Bush, Jiang Discuss Anti-Terrorism Efforts
Mr. Bush said the Chinese leader and his government “stand side by side with the American leader as we fight this evil force.”
China has shown a firm commitment, the president said, to cooperate in intelligence efforts and work to cut off funding to terrorist groups.
“We have a common understanding of the magnitude of the threat posed by international terrorism,” Mr. Bush said during a joint press conference following their meeting.
President Bush is in Shanghai for a weekend summit of 21 Asia Pacific economies.
For his part, President Jiang said China “stand[s] ready to work together with the U.S. side to increase our exhanges and cooperation.”
Jiang said China is “opposed to terrorism in all forms,” but said any anti-terrorism action should have “clearly defined targets” and “also avoid innocent casualties.”
Mr. Bush laid out U.S. concerns as well, saying actions against terrorism should “never be an excuse to persecute minorities.” In the past, U.S. officials have criticized the Chinese government’s conflict with Muslim separatists in the far western region of Xinjiang, where China’s 54-mile border with Afghanistan lies.
China has called for international support for its efforts to fight the separatists, who Beijing says are linked to terrorist groups.
On NBC’s “Today” show, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said there was “no quid pro quo” involved in soliciting China’s support.
“We’ve been very clear that there is a global terrorist network that has to be dealt with,” Rice said. “But obviously separatist movements, ethnic groups that may need to have their grievances addressed in a political process, are not put in that category.”
President Bush is due to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday. Aides say the two will discuss reducing their countries’ nuclear arsenals. Putin will also be in Shanghai for this weekend’s meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.
The Bush administration has been negotiating with Russian officials to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty to allow the U.S. to build a new missile defense system.
Rice told reporters not to expect any breakthroughs, saying the meeting will be a prelude to more discussions coming next month.
“They’re moving steadily along, but there certainly isn’t any expected agreement or anything like that,” Rice said.
China hopes the APEC gathering in Shanghai will show off its robust economy on the eve of the country’s entry into the World Trade Organization.
APEC represents almost half world trade and 60 percent of global output. It’s member countries include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.