- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 18, 2001

Few events could better highlight the White House's multi-dimensional response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks than Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum President Bush is attending today in Shanghai.
The summit meeting of 21 leaders of Pacific Rim nations from Asia, the Americas and Europe will be rife with controversy of the highly significant sort. As the White House tries to stamp out opportunities for terrorists to strike on every front, it is making foreign-policy decisions that typically take months, if not years, of bureaucratic wrangling to decide. Many of the White House's recent measures could strengthen relationships that will yield advantages in the future. But, the White House must be careful not to sacrifice long-term interests by over-accommodating immediate needs.
The White House is reportedly considering waiving military sanctions on China, which were imposed following the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and have been maintained, in part, due to concern over China's suspected missile technology transfers to Pakistan. Since the United States has recently struck a strategic relationship with Pakistan and eased sanctions against that country, military exports to Pakistan may have become less of a concern. And it is certainly understandable that the White House would want to reward China for its cooperation in the war on terrorism, particularly in light of China's apparent agreement to allow the United States to open an FBI office in Beijing.
In addition, the relationship between Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Mr. Bush has been increasingly cordial post-spy plane standoff that is. In August, Mr. Jiang said in an interview that, based on a telephone conversation with Mr. Bush, he found "from his voice I could feel that he was a president I could do business with," adding: "Both sides share a positive desire for a good relationship."
On the other hand, the White House shouldn't feel compelled to be overly obliging of Beijing. Washington must remember that China has its own reasons for wanting to cooperate with the U.S. anti-terror campaign. After all, Beijing has long been concerned about Uyghur separatists in the largely Muslim region of Xinjiang, and al Qaeda operatives appear to have been active close to China's border. Therefore, the White House shouldn't downplay its human rights concerns and support of Taiwan in a Faustian bargain with Beijing.
And Mr. Bush is apparently arriving to the APEC meeting with a victory. According to a UPI report yesterday, leaders of APEC countries, which include two Muslim nations (Indonesia and Malaysia), have prepared a draft statement demonstrating solidarity in condemning the Sept. 11 attacks: "Leaders unequivocally condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, as a profound threat to the peace, prosperity and security of all people, of all faiths, of every nation."
The administration has been admirably forward-thinking in its response to Sept. 11. It should be careful to avoid, therefore, Clintonian bandage solutions that leave new administrations with escalating problems.

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