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.
    Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roari
    X
    June 28, 2016 10:33 AM
    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora