Fighting terrorism and boosting economic growth are the main topics at the Pacific rim summit in Shanghai, China. President Bush says it is only natural that they are discussed in the same forum. He says the two are intertwined.
President Bush is urging APEC leaders to stand with the United States in combating terrorism. "This conflict is a fight to save the civilized world, and values common to the West, to Asia, to Islam," he said.
On the day the summit began, the president was busy making his case not only to heads of state and government, but to top corporate executives as well.
It was his only major address during his stay in Shanghai, and it focused on lifting the global economy as a means of combating terrorism. He said the great alternative to hate is hope. "We share more than a common enemy," he said. "We share a common goal: to expand our ties of trade and trust - and now we must seize that opportunity."
The President has said before that terrorists often find their most fervent followers among the poorest of the poor. In his Shanghai speech, Mr. Bush carried that theme a bit further, vowing to build a future of greater trade, economic growth and human dignity. He said the Pacific rim nations can lead the way. "The Asia-Pacific region provides the world with a model and a choice: Choose openness, trade, and tolerance and you will find prosperity, liberty and knowledge. Choose isolation, envy and resentment, and you will find poverty, stagnation and ignorance," he said. "Our nations have chosen; we have chosen freedom over fear."
Mr. Bush called the fight against terrorism "the urgent task of our time," and he warned that terrorists want to undermine Asia's economic gains. "The stakes of this fight for all nations are high - our lives, our way of life and our economic future. By attacking two great economic symbols (the twin towers of the World Trade Center), the terrorists tried to shatter confidence in the world economic system. But they failed," he said.
President Bush said world markets have proven resilient and fundamentally sound. And the gathering of business and political leaders reacted with long applause when he vowed America will do its part to restore economic momentum for the world.