October 16, 2003 | WebMemo on Asia
Agenda Items for President Bush's Asian Trip
travel to attend the APEC leaders' summit in Bangkok on Monday will
include a six-day, six-country tour of Asia. Visiting these key
Asia-Pacific countries is an important statement regarding U.S.
foreign policy goals.
On the way to the
APEC meeting, the President will stop in Japan and the Philippines.
Following the summit, he will visit Singapore, and Indonesia --
including a three-hour stop in Bali -- on his way to Australia.
Visits with the
leaders of these countries will provide an opportunity for
President Bush to push for interests of mutual concern. In addition
to the issues the President will advance at APEC, during these
visits, his agenda should include the following.
Reaffirm the U.S.-Japan alliance as one of the cornerstones of
stability and prosperity in North East Asia. President Bush should
also acknowledge Japan's important contribution to the war on
terrorism and the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. In addition,
he should urge continued cooperation in Missile Defense.
Confirm Japan's critical role in resolving the North Korean nuclear
issue. Japan's continued cooperation and support for the U.S.
position regarding North Korea greatly enhances the prospects of
creating a multilateral resolution to the standoff.
Encourage continued efforts towards economic reforms and
restructuring. As the world's second largest economy, a robust
Japanese economy is essential to global and regional economic
- Thank President
Arroyo for Philippine's support for the war on terrorism.
- Decline to
increase military assistance above the current robust
- Offer programs to
develop all elements of Philippine law enforcement to help fight
- Insist on a
negotiated settlement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
and offer targeted economic assistance to promote peace on
Manila's participation in the President's Enterprise for ASEAN
Initiative, but do not offer unilateral trade privileges. Instead,
offer to negotiate a mutually beneficial free trade agreement,
similar to those with Singapore and Thailand.
- Ask President
Arroyo to support American sanctions against Burma.
- Announce that
negotiations will begin on a Free Trade Agreement with
- Thank Prime
Minister Thaksin for his help in the war on terrorism, including
sending troops to Iraq and apprehending Jemaah Islamiyah mastermind
- Ask for Bangkok's
support for American sanctions on Burma.
- Thank Singapore
for its leadership in pushing for free and open trade throughout
- Thank President
Nathan for his support in the war on terrorism.
- Ask for
Singapore's support for sanctions against Burma.
- Take a hard line
on terrorism. President Megawatti and her Vice President, Hamzah
Haz, have lost no opportunity to criticize the United States and
the war on terrorism.
- Point out to
President Megawatti that Indonesia is a victim of terrorism and
that her government must do more to combat terrorism and
- Remind Megawatti
that Southeast Asia's terrorists, Jemaah Islamiyah, are not
fighting for Palestine, but to create a pan-Islamic state across
the Southeast Asian archipelago.
- Assure President
Megawatti that the United States supports and defends the
territorial integrity and sovereignty of Indonesia. Nevertheless,
stress that the government of Indonesia is responsible for the
lives and property of all its citizens and that fighting an
insurgency is not an excuse for human rights abuses.
- Declare that the
United States expects a full accounting for the murder of the two
Americans in Papua.
- Inform President
Megawatti that full military-to-military relations will not be
restored until the government of Indonesia meets three conditions:
(1) instituting civilian control of the military; (2) creating a
transparent military budget; and (3) making military personnel
subject to civil law.
- Meet with
Indonesia's moderate Muslim leaders-particularly the leaders of
Nahdlatul Ulama, which is the world's largest Muslim organization
with 40 million members, and the 25-million-strong
- Thank Prime
Minister Howard for Australia's support for the war on
- Comment on
Australia's activist foreign policy and the responsible role
Australia plays in the region.
- Commend Australia
on its patience and determination to complete a Free Trade
Agreement with the United States and express the goal of concluding
negotiations before the end of this year.
visit to these key Asia-Pacific countries is an important statement
regarding U.S. foreign policy goals. In this time of global
turmoil, the support of America's allies and friends in Asia is
critical to U.S. security and economic interests. The President's
trip throughout the Pacific region will garner crucial support and
cement friendly relationships.