The war against terrorism will greatly affect the focus of President Bush’s first trip to China for a meeting with leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Shanghai, which includes China, South Korea, and Japan, as well as members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Russia.
The Shanghai meeting will afford President Bush the opportunity to hold private bilateral discussions with key regional leaders for the first time since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The President is expected to meet with Chinese leaders to exchange views on the anti-terrorism coalition and advance the bilateral agenda. He will have opportunities to meet with officials of Asian nations that have large Islamic populations, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, and key regional security allies. Mr. Bush’s bilateral conversations are also likely to touch on America’s plans to build a National Missile Defense system and on China’s entry into the World Trade Organization.
For the first time, the APEC leaders meeting is likely to address security issues. APEC leaders will be looking to President Bush to give a progress report on the war against terrorism, and the US will be seeking broad support as well as a commitment to a joint effort to stem terrorist financial flows. The APEC meeting will also review the deteriorating economic environment in the region and around the world and assess prospects for launching a global trade round at the WTO Ministerial Meeting in November. At this briefing, Brookings experts will examine these and other aspects of President Bush’s trip to APEC, and will answer questions.