The U.S. and Asia, Part I
After President Bush''s important trip to the Far East, I thought
we''d explore some of the key points over the coming weeks.
Excerpts from Bush''s speech before the Japanese Diet, 2/19/02.
"A century ago, our two countries were beginning to learn from
and about one another after a long period of suspicion and
mistrust. The great Japanese scholar and statesman Inazio
Nitobe, a man who understood both our peoples, envisioned a
future of friendship, as he wrote, ''I want to become a bridge
across the Pacific.'' That bridge has been built, not by one man,
but millions of Americans and Japanese.
"My trip to Asia begins here in Japan for an important reason.
"It begins here because, for a century and a half now, America
and Japan have formed one of the great and enduring alliances of
modern times. [Ed. Boy, this is a dumb statement...to forget
WW II...but we continue.] From that alliance came an era of
peace in the Pacific, and in that peace, the world has witnessed
the broad advance of transparency and democracy throughout
"...Last fall in Shanghai, the (Japanese) prime minister gave me
a special gift, a samurai arrow in a box in which the prime
minister had written, ''The arrow to defeat the evil and bring
peace to the Earth.''
"He also said, ''This is a fight we have to win to ensure the
survival of freedom.''
"I assured him then - and I assure you today - freedom will
"Civilization and terrorism cannot coexist.
"And by defeating terror, we will defend the peace of the world.
"...The success of this region is essential to the entire world, and
I''m convinced the 21st century will be the Pacific century.
"Japan and America share a vision for the future of the Asia-
Pacific region as a fellowship of free Pacific nations. We seek a
peaceful region where no power or coalition of powers endangers
the security or freedom of other nations, where military force is
not used to resolve political disputes.
"...America, like Japan, is a Pacific nation, drawn by trade and
values and history to be a part of Asia''s future. We stand more
committed than ever to a forward presence in this region. We
will continue to show America''s power and purpose in support
of the Philippines, Australia and Thailand. We will deter
aggression against the Republic of Korea.
"Together, Japan and the United States will strengthen our ties of
security. America will remember our commitments to the people
"And to help protect the people of this region and our friends and
allies in every region, we will press on with an effective program
of missile defenses.
"In a few days, I''ll visit China. America, like Japan, welcomes a
China that is stable and prosperous and at peace with its
neighbors. We are grateful for China''s cooperation in the war
against terror. We both supported China''s entry into the World
Trade Organization, and we will work with China in the great
task of building a prosperous and stable Asia for our children and
for our grandchildren.
"In the United States, China will find a partner in trade, China
will find the respect it deserves as a great nation, and America
will find and China will find that America speaks for the
universal values that gave our nation birth: the rule of law, the
freedom of conscience and religion, and the rights and dignity of
every life. Those are the values of my country, and those are the
values of our alliance.
"...Japan has some of the most competitive corporations and
some of the most educated and motivated workers in the world.
And Japan, thanks to my friend the prime minister, is on the path
[At this Bush should have stopped with his praise of Koizumi.
But then he continued...]
"I value my relationship with the prime minister. He is a leader
who embodies the energy and determination of his country. [No,
he has been a huge disappointment and he has, instead, embodied
the classic Japanese bureaucrat.] He and I have had very good
visits. I trust him. I enjoy his sense of humor.
"I consider him a close friend. He reminds me of a new
American star: Ichiro. The prime minister can hit anything you
can throw at him."
[Gag me. But on the more serious side, we desperately need
Japan to get its economic house in order for an important reason
that is often omitted from the standard discussions, that being we
need Japan to build up militarily to help us block any future
designs China may have on the nations of the region. The U.S.
can''t go it alone and a change in attitude in Japan towards the
military would be a huge help. This is where Koizumi is an ally.
He recognizes that Japan needs to shoulder more of the defense
burden in the Pacific and that the only way to accomplish this is
to get the economy cranking again. That''s why it''s such a huge
disappointment that his reforms have been so ineffective.]
On 2/21, President Bush and Chinese President Jiang Zemin held
a press conference. Following are some excerpts.
Jiang: "...To properly handle the Taiwan question is vital to the
stability and growth of China-U.S. relations. In my meeting with
President Bush, I have elaborated the Chinese government''s
basic position of peaceful reunification and one country, two
systems for the solution of the Taiwan question.
"And President Bush emphasized that the United States upholds
the one-China policy and will abide by the three China-U.S. joint
"Given the differences in the national condition of the two
countries, it is natural for China and the United States to disagree
on some issues which President Bush and I have discussed with
candor. So long as the two sides act in a spirit of mutual respect
...we will be able to gradually narrow our differences, enhance
our mutual understanding and advance our cooperation."
Bush: "...China, as a full member of the WTO, will now be a
full partner in the global trading system and will have the right
and responsibility to fashion and enforce the rules of open trade.
"My government hopes that China will strongly oppose the
proliferation of missiles and other deadly technologies.
"...As the president mentioned, we talked about Taiwan. The
position of my government has not changed over the years.
"We believe in the peaceful settlement of this issue. We will
urge there be no provocation. The United States will continue to
support the Taiwan Relations Act.
"China''s future is for the Chinese people to decide, yet no nation
is exempt from the demands of human dignity. All the world''s
people, including the people of China, should be free to choose
how they live, how they worship and how they work."
[Go get ''em, Mr. President.]
[Reporters were then allowed to ask questions and Jiang kept
avoiding inquiries about human rights, specifically the recent
arrest of Catholic bishops in the country. Finally, Jiang opened
up in a most expansive way.]
Jiang: "...In the first question, the correspondent mentioned that
some of the Catholic Church people have been detained. I want
to explain that, since the founding of the People''s Republic of
China, all our institutions have provided for the freedom of
religious belief. In China, there are many religions, which
includes Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Islam and a
typical Chinese religion (inaudible) and their religious faiths are
protected by our institution.
"I don''t have religious faith. Yet this does not prevent me from
having interest in religion. I have read the Bible. I have also
read the Koran, as well as the scriptures of Buddhism.
"I often have meetings with the religious leaders in this country.
For instance, when we are about to celebrate the New Year or
during the holiday season, I would have meetings with them and
"Whatever religion people believe in, they have to abide by the
law. So some of the lawbreakers have been detained because of
their violation of law, not because of their religious beliefs.
Although I''m the president of this country, I have no right
interfering in the judicial affairs because of judicial
[Source: China Post (Taiwan) and eMediaMillWorks Inc.]
[Well, that''s the biggest bunch of B.S. you''ll ever hear. It is a
travesty what goes on in China, and this editor will continue to
expose it as much as possible. As scholar Michael Ledeen wrote
in the Wall Street Journal the other day, China is "a maturing
fascist regime." Next week, some assorted quotes I gleaned from
the press while personally on Taiwan the week of Feb. 18.]