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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 07:45 GMT 08:45 UK
Bush shortens Asia trip
Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi and President Bush
Koizumi has pledged support to US
The White House says President George W Bush has decided to cut short a trip to Asia next month in view of the crisis over the attacks on New York and Washington.

It said while Mr Bush would still attend a summit in Shanghai of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (Apec), he would postpone planned visits to Beijing, Tokyo and Seoul.

A spokesman said the president wanted to minimise the time he was out of the United States and the cancelled visits would be rescheduled when circumstances permit.

Jiang Zemin (r) welcomed US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Beijing in July
Jiang Zemin (r) welcomed US Secretary of State Colin Powell to Beijing in July
China said on Wednesday it understood President Bush's reasons for curtailing his visit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao told the official Xinhua news agency: "The two sides have agreed that Chinese President Jiang Zemin and President Bush will meet in Shanghai."

President Bush is also expected to meet South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the summit scheduled for 20-21 October.

Mr Koizumi has just held talks in Washington where he renewed a pledge of non-combat support - such as diplomatic and medical assistance - to the United States as President Bush tries to build an international coalition to combat international terrorism.

But Mr Koizumi also made clear he will not undo constitutional restraints barring Japan from combat operations overseas.

South Korea's President Kim cancelled a planned trip to New York this week because of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Correspondents say President Kim is keen to meet Mr Bush to seek support for efforts to improve relations with North Korea.

See also:

25 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Koizumi pledges Japanese support
19 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Asian casualties mount in New York
18 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Koreas agree to family reunions
03 Apr 01 | World
Timeline: US-China relations
29 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Powell dubs China a US friend
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