古老的国家,但你们显然也对未来满怀信心、雄心,和使年轻一代能比这一代人,更有作为的决心。

我们不但钦佩中国日益增长的经济,还赞赏你们在科学研究方面,极不平凡的努力——从你们建设的基础设施,到你们使用的技术,均体现出这种努力。中国现在,是世界上最大的互联网使用国——这也是我们今天,很高兴能把互联网作为此次活动的一部分的原因。这个国家,目前拥有世界上最大的移动电话网络,它正在投资发展既能维持可持续增长,又能应对气候变化的新型能源——我期待着明天,在这个至关重要的领域中,深化两国的合作关系。然而,最重要的是,我在你们身上,看到了中国的未来——年轻一代的聪明才智、献身精神,和梦想,将为塑造21世纪发挥巨大作用。

我已说过多次,我相信:我们现在的世界是紧密相连的。我们所做的工作,我们所建设的繁荣,我们所保护的环境,以及我们所寻求的安全——所有这一切,都是共有的。鉴于这种相互联系,在21世纪,权力不应再成为一场零和游戏;一国的成功发展,不应以他国为代价。这也就是-为什么美国坚决表示:我们不谋求遏制中国的崛起。恰恰相反,我们欢迎中国成为国际社会中,一个强大、繁荣、成功的成员——一个从你们这样的每个中国人的权利、实力和创造力中,获得力量的中国。

回到前面,提到的那句古语——回顾过去。我们知道,大国之间选择合作,而非对抗,会带来更大的惠益。这是人类不断汲取的一个教训,我们两国的关系史中,也不乏其例。我深信,合作必须不止于政府间的合作。合作必须植根于我们的人民——植根于我们共同进行的研究,我们的商贸活动,我们所学到的知识,乃至我们的体育运动。这些桥梁,必须由你们这样的年轻人和美国的年轻人,共同构筑。

因此,我高兴地宣布,美国准备将在中国留学的美国学生人数,大幅度增加到10万人。这种交流,是对在我们两国人民之间建立联系的明确承诺,毫无疑问,你们将帮助决定21世纪的命运。我完全相信,对美国来说,再好的使者,莫过于我们的年轻人。因为,他们和你们一样,才华横溢,充满活力,对有待书写的历史篇章,充满乐观。

那么,就让这个举措,成为我们稳步寻求合作的下一个步骤,这种合作,有利于我们两国,乃至整个世界。如果能从今天的对话中,得到一点启示的话,我希望:那就是,致力于今后继续进行这种对话。

非常感谢诸位。现在,我希望回答你们大家提出的一些问题。非常感谢。

 

英语,英文,由谷歌自动翻译;谷歌英语;谷歌英文
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U.S. President Barack Obama dialogue with the Chinese youth in Shanghai speech, the Chinese text

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How are you. Have the opportunity to talk in Shanghai with all of you, I am deeply honored. I want to thank Fudan University Professor Yang for his hospitality and warm welcome. I would also like to thank our outstanding Ambassador Jon Huntsman, he represents the profound links between our two countries and mutual respect. I do not know just what the Chinese say, but I hope he is right. (Laughter)

Today, I am ready to do a prologue, but I really want to do is answer questions, not only to answer questions raised by the students here, but also to answer some questions raised from the Internet, these issues present some of the students and by the Huntsman Ambassador behalf. Sorry, my Chinese, as your English, but I look forward to this opportunity for dialogue with you.

This is my first visit to China, to see your magnificent country, and I am very excited. In Shanghai, we see the development of the world’s attention – the tall buildings, busy streets, and business activities in full swing. China in the 21st century, these images, I was impressed. I am also looking forward to see, to show China’s long history of our heritage. Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, I will be in Beijing, would welcome the opportunity to see the spectacular Forbidden City and known as the “miracle” of the Great Wall. Indeed, this is both a rich history, and hope for the future, confidence in the country.

The relationship between our two countries, as well. There is no doubt, in the U.S. China relations in the history of Shanghai, is a significant city. It is here that 37 years ago, the release of the “Shanghai Communique” (Shanghai Communique) on our two governments and their people contacts and exchanges of a new chapter. However, the U.S. and the city and the country’s bond, can be traced back to a more distant past, until the beginning of American independence.

In 1784, our founding fathers – George Washington sent “Chinese Empress” (Empress of China) heading for the coast of China, to seek trade with the Qing Dynasty. Washington wants to see this ship flying the American flag, to the world, with countries such as China, to establish new relationships. This is an American has always been the desire – hope the new countries with new, mutually beneficial partnership.

Over the next two centuries, the tide of history, so that our bilateral relations to a number of different directions, but, even in the turbulent years, the two peoples but also to seize the opportunity to develop an in-depth, even a very unusual the relationship. For example, the American people will never forget that during World War II, American pilots shot down over China, Chinese citizens braved the danger of losing everything, they care. China participated in World War II veterans are still welcome return visit of U.S. veterans who had been there fighting to help China from colonial rule, liberation.

Nearly 40 years ago, a small table tennis, bringing bilateral relations thaw, so that we establish another link between the two countries. In this way, surprising, but it just contributed to its success, because, despite the many differences between us, but our common humanity and common curiosity, to appear from. As an American table tennis players in the memories of his visit to China, he said: “There’s people like us … … this country and the United States, there are many similarities, there are very different.” Needless to say, this little little opportunity to bring the “Shanghai Communique” come out, and the eventual (U.S. China) countries, in 1979, the establishment of formal diplomatic relations. Look in the next 30 years, how we have made considerable progress.

In 1979, the U.S. China trade of about $ 5 billion today, the annual trade volume has exceeded $ 400 billion. Trade in many ways, affecting the lives of the two peoples, many U.S. computer components, and the clothes we wore, are imported from China, we export to China’s industrial needs of your machine. This trade, in the Pacific Ocean, creating more employment opportunities for our people to live better quality of life. With the demand tends to balance the two sides of the trade, enabling economies of both countries more prosperous.

In 1979, the U.S. political cooperation between China, mainly based on the Soviet Union jointly face competitors. Today, we enjoy a positive, constructive, and comprehensive relationship for us in the modern era of critical global issues, partnership opens the door to these issues, including: economic recovery and development of clean energy, stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the effects of climate change in Asia and around the world to promote peace and security. All of these issues, all my talks with President Hu Jintao tomorrow contents.

In 1979, we linked the two peoples, is very limited. Today, we see that when table tennis players of curiosity, has been translated into many areas of the bond, the Chinese students, the number of people in the United States, ranked second, while students in the United States, the number of people learning Chinese, an increase of 50% . Our two countries, nearly 200 sister cities, our communities together. U.S. China scientists to carry out new research and exploration. Of course, Yao Ming, but our common love of basketball between the two peoples, one sign – Unfortunately, this trip, I can not watch the Shanghai Sharks basketball team.

The relationship between our two countries, accompanied by a period of positive change, this is not accidental. China to achieve the millions of people out of poverty, the achievement, unprecedented at the same time, China’s global problems, but also play a greater role. The United States led the successful conclusion of the Cold War, but also made economic development and people’s living standards improved.

Chinese have a saying: “Reviewing the Old.” Of course, over the past 30 years, we have encountered setbacks and challenges, our relationship is not without differences and difficulties. However, “we must be rivals” concept, is not destined to remain unchanged – the past, will not be the case. Because of our cooperation, the U.S. China both more prosperous and more secure. We have seen: We are guided by common interests and mutual respect, to work on what can be achieved.

However, the success of such contacts depends on understanding, depends on continuing open dialogue, mutual understanding and mutual learning. As mentioned earlier – who said the U.S. table tennis players – as people, we have a lot in common, but in some ways our two countries, there are differences.

In my opinion: Each country must plan their way forward. China is an ancient civilization, culture and far-reaching. The United States contrast, is a young country, its culture, by immigrants from many different countries and the founding of our democratic system to guide the formation program. These programs, the proposed human affairs straightforward look forward to, and contains a number of core principles – both men and women, human beings are born equal, enjoy certain basic rights; government should reflect public opinion, and the aspirations of the people to make response; business should be open, free flow of information should be; judicial protection should come from the rule of law, and not of men.

Of course, our history, not without difficulty chapter. In many ways, in a very long time, we must, through struggle, to achieve these principles, the commitment of all the people, to create a more perfect Union. We have fought a very bitter Civil War, part of the country’s population, the liberation from slavery. Women the right to vote, to win the right to organize labor, immigrants from around the world, to be fully accepted – these are only some time after implementation. African-Americans, even after access to free, still living in the conditions of isolation and inequality, through their tireless efforts, finally won full and equal rights.

All of these, have never easy. However, because of our firm belief in these core principles, we have made progress, these principles guide us crossed the darkest storm. This is – Why Lincoln in the Civil War, to come forward and announced, which is conceived in a test of a free being, “faithful to the principle that all men are created equal” countries can fight forever. This is – why Martin Luther King to stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the State requires us to practice the true meaning of their own faith. This is – why from countries from China to Kenya immigrants to settle in our land; why all efforts to seek opportunities to people who have access to opportunities; Why do people like me – in less than 50 years ago, in the United States some areas, have difficulties even to vote, now, to become the country’s president.

This is why the U.S. has been in the world, for these core principles, and loudly. We do not seek to impose any political system to any other country, but we do not think we stand for these principles are unique to our country. Freedom of expression and religious freedom – access to information and freedom of political participation – we believe that: the right to these freedoms are universal, everyone should enjoy, including ethnic and religious minorities, whether in the United States, China, or in any other country. It is the respect for universal rights, to guide the United States open to other countries, respect for different cultures, is committed to compliance with international law, and the future have faith.

These are that you should be aware of the United States. I also know that: China has much room for us to understand the situation. Look around this great city – look around this hall – I’m sure: our two countries, there is a very important thing in common: our faith in the future. United States and China do not want to be satisfied with what has been achieved, stalled. Although China is an ancient country, but you obviously have for the future with confidence, ambition, and the younger generation to generation than this, more as a determination.

We not only admire China’s growing economy, but also appreciate your respect in scientific research, an extraordinary effort – from you to build the infrastructure, the technology used to you, are reflected in this effort. China is now the world’s largest Internet user country – this is our today, are thrilled to bring the Internet as part of the reason for the event. This country, the world’s largest mobile phone network, it is to maintain sustainable growth in both investment and development, but also new energy to address climate change – and I look forward to tomorrow, in this critical area, to deepen cooperation between countries. However, the most important thing is, I am in you, to see China’s future – the young generation of talent, dedication, and dreams, will play a significant role in shaping the 21st century.

I have said many times, I believe: We are now the world is closely linked. The work we do, we build prosperity, we protect the environment, and we are looking for security – all of which are shared. In view of this interaction in the 21st century, the power should no longer be a zero-sum game; a country’s successful development, should not the cost of his country. This is – why the U.S. firm, said: We do not seek to contain China’s rise. On the contrary, we welcome China into the international community, a strong, prosperous, successful members – one from each of you that Chinese people’s rights, power and creativity, access to power in China.

Back to the front, mentioned the phrase the old saying – the past. We know that the big countries to choose between cooperation, not confrontation, will bring greater benefits. This is a lesson that human beings continue to learn, the history of relations between our two countries, but also many examples. I am convinced that cooperation must go beyond intergovernmental cooperation. Cooperation must be rooted in our people – rooted in our joint research, our business activities, we learned, and even our sports. These bridges, like you must be young and American young people together to build.

Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the United States prepared to the United States in the number of students studying in China, significantly increased to 10 million people. This exchange is between the two peoples in our clear commitment to establish contact, no doubt, you will help determine the fate of the 21st century. I fully believe that the United States, even the best messenger, than our young people. Because they like you, talented, energetic, on the chapter of history to be written, full of optimism.

So, let this move, as we steadily for the next step of cooperation, such cooperation will help our two countries, and the whole world. If from today’s dialogue, to get a little inspiration, I hope: that is, committed to the future to continue this dialogue.

Thank you very much. Now, I hope all of you to answer some questions raised. Very grateful.

 

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《美国总统奥巴马在上海与中国青年对话演讲,中文全文》有一个想法

  1. Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address

    My fellow citizens:

    I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

    Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

    So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

    That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

    These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

    Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

    On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

    On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

    We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

    In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

    For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

    For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

    For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

    Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

    This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

    For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

    Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

    What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

    Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

    As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

    Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

    We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

    For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

    To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

    To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

    As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

    For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

    Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

    This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

    This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

    This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

    So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

    “Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

    America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

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