President Bush. It was the response that Pyongyang gave to George Bush’s statement pertaining to his readiness to start a dialogue with North Korea. Furthermore, the North Korean leaders believe that the USA wants to seize their country with “the power of dollar.” This was the background for American president's tour in the Far-Eastern countries.
The last stop of the tour was Beijing. Relations with China are one of the major priority for American foreign policy. Bush’s major goal is to make China's administration agree with America's estimation about the problems of international terrorism and the ways to struggle with it. However, it seems that Bush’s administration will not be able to achieve a mutual understanding with Beijing in this respect (taking into consideration the fact that the American-Chinese relations have not worsened even after several spy scandals).
The American president failed to convince Jiang Zemin to stop selling missiles and nuclear technologies to Iran, North Korea, and Pakistan. American and Chinese interests are different in this respect. Beijing is not going to sacrifice its influence on these states just to please Washington. George Bush said on Friday, making a speech in one of Beijing's universities, that if there were a conflict between Taiwan and China, the USA would support the unrecognized insular state. Bush tried to smooth the harshness of his statement, having added that the United States respected China’s territorial integrity.
As it was expected, the American president did not lose the opportunity to call upon the Chinese to observe human rights and exercise religious tolerance. Jiang Zemin answered that China did not punish anyone for their faith; it is the violation of the country’s laws that leads to punitive measures.
Another subject that was touched upon during the negotiations was the relations between Washington and Pyongyang. Bush offered China to act as a mediator and to help to set up a dialogue between the USA and North Korea. This does not mean that China’s mediation will help such a dialogue succeed. North Korea was insulted with Bush's recent statements pertaining to the “axis of evil.”
Nevertheless, George Bush decided to point out the American and Chinese joint position as far as the anti-terrorist struggle is concerned. No wonder. The American administration is interested in wide international support for its plans, especially from such countries as China.
George Bush said that such support had been received. The American president stated that all three countries (Japan, South Korea, and China) were ready to render support to the USA in the field of the anti-terrorist struggle, which was declared after the attack on America in September. However, there is still no answer to the question as to how far this support can go. There is nothing to prove that the American delegation managed to change its partners’ minds regarding possible operations against Iraq. Therefore, future events will show us if George Bush’s tour was a success.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov