|Office of Research||Issue Focus||Foreign Media Reaction|
In heavy coverage from East Asia, and lighter commentary from elsewhere, analysts weighed in on the recently concluded APEC summit in Shanghai and meetings there between President Bush and his Chinese and Russian counterparts. A sprinkling of positive assessments across regional borders welcomed the APEC forum's "first-ever" "political" declaration and saw bilateral talks between Bush, Jiang and Putin as "reassuring" signs of cooperation between the U.S. and erstwhile global rivals, Russia and China. A larger body of skeptics and cynics, however, accented a number of cautionary themes. Among the most salient were that the APEC declaration's lack of direct support for the military campaign in Afghanistan revealed "deep divisions" within the organization, that a prolonged "war" would further alienate Muslim-majority Asian countries, and that the "cooperative" stance forged between the U.S. and China would be short-lived. Commentary divided as follows:
* Leading the group of those voicing nearly unqualified praise for the summit were official Chinese dailies and supportive pro-PRC outlets in the Hong Kong and Macau SARs. These dailies touted the "great significance" of China's hosting of APEC, but even they held that the U.S. and China still had "a long way to go" in "smoothing out their differences."
* Positive voices also emanated from Europe, where Mr. Bush's obtaining an open show of support from Beijing and Moscow in the anti-terrorism fight was seen as a diplomatic achievement for the U.S. president, and a "reassuring" sign in "today's troubled world." In contrast, however, Russian papers saw "pragmatic" reasons for both China and Russia's cooperation. One reformist Moscow paper judged that the U.S. had resorted to "pretty rough methods" to achieve the "non-committal" APEC declaration on terrorism.
* Other skeptics included dailies in APEC member countries (Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, independent media outlets in Hong Kong) a few European papers, India, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil. This group stressed that the U.S.' "success" in winning support from China in the campaign against terrorism had come "at a price" for Washington. The majority charged that Mr. Bush had been "forced" to "abandon" his administration's previously perceived "go-it-alone" stance, or that Washington would have to choose to ignore human rights abuses in China and Russia in exchange for continued backing from Beijing and Moscow.
* Curiously silent on the APEC meetings, media in Muslim-majority Indonesia focused instead on President Megawati's "lack" of a coherent plan for economic recovery for her country and an apparent reluctance to address the anti-Americanism visible in Jakarta and elsewhere. In Malaysia, government-influenced dailies took the high road, saying that the U.S. now "understood" why their country used "preventive detentions" of persons perceived as threats to the country's stability. In the region, President Mahathir's anti-globalization remarks resonated with editorialists in the Philippines and Thailand.
EDITOR: Kathleen J. Brahney
EDITOR'S NOTE: This survey is based on 53 reports from 25 countries, October 19-21. Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
CHINA: "A Grand Meeting That Promotes Cooperation And Development"
A commentator of official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao) intoned (10/22): "The Ninth Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders Meeting, which concluded Sunday, is the first such APEC meeting held in China and is of great significance and far-reaching influence. In an atmosphere of friendly and pragmatic consultation, leaders of APEC members exchanged views on the current macroeconomic situation, human capacity building and further development of APEC, and reached a broad consensus, as well as issued a Leaders' Declaration, a Shanghai Accord and other documents. The meeting was fully successful.... The leaders showed determination and confidence in overcoming difficulties and achieving economic recovery, which will exert a positive influence on the development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world as well."
"President Jiang And President Bush Hold Talks"
Wu Yingchun commented in official Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao, 10/20): "The meeting between President Jiang Zemin and President Bush on October 19 was constructive and fruitful."
"Summit Improves Sino-U.S. Relations"
Jiao Xiaoyang commented in official, Communist Party People's Daily (Renmin Ribao, 10/21): "President Jiang Zemin and U.S. President Bush's Friday summit meeting will energize bilateral ties, despite the fact that two still have a long way to go in smoothing out their differences, Chinese experts of international relations said.... It is believed that Bush has got what he wanted from Friday's summit--China's reaffirmation of support for a U.S.-led anti-terror war and closer Sino-U.S. relations.... 'Both China and the United States have been making efforts in recent months to strengthen their ties, and the success of the summit conforms to the process,' said Fu Mengzi, director of the Department of American Studies of the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations.... Bush's reaffirming of the one-China policy is an encouraging sign of improvement over his pledge months ago that the United States would do 'whatever it takes' to defend Taiwan,' said Chu Shulong, an international affairs professor with Tsinghua University.... 'The United States is now sweetening the atmosphere with China because it needs to crackdown on terrorism and revive the economy, but it will not likely change its stance on problems related to its fundamental interests,' said Chu."
"APEC Boosts Confidence, Hope"
The official, English-language China Daily emphasized (10/22): "The APEC economic leaders' meeting, which successfully closed yesterday in Shanghai, was crowned by both symbolic and tangible gains. The common resolve expressed by the leaders to tide over troubled waters offers something desperately needed in this region and the world as a whole: confidence and hope.... As an official in charge of organizing the 2001 APEC activities said: If people say the 2001 meetings are a milestone in APEC history, they deserve it."
CHINA/HONG KONG S.A.R.: "Guarded Statement"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post stated in its editorial (10/22): "For the first time in its 12-year history, the [APEC] group has issued a political statement to denounce terrorism. The high-profile stance taken by leaders of the 21 member economies...underlines their joint concern about the threat that terrorism poses to world peace. But the carefully drafted statement has also revealed the sharp differences that still divide them over this issue.... Although America has tried hard to give its military action in Afghanistan a multinational look by involving its allies, the APEC statement has asked the UN to play a major role in the counterterrorism effort. That is a rebuke for the world's greatest power as it tries to dispense its brand of justice by flexing its military muscle.... The leaders agreed to implement a range of measures aimed at countering terrorism, such as enhancing co-operation to improve air and border security, and developing a global electronic Customs network. Yet, until the ideological, ethnic or religious aspirations that drive vulnerable groups to use terrorism to advance their objectives are addressed--an impossible mission for APEC given its composition--the threat of terrorism will remain."
"U.S. Is The Winner At Summit"
The independent Apple Daily News remarked (10/22): "This is the first time they issued a political statement, denouncing the September 11 incident. [The APEC leaders] also claimed that they would enhance cooperation to prevent and curb all forms of terrorist activities and they would punish the ones who launched the September 11 incident. It is obvious that the APEC meeting in Shanghai has become a diplomatic battlefield for the United States to promote anti-terrorism. And the anti-terrorism statement is a significant achievement in the United States' diplomatic war."
"APEC Show Of Unity"
The independent, English-language Hong Kong iMail noted in its editorial (10/22): "Washington won an unprecedented statement of support for the U.S.-led global war on terrorism from Pacific Rim leaders. The summit of APEC leaders ended yesterday with a declaration condemning the 'murderous deeds' and a pledge to do all in their power to root out the scourge. The statement marked a first for APEC, which has in the past avoided political declarations.... As most members agreed, economic woes and terrorism are the most urgent and challenging issues the world faces. The unity of 21 of the world's once most robust, and still influential, economies is the greatest boost to confidence that an international forum could ever contribute."
"Alliances Rocked By War On Terrorism"
Hong Kong-based journalist and commentator Frank Ching noted in an op-ed piece in the independent, English-language South China Morning Post (10/21): "Despite efforts by China and Russia to change that situation...U.S. President George W. Bush today presides over a coalition whose very existence testifies to the fact that the United States remains the world's only superpower. But these are early days. If the war on terrorism drags on, or does not go well, it is by no means clear what the global alignments will be in a few years' time."
"Sino-U.S. Relations Improve"
Independent Ming Pao Daily News' editorial judged (10/21): "Gunsmoke is everywhere in Afghanistan. The chief commander of this war, U.S. President George W. Bush, accompanied by his officials from headquarters, came a long way to Shanghai to join the APEC summit meeting. His amicable attitude toward China is completely different from his attitude against China when he was first elected. It is obvious that Bush has to rope in China to strengthen the newly formed international coalition against terrorism. Originally the United States viewed China as its major future competitor. Now, the terrorist organization has become its biggest enemy. That is why the United States and China are walking closer and closer together. It seems that Sino-U.S. relations will have an apparent improvement in a short term. In addition, business and trade between the two countries will also create many opportunities."
"On The Mend"
The independent English-language South China Morning Post's editorial maintainted (10/20): ""Even before the U.S. began its war against terrorism, both Beijing and Washington were working to mend relations. But China's firm commitment to fight terrorism has added a new dimension of cooperation.... The desire for cooperation stems from the mutual interest both countries have in encouraging trade and investment and in maintaining a stable, global order. At times of political change in one country or the other, the element of competition comes to the fore. In more stable times, the two countries' mutual interest in cooperation rises to the surface. Beijing and Washington are at such a stage now."
"China, U.S. Get What They Want"
The independent Hong Kong Economic Times' editorial stressed (10/20): "For the United States, the establishment of the international anti-terrorism coalition has become the chief task.... China's support plays a decisive role. As for China, it wholeheartedly wants to develop its economy, improve its people's livelihood and strengthen its national power by joining the WTO. It hopes that diplomatic issues will not become obstacles. Judging from the above, the interests of the United States and China are not much different.... How long will such relaxed relations last?... If the United States can catch bin Laden and overthrow the Taleban regime, Mr. Bush's chief worry will disappear. U.S. reliance on China will largely decline. Just with as the plane collision incident this April: After China handed over the crew of the U.S. plane, Bush immediately turned his back on China. It is believed that after the anti-terrorism campaign yields some results, the United States will continue to confront China once more."
CHINA/MACAU S.A.R.: "China, U.S. Will Return To Strategic Cooperation Track"
The pro-PRC Macau Daily News commented in its editorial (10/21): "The [Bush-Jiang] meeting was very successful and the atmosphere was fine. That so much was accomplished has made people feel a bit surprised. This summit signals that Sino-U.S. relations will continue to improve and they will be back on a cooperative track.... Since the September 11 incident, terrorism has seriously threatened the United States. China is giving a helping hand to the United States in a timely manner, accelerating the continued improvement of Sino-U.S. relations."
TAIWAN: "Anti-Terrorism Top Priority, U.S. Silent About Taiwan's APEC Absence"
Washington correspondent Nadia Tsao wrote in liberal/pro-independence Liberty Times (10/20): "The EP-3 jet collision incident turned Washington and Beijing into enemies, but again, the terrorist attacks have made leaders of the two countries act as if they were in harmony. This...shows that the complexity of Washington-Beijing ties is not something that the Taiwan issue could affect or sway. Even though the atmosphere of Washington-Beijing ties seems to be getting better, the United States' strategic interests in the Taiwan Strait remain unchanged. Likewise, the geopolitical interaction will not be eliminated because of the campaign against terrorism."
"U.S. Adopts 'Parallel' Attitude In Handing Cross-Strait Issues"
Su Yung-yao noted in the liberal/pro-independence Liberty Times (10/20): "The hidden differences between Washington and Beijing behind the semblance of accord will not be removed simply by one meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush and his Chinese counterpart Jiang Zemin. From Bush's indication of a strategically clear attitude toward the cross-Strait policy, in comparison with the United States' attempt to develop 'constructive cooperation ties' with Beijing, it seems that the United States is tending to adopt a 'parallel' attitude in handling the cross-Strait issues.... For the United States, anti-terrorism is now its top priority.... If the United States sacrifices the interests of its allies in order to seek cooperation with Russia or China, other members of the UN Security Council, not only Taiwan, but also Japan, Australia and the European countries will re-evaluate their ties with the United States.... Taiwan need not worry too much about the 'constructive cooperation' ties between Washington and Beijing. Rather, it should really think about how to work with the United States in the campaign against terrorism and act like a really reliable ally."
AUSTRALIA: "APEC Proves Its Worth"
An editorial in the leading, liberal Melbourne Age concluded (10/22): "It was inevitable that this year's APEC meeting would be overtaken by measures to combat terrorism, given it was the biggest summit of world leaders since the September 11 attacks on the United States. It was also desirable that it should, even if APEC's primary purpose is as an economic forum. Free markets do not flourish in a climate of fear."
INDONESIA: "On The Brink Of Global Recession"
Independent Koran Tempo commented (10/22): "The major countries maintained their commitment from the APEC Leaders meeting in Bogor of ten years ago to help developing countries to not fall behind when the era of free trade is made effective in 2010.... Today, [Indonesia's] political conflict has abated. But, the signs of our readiness to enter the era of free trade have not arisen yet. The most obvious thing is that even today there is not yet a concept of major scenario from Megawati administration for economic recovery.... Right this time--and also for a few years to come--the problems we are facing are much bigger than those of 34 years ago--not only those related to free trade era of 2010 but also the shadow of global recession that chills even many developed countries."
"Looking At The Anti-U.S. Sentiments"
Independent Koran Tempo also featured this commentary by former Minister of Finance Mar'ie Muhammad on its op-ed page (10/22): "Like other countries, the United States surely will give priority to its national interests in the broadest sense, including retaining its supremacy and hegemony as global cop. Preemptive acts against terrorism must be taken in consideration of specific circumstances at national and regional levels. In this regard, ASEAN should take initiative, instead of just waiting. [Meanwhile], after the WTC and Pentagon attacks and U.S. strikes on Afghanistan, relations between the West and the Islamic world at the grass-roots level are even worse.... In the face of actions by anti-U.S. groups, the government only issued statements that anti-U.S. attitudes could harm the national interests, especially in the economic sector. There is not yet any intensive dialogue between the government and particular groups, which are increasingly outspoken and aggressive toward United States. Interaction with grassroots people should be underway using their language. The attacks on U.S. companies and products would only give rise to layoffs. Unemployment would only escalate poverty and poverty creates atheism that denies God's gifts."
"We Should Have Had A Firmer Stance"
Muslim-intellectual Republika commented (10/22): "No matter how skillful FM Hassan Wirayuda is, Indonesia will not be able to conduct good diplomacy until Megawati's government has a clear stance on domestic issues. We have been vacillating between two choices: whether we will proceed by depending on the 'good will' of the world's community (read: America) or are we going to depend on our own capabilities; and whether we are going to depend on the global economy or on domestic economy.... Certainly we are not going to choose either of the two choices. We want both. The problem is that it is impossible to reach both at the same time. Either one should be put forward. To sum up, will Indonesian become a pariah nation in the global economy as now or become an independent nation with a strong domestic economy so that we could have a role in the global economy in some years to come? The anti-American demonstrations constitute the public longing for a government which can develop based on the nation's dignity."
"Ending Anti-U.S. Demonstrations"
Independent Media Indonesia commented (10/21): "A wise call was voiced by Vice President Hamzah Haz that we should stop anti-American demonstrations for they would only harm Indonesia.... We all agree in condemning U.S. attacks on Afghanistan because the attacks, which were previously aimed at crushing terrorism, have turned reckless and killed innocent people. Therefore, we have to call strongly on the United States to stop the attacks.... President Megawati's statement during the celebration of Prophet Mohammed's ascension has received appreciation, the most recent being shown by some 20,000 supporters of the Justice Party. Their action supported President Megawati and urged the Parliament to make her statement a formal stance of the government.... Now that the government has taken its stance, the public should stop the anti-U.S. demonstration as Vice President Hamzah Haz has called for."
JAPAN: "Multiform Cooperation Necessary To Deal With Terrorism"
Liberal Asahi editorialized (10/22): "At the Shanghai APEC summit, most APEC member nations showed understanding of U.S.-led military strikes against Afghanistan. But anti-U.S. feelings or anti-military campaign feelings are rising in Islamic-dominated Indonesia and Malaysia. Against such a background, it is praiseworthy that the summit leaders agreed to fight terrorism and reactivate the economy without discussing the pros and cons of the use of force against Taliban strongholds. It was a 'flexible' response of the regional and multiform organization.... All the member nations need to adopt concrete anti-terrorist measures, including tightening an anti-terrorist encirclement net. It is noteworthy that the forum clearly asked the UN to play a major role in countering terrorism. Military operations against Afghanistan must be limited and restrained."
"Will U.S.-China Relations Improve Over Anti-Terrorism?"
Top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (10/22): "Needless to say, the meeting between Presidents Bush and Jiang dominated the just-ended Shanghai summit. The two leaders agreed to fight terrorism together and build up a cooperative working relationship, thus improving bilateral ties, strained since the inauguration of the Bush administration.... It is unusual that China has approved of--albeit conditionally--the United States' use of force against Afghanistan. The Chinese leadership undoubtedly took advantage of the terrorist crisis to improve relations with the United States."
"Anti-Terrorism Dominates APEC Summit"
Economic-oriented Nihon Keizai observed (10/22): "President Bush, along with Chinese President Jiang, chair of the summit, played the leading roles in having the regional economic and trade forum adopt a statement against terrorism, which was the first time a non-economic issue was addressed in the history of APEC.... All the summit leaders but Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir spoke in support of the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism. The APEC summit in Shanghai was meaningful in that the leaders shared a common resolve to fight terrorism. Whether the world can deal with terrorism successfully will depend on the results of the ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan."
MALAYSIA: "Bush Would Be Wise To Accept Mahathir's Advice"
Government-influenced Berita Harian editorialized (10/22): "The statement that international terrorism will not end until the Middle East crisis is resolved is a true and undeniable fact mentioned by Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to U.S. President George W. Bush at the APEC Forum in Shanghai. Many Muslim countries share the same viewpoint; only America and its allies seem to think differently and were not about to change their minds until the September 11 attacks.... That said, there is no difference then between the U.S.-led air strikes on Afghanistan and the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. The two situations reflect the arrogance of a stronger power bullying the weak...and that is a big mistake because the Taliban will continue their fight even though with old weapons, just as the Palestinians will not give up the intifada. Throughout this, terrorists will take the opportunity to promote their brand of 'justice'."
"New Era In Malaysia-U.S. Ties"
The government-influenced, English-language New Straits Times contended (10/22): "We can now safely put the strains in [the U.S.-Malaysian] relationship behind us and move forward to warmer ties that should continue to improve and strengthen.... The creation of a separate Palestinian state would dramatically reduce the anger and hatred among Muslims against the United States. This view has now been accepted by the United States as essential to building a lasting peace in the Middle East. Like the United States, Malaysia is...a working democracy, but it has been criticized for having laws that it considers necessary to allow preventive detentions of subversive elements in the larger interest of the majority. We have been vindicated in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the United States and the United States now understands why Malaysia, because of its counter-insurgency experience, still advocates preventive detentions. The already strong presence of American companies in Malaysia can be expected to strengthen further the warming of bilateral Malaysia-U.S. ties. We have always welcomed, and appreciated, the technology and management expertise of U.S. multinationals which have invested billions of dollars in Malaysia's electronics industry. We hope to see more America investments in future and its wider participation in Malaysia's K-economy."
"Not 'Rage,' But Outrage"
The government-influenced, English-language New Straits Times featured this article by the former group editor of the Utusan Melayu Group, Datuk Johan Jaafar (10/22): "I could never imagine the only superpower left on the planet would unleash its military might on the ragtag army of Afghanistan.... Remarkably, in the United States, politicians and the general public alike are atrociously ignorant of the realities 'out there.' Americans [have] befriended some of the worst tyrants in the world then, now and perhaps forever. The pundits are quick to suggest solutions. After all, this is about 'Islamic rage' and 'Islamic hatred' for America. To the Western world, Islam is too medieval a religion to lead the world. Or even to be used as the basis to run a democracy. To the West the face of Islam is that of backwardness.... The fact that injustices [have been] perpetrated against millions of others by non-Muslims all over the world is becoming irrelevant.... What is so wrong about allowing the Palestinians to have their own state? And the people of Iraq to live normal lives again? The Crusades, I thought, were about dying for Christianity. No amount of explaining to the Muslim world could contain their anxiety about what the Americans are actually up to. Afghanistan will have to endure the wrath of the only superpower left in the world. But the suffering of the people of Afghanistan will become another battle cry for the militants and an excuse for the terrorists to wreak more havoc. In the 21st century...the only remedy to fight terrorism is...a UN mandate that places terrorist states under 'responsible supervision.' I seriously thought colonialism was a thing of the past."
PHILIPPINES: "Clash On Globalization"
Tony Lopez, former Asiaweek Manila bureau chief, wrote in independent Manila Times (10/22): "Two leaders clashed at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Shanghai this weekend.... President Bush...sang praises to globalization, while Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad...denounced it. And I think Mahathir is right and Bush was talking through his hat.... Mahathir captivated his audience, saying 'The sacred truth that every globalization ideologue knew not so long ago was that globalization is always good--always good for everyone.... This is so contrary to the facts as they have been experienced by the countries of East Asia, Africa and Latin America.' In an amazing line of argument, Bush considered those who are against globalization terrorists. He said: 'Terrorists want to turn the openness of the global economy against itself. We must not let them.... Pursuing both openness and security is difficult,' Bush admitted, 'but it is necessary, and it is the aim of the counterterror measures the APEC leaders will commit themselves to (Sunday).'"
"Challenge In Southeast Asia"
The independent Manila Times' editorial remarked (10/22): "The 20 Asia-Pacific leaders who drafted a statement to close the APEC summit in Shanghai were careful to avoid mention of Usama bin Laden or the U.S. airstrikes on Afghanistan.... Winning over the nations of Southeast Asia, with their experience of colonization and their large Islamic populations, should be one of Bush's priorities. Their support of America's war on terrorism must not be taken for granted at this time."
SINGAPORE: "A Role The U.S. Cannot Afford To Bungle"
Ching Cheong, East Asia Correspondent for the pro-government Straits Times, commented (10/22): "APEC members'...willingness to line up behind Mr. Bush is no small success for the United States...but the chorus of support is also due to subtle changes in America's position on a number of foreign issues triggered by the Sept 11 attacks on New York and Washington.... Most obvious is the abandonment of its practice of unilateralism, which would clearly have got in the way when world support was required.... The United States has also come to realize that the root cause of terrorism is its Middle East policy.... Without this change in the U.S. mindset it would have been difficult for Muslim APEC members to give wholehearted support to the United States.... Mr. Bush has also beat a long retreat from his earlier hawkish position on China and North Korea. His rapprochement with China is nothing short of a phenomenal switch, and he has also signified a desire to re-open dialogue with North Korea.... Without these realistic adjustments fostering greater harmony in the region, Mr. Bush could not have won the support he sought in APEC.... For the first time in post-war history, America, Russia and China are joined in a common endeavor. In the global war on terrorism, the world accepts the United States as leader--it must prove itself worthy of that role."
SOUTH KOREA: "Unilateral Retaliation Dangerous"
Pro-government Hankyoreh Shinmun editorialized (10/22): "Despite its condemnation of terrorism as a grave threat to world peace, prosperity, and security, it is noteworthy that the anti-terror statement adopted at the end of the APEC summit did not openly support the U.S. military retaliation against Afghanistan, but stressed the UN's role instead.... We view it as dangerous for a nation to arbitrarily carry out military retaliation without sufficient explanation to the international community, even if it has suffered from brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks.... Unilateral military reprisal will only invite a vicious cycle of bloodshed. Thus, we believe adoption of the document stressing the role of the UN is significant in that it can provide the framework for the international community to fight terrorism."
"Anti-Terror Order And North Korea's Choice"
Ha Young-sun, Professor of International Politics at Seoul National University, opined in conservative Chosun Ilbo (10/22): "The APEC summit...produced a blueprint for a post-terrorism world order.... The 21st century is likely to become an era of anti-terror order following the Cold War order of the 20th century.... The developing anti-terror order will have important implications for inter-Korean relations.... In the face of the emerging 21st century anti-terror order led by the United States, North Korea is being pushed into a situation where it has to make some extremely difficult choices. If the North rejects the antiterror war and the formation of an international anti-terror network, the United States will impose much stricter conditions on North Korea for improving bilateral relations. Consequently, the ROK, sandwiched between the North and the U.S., will experience difficulties in pursuing its North Korea policy.... On the other hand, if North Korea supports the anti-terror war and the formation of an international anti-terror network, U.S.-DPRK relations can greatly improve. However, in order for North Korea to make such a decision, it will have to overhaul its existing foreign policy."
THAILAND: "APEC Must Focus On Economic Ties”
The independent, English-language Nation commented (10/20): “Some of the most pressing issues that require immediate attention and concrete actions from APEC leaders include ways to cushion the serious impact on the free flow of trade in the aftermath of the September 11 incident, namely the transport industry which has been hard hit by a sharp rise in freight rates, skyrocketing insurance premiums, and inordinately long security checks. Normalization of trade through the containment of the escalation of freight charges and insurance coverage as well as the uninterrupted movement of merchandise must be the top priority in any discussion on ways to prop up APEC economies. This crisis management is to make sure that APEC economies, many of whom rely heavily on exports to other APEC members, can have a fighting chance to weather the looming economic crisis. APEC leaders must send a strong message loud and clear that the regional forum is united in the fight against terrorism, not only because terrorism is a threat to humanity and all the civilized nations of the world but also because it poses a serious threat to globalization and free flow of trade and investment, which is the engine driving the world economy and the well-being of people everywhere.”
"APEC Joins War Against Terrorism"
The lead editorial of the top-circulation, moderately conservative, English-language Bangkok Post judged (10/22): “Mr. Bush came to Asia to ask for support from the diverse membership of the APEC forum. He got it, but in some cases at a price. As a group, APEC leaders did not approve the attacks on Afghanistan. The U.S. war on terrorism showed starkly last weekend that China has earned the United States' respect. President Jiang Zemin gave strong support to the Americans--including approval of attacks in Afghanistan. In return, Mr. Bush made no mention of China’s dreadful human rights record, or even its sales of advanced weapons and technology to Pakistan.... As APEC’s first political cause, the fight against terrorism should occupy a strong, even a leading position within the group. Each nation has pledged to contribute. [APEC] members now must decide what they can contribute, and set to work.... Dr. Mahathir has explained how Malaysia handled its communist problem in the past by settling the Chinese population's unhappiness. The same way with their terrorist problem, America should not ignore the dissatisfaction of the Muslim countries with the Middle East situation. The continued Israeli oppression of Palestinians has been seen as proof that the United States is an enemy of Islam. As long as Washington does not put pressure on Israel to cease its actions, terrorism cannot be defeated."
RUSSIA: "Big Victory for U.S."
Reformist youth-oriented Moskovskiy Komsomolets stated in a page-one report by Aleksandr Budberg in Shanghai (10/22): "U.S. diplomacy has won a big victory in Shanghai. The joint declaration on combating terrorism opens with a reference to 'the 9/11 event.' Many Muslim countries... didn't want any special mention of the New York tragedy, agreeing to sign a non-committal document on a need to fight terror. The Americans, using pretty rough methods, have had it their own way."
"Everyone Had His Reasons To Back Resolution"
Aleksandr Lomanov filed from Shanghai for reformist Vremya Novostey (10/22): "It would be wrong to see the resolution on terrorism exclusively as a concession to Washington. Practically everyone had his reasons to support it. Apart from striking the U.S. economy, the 9/11 attack hit many countries in Southeast Asia, primarily China, as the United States' major trading partners. To them, the declaration on combating terrorism is a strictly economic document."
"Russia Joins West Without Leaving East"
Reformist Izvestiya (10/22) carried a page-one report by Svetlana Babayeva in Shanghai: "Yesterday's meeting between the Russian and U.S presidents produced no grandiose sensation. But obviously, both sides needed it. It was timely, too.... Having Americans in Uzbekistan is better than having Taliban in Krasnodar (southern Russia). Let independent post-Soviet states decide for themselves with whom they want to be. A year from now NATO will reach the Russian border anyway. So why waste our energy and strain our vocal cords to try to stop it? Is that a concession? No, it is pragmatism, Russian officials say.... Russia is tired of being an exception. 'We want to be part of the civilized international community,' high-ranking Russian officials say."
BRITAIN: "The New World Order"
According to a piece on the independent Economist's Global Agenda website (10/22): "Bush's diplomatic campaign against terrorism scored some successes at a summit of Asia-Pacific countries in China.... The statement issued on October 21st by the leaders...was testimony to the remarkable global reach of America’s coalition against terrorism. It gave America everything it could reasonably have expected. APEC's raison d'Otre is trade, not international politics, yet the leaders 'unequivocally' condemned 'in the strongest terms' the terrorist attacks on America on September 11th. They did not explicitly support the war in Afghanistan, but did endorse efforts to 'bring the perpetrators to justice.' From such a large and diverse group, tacit acquiescence is in itself something of a diplomatic achievement.... Besides offering the opportunity for a display of multilateral unity in the face of terrorism, the summit was also the setting for some important bilateral encounters.... Bush had the chance to foster his improbably burgeoning friendship with Putin...who...has gone out of his way to be helpful to the American war effort.... The war has also cast relations with China in an unusually mellow light. A few months ago, the idea that Bush would reach a 'common understanding' with his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, would have seemed far-fetched."
"Handshakes In Shanghai"
The independent Financial Times presented this lead editorial (10/22): "The sight of the leaders of the United States and Russia exchanging warm words in China is reassuring in today's troubled world. Bush and Putin may not have announced any deals on the big issues that divide them--missile defense and NATO enlargement. But outlines of possible accords are emerging.... The United States is right to respond positively. There is nothing wrong with the fact that the improvement in U.S.-Russian relations is mainly due to Osama bin Laden. The two nations must seize the opportunity created by this crisis, especially as their actions also benefit others, including the EU. But the West must not abandon its principles. Russia remains a country where human rights are abused, notably in Chechnya. An alliance against terrorism born out of mutual self-interest must not become an excuse for allowing Russia free rein."
FRANCE: "A Good Alliance?"
Left-of-center Le Monde's Saturday editorial read (10/20): "America's diplomatic performance [at APEC] is a good one: the U.S. has rallied China's and Moscow's support. Something that was not an easy task.... This new 'alignment' became clear at the APEC summit.... Beijing, Moscow and Washington have a common enemy: international terrorism.... If this new alliance means that the U.S., China and Russia are agreeing on how to limit the weapons proliferation across the globe, then it is a good thing. But it is almost certain that this new alliance is none other than the latest evidence of realpolitik, serving very short-term objectives."
"The Bush Logic"
Pierre Rousselin held in right-of-center Le Figaro (10/20): "For 13 days we feared that the United States would be dragged into a trap.... Because President Bush cannot afford to lose, America is doing everything it can to win, preparing the ground in order to find Bin Laden and his men: the U.S. is ready to fight on the ground. Politically speaking, the United States is also preparing the post-Taliban era.... As he garnered the support of his former Cold War enemies [in Shanghai], Bush managed to score a few points."
ITALY: "The Western Coalition Has Become Global"
An analysis by Carlo Pelanda in pro-government, leading center-right daily Il Giornale (10/22): "The Bush administration has realized that America must turn from leader of a Western-only alliance...into a center for a global agreement.... The alliance with Russia seems to be very strong and very likely to become structured, at least as far the common handling of security (and oil resources) in central Asia is concerned. The new cooperation agreement with China is more selective, but unusually strong, since it has been achieved through U.S. willingness to grant more to Beijing. The point now is to understand whether this evolving architecture is only 'tactical' and ad hoc - i.e., reversible - or whether it can turn into a lasting global collaboration."
"America Can No Longer Act Alone"
Siegmund Ginzberg maintained in pro-Democratic Left Party (DS) L'Unita' (10/22): "The world has become multi-polar again in Shanghai. George W. Bush's America has obtained the condemnation of terrorism it was aiming for, even though not full support for its military operations. But with a price to pay: giving up the unilateral approach, the splendid and haughty isolationism, the desire to 'do it alone' that had characterized the initial months of this administration.... The Cold War is over,' Bush said in Shanghai. But what could really be over is a vision of the post-Cold War in which there seemed to be just one superpower that would address the others by roughly telling them: you are either with us or against us. The new password is: we are all in the same boat."
BELGIUM: "On The Margins At Shanghai"
Diplomatic correspondent Mia Doornaert opined in independent Catholic De Standaard (10/22): "On the margins of the economic summit in Shanghai last weekend, Bush received more support from Jiang Zemin than was thinkable a few months ago. Equally remarkable were the full support from Vladimir Putin, for the U.S. action in Afghanistan and the warm atmosphere between both presidents.... The important thing is that the permanent members of the UNSC are now more or less on one line--which creates opportunities to act unanimously and firmly against trans-national terrorism and for a constructive solution in Afghanistan, and to tackle the fire in the Middle East."
DENMARK: "Silver Lining"
Left wing Information editorialized (10/22): "It is possible, in moments of optimism, to get the impression that George Bush has realized the importance of become actively engaged in the international arena--the very forum that, before the events of September 11, he was doing everything he could to withdraw from."
POLAND: "Russia Back In The Club"
Jacek Potocki wrote in center-left Zycie Warszawy (10/20-21): "After the September 11 attacks the world again turned out to be small and interdependent. The superpower's leadership understood that their country would not be able to cope with global terror...without coordinated international cooperation. Washington dusted off the picture of Russia as America's equal partner because Russia alone has influence on the post-Soviet republics in Central Asia that are helping the United States build lines there for the struggle with Afghanistan."
ROMANIA: "Decades Of Diplomacy Couldn't Have Accomplished This"
Constantin Balaceanu-Stolnici stressed in independent Ziua (10/22): "After Russia, we also witnessed the involvement of China in this war, and this is one of the major events of the past few days. Decades of diplomacy did not manage to accomplish what a [terrorist] attack achieved in less than two months."
SPAIN: "The Shanghai Agreement"
Independent El Pais noted (10/22): "More relevant [than the agreements reached at the APEC Summit]...to the global alliance against terrorism is the dimension that seems to have developed in the U.S.-Russian relationship.... Vladimir Putin has come rapidly and conclusively closer to the U.S. as part of his attempt to redefine post-Soviet Russia's position in relation to the West.... Bush has responded to his approach. The terrorist attacks have completely changed the White House's priorities, and the emerging new-World order has brought about the redefinition of the relationships between the former enemies of the Cold War."
INDIA: "Lesson For Bush-Bound Atal"
Diplomatic Editor K.P. Nayar wrote on the front page of the centrist Telegraph (10/22): "George W. Bush won the endorsement of the Shanghai summit for fighting terrorism, but APEC stopped short of endorsing either the U.S. action in Afghanistan or naming Usama bin Laden. The lesson implicit in the Shanghai declaration is that even in these critical times, world leaders are reluctant to give America a carte blanche. This is a lesson Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will have to remember during his visit to Washington next month to meet Bush. The hero of the Shanghai summit was Malaysia's Mahathir Mohammed, and not Bush. Mahathir stood tall even in taking head on, issues of concern to the developing economies. Those in Shanghai will remember his words on the need for Asia to be cautious in allowing globalization. Will Vajpayee, like Mahathir, voice Indian reservations about U.S. policy on terrorism when he meets Bush on November 9, although India's reservations are very different from those of Malaysia's and Indonesia's?"
SOUTH AFRICA: "Summit"
Cape Town based, Afrikaans-language Die Berger opined (10/19): "Pres. George Bush left for Shanghai yesterday to attend the annual APEC summit...and will also hold talks with Pres. Zemin from China.... During the talks it is doubtful whether any matters which are seen as contentious between the two countries (United States and China) will be raised.... The matter which now overshadows all others in importance, namely the war against international terrorism and the urgent need to bring down the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.... In its own interest China will only grant limited cooperation.... In its western province it has to deal with a separatist Muslim movement, and the matter of Islamic fundamentalism is also of importance for Beijing.... One should not be misled by the superficial warmth and willingness to cooperate between the two leaders.... The interests which divide these to powers are too diverse.... China will not allow the battle against terror to make it deviate from its ideal to become the dominant power in East Asia...and America will not deviate from its purpose to prevent this.... The battle relating to the strategically important Spratly islands, and the position of Taiwan and the Central Asian republics will not cease.... The phenomena of an established superpower and one which is on its way to become one has occurred in the past more than once...and in every instance it eventually led to war."
CANADA: "Good News For Bush"
Jocelyn Coulon, the Director of the Pearson Peacekeeping Center argued in the centrist French-language La Presse (10/22): "President George W. Bush has reasons to be satisfied.... The good news first came from Europe, where members of the E.U...reaffirmed in the strongest terms their solidarity with the U.S. Other good news came from Asia...if some countries like Indonesia and Malaysia voiced some reserves, the countries that matter most, China and Russia, spared no effort to reaffirm their support to the Americans.... Another significant development is the Iranian position. Publicly, the regime in Teheran is asking for an end to the bombing...but last week, the New York Times revealed a secret agreement between Iran and the U.S. regarding the rescue of U.S. soldiers in the area.... It seems obvious that the wrath of the Muslim world is no longer what the Americans fear most but the Afghan winter."
ARGENTINA: "Bush In Shanghai -- In Search Of Support From Old Adversaries"
Silvia Naishtat, on special assignment in Shanghai for leading Clarin wrote (10/19): "Scheduled a year ago, after the attack on the Twin Towers this APEC summit is of great importance for its players, and the photo will show how the axis of the international alliance changed: Bush hugging his former rivals (Chinese, Russians and Japanese) is what Washington wants to show as the new symbol of unity against terrorism.... But what initially was going to be an APEC meeting to debate free trade in the Pacific region, is now focused on the fight against terrorism.... In view of what was disclosed by the local press, at this summit China will push forward a formal declaration of support for Washington in its fight against terrorism. Analysts speculate that the Chinese will take advantage of the new international scenario. According to this view, Beijing is planning to push Japan aside and become a leader. At present, China presents itself as a growing economy while the rest is sliding downhill."
BRAZIL: "Losses And Gains"
Liberal Folha de Sao Paulo political columnist Boris Fausto commented (10/22): "Following September 11, the United States will close its eyes even more to the violation of individual rights in China, as well as to repression of Tibetans and the disturbing Muslim minorities in that nation. It will not be a surprise if the United States adopts an accomodating posture vis-a-vis China in the Taiwan case. All this in exchange for discreet but effective support of the anti-terrorism actions launched by the USG and its allies. The Chinese example shows how the pieces in the chessboard of international relations have been profoundly changed, representing losses for some and gains for others. In this seesaw, China has gained a lot."
"Bush And Gates Bet On An Alliance With China"
Economic columnist Gilson Schwartz commented in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo (10/21): "George W. Bush's visit to China has been treated as a military issue. But its emphasis is economic.... The Chinese market is a crucial front of expansion for U.S. companies operating in the areas of information technology and communication.... Bush did not go to China because of the Taliban. The attraction is the APEC Summit."
"In Imperial China"
An editorial in liberal Folha de Sao Paulo judged (10/19): "Bush will go to China to show that U.S. military actions in Central Asia do not represent a threat against Beijing. For the Chinese Army's nationalists, the simple presence of U.S. troops in the neighborhood is already a nightmare. President Bush and Jiang Zemin may find common points in the anti-terror rhetoric. While Washington wants Usama bin Laden, China is interested in repressing Islamic terrorists in its Northwest region. Russia is also interested in fighting what it calls terrorists in Chechnya. The crisis occurs at a moment when Beijing was abandoning its traditional isolationism to adopt a more aggressive foreign policy.... China is today one of the few nations capable of counterbalancing U.S. power. It is in both nations' interest to find a common rhetoric to facilitate their understanding."