News

    President Bush’s Asia Trip and US-East Asia Relations

    Multimedia

    Audio

    President Bush recently returned to Washington following an 8-day trip to East Asia, during which he visited Japan, South Korea, China, and Mongolia.  He also met with leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation group, at their annual summit in South Korea.  The President began his trip in Japan with a speech that urged Chinese leaders to meet what he called the legitimate demands of their people for freedom and openness. 

    But President Bush’s suggestions have not produced much reaction from the Chinese media.  Jehangir Pocha, Beijing-based China correspondent for the Boston Globe, said the fact that the President made his key speech of the trip in Japan gave the Chinese government an easy option not to allow the media to cover it at all.  Speaking with host Judith Latham of VOA News Now’s International Press Club, Mr. Pocha noted that that Mr. Bush’s implied criticism of the lack of religious freedom in China after attending a church in Beijing likewise had received no media attention.

    According to Jehangir Pocha, the growing rift between Japan and its neighbors, particularly China, was one of the most important political undertones of the trip.   He said the rise of the right in Japan and the Koizumi government’s nationalistic militant movement calling for rearmament has made many people in Asia extremely uncomfortable.  But it is something Washington supports, because it would like to see Japan assume a larger share of its own security responsibilities.

    Sung Joon Kim, Washington correspondent for the Seoul Broadcasting System, echoed Mr. Pocha’s concern about the close relationship between Washington and Tokyo.  Otherwise, Mr. Kim described President Bush’s trip to Korea as cordial, but uneventful.  However, Seoul disappointed Washington with its preliminary announcement that it would reduce its troop commitments to Iraq by a third.

    Mongolia, a country that has firmly supported the U.S.-led war in Iraq, was Mr. Bush’s last stop on his Asian trip.  And, Jehangir Pocha noted he was enthusiastically received there.  Mr. Pocha added that, although not well publicized, Mongolia has established a “backdoor, diplomatic dialogue” with North Korea, and it has played a useful role there.  He observed that Mongolia is the “only ex-Soviet republic” to have successfully transitioned to a free-market democracy.  And, in that sense, it is a fine example to hold out to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – and even to China and North Korea – that the transition is possible in a reasonably bloodless way.

    Most international journalists say that there was no significant progress on resolving the trade imbalance between the United States and China.  But President Bush and President Hu did agree to work together to stop the spread of avian flu, a central focus of the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in South Korea.

    To listen to all of the comments, click on the audio link above.

     

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora