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Friday, 19 October, 2001, 05:29 GMT 06:29 UK
Terrorism war unites Bush and Jiang
George W Bush and Jiang Zemin
It was the first time the two men had met
President George W Bush has said the US and China have a "common understanding" of the threat posed by international terrorists.

Mr Bush was speaking after meeting his Chinese counterpart, Jiang Zemin, in advance of Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Shanghai.


I think the first priority is, of course, for Jiang Zemin to look me in the eye, take the measure of the American president

George W Bush

It is the first time President Bush has travelled overseas since the 11 September terrorist attacks and the first time he has met the Chinese leader.

Mr Bush said he was satisfied with the level of Chinese co-operation in the battle against Osama Bin Laden, chief suspect of the 11 September terrorist attacks, and his al-Qaeda network.

'No hesitation'

"There was no hesitation, there was no doubt they'd stand with our people during this terrible time," Mr Bush said.

Mr Jiang said China was willing to work to develop a "constructive relationship" with the United States.

"We have a common understanding of the magnitude of the threat posed by international terrorism," President Jiang said.

"We hope that anti-terrorism efforts can have clearly defined targets and also should hit accurately and also avoid innocent casualties."

The common fight against terrorism looks set to improve relations between the two countries, damaged by the Nato bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade two years ago, and by a row over a US spy plane earlier this year.

China is worried about Islamic separatists in its far western provinces.

Apec members
Australia
Brunei
Canada
Chile
China
Hong Kong
Indonesia
Japan
Malaysia
Mexico
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Peru
Philippines
Russia
Singapore
South Korea
Taiwan
Thailand
United States
Vietnam

Speaking before the meeting, President Bush emphasised personal chemistry.

He said it would be a chance for President Jiang to look him in the eye and take the measure of the American president.

Ahead of the meeting, White House officials said China's co-operation against terrorism has been good. They cited Chinese support at the United Nations and its decision to close its border with Afghanistan.

A BBC correspondent in Shanghai says trade issues, human rights and America's persistent complaints about China's proliferation of weapons technology were also likely to have come up during the talks, which lasted two hours.

The US has said there will be no quid pro quo for China's continuing support in the war on terrorism.

But Washington's need for international backing clearly gives Beijing a better bargaining position.

In a sign of improving relations, US Secretary of State Colin Powell has already back-tracked on the Bush administration's early description of China as a strategic competitor, saying the relationship is too complex to capture in a single phrase or slogan.

Taiwan

The Apec meeting was overshadowed by news that Taiwan was pulling out.

A member of the Taiwanese delegation blamed China for not inviting Taipei's chosen nominee to the meeting.

Apec summits are a regular source of friction between the two governments.

Taiwan, which China views as a renegade province, has taken part in previous meetings under the title Chinese Taipei so as not to offend China's sensitivities about its claim of sovereignty over the island.

Terrorism accord

Apec ministers were due to release a resolution condemning terrorism as a "fight between justice and evil".

But the document did not go as far as the US hoped, failing to mention the attacks on Afghanistan.

Apec has always been unhappy when dragged into political arguments, seeing itself as little more than a regional trade body.

The cautious resolution also reflected concerns in largely Muslim Indonesia and Malaysia, whose leaders have expressed reservations about the US-led strikes.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jonathan Head
"Mr Bush has nothing but praise for his Chinese hosts"
Douglas Paal, Asia Pacific Policy Center
discusses the implications of the United States' new relationship with China
See also:

19 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Apec overshadowed
19 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan pulls out of China meeting
18 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
China proud of its showcase city
18 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Apec condemns 'all forms' of terrorism
18 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Apec anti-terrorism draft statement
18 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
BBC News Online blocked at Apec
18 Oct 01 | Business
Apec backs world trade round
17 Oct 01 | Americas
US denies China sanctions review
17 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Spotlight on Shanghai security
17 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan Apec row heads for the wire
17 Oct 01 | Americas
US takes anti-terror drive to Apec
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