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APEC Condemns Terror Attacks

Pacific Rim leaders condemned the September 11 hijack attacks on Sunday and vowed to limit the economic damage but stopped short of backing U.S.-led strikes on Afghanistan or naming Washington's prime suspect Osama bin Laden.

In an unprecedented move the leaders of the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum agreed to fight terrorism with specific measures, including enhanced airport security and financial controls.

"We condemned in the strongest terms the attacks as an affront to peace, prosperity and the security of all people, of all faiths, of every nation," Chinese President Jiang Zemin declared at the end of the two-day summit in his country's financial capital.

Even before the terrorism statement was adopted, reports CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, President Bush made clear he was more than satisfied with it.

The APEC Roster
  • 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
  • Interviewed on CBS News' Face The Nation, Secretary of State Colin Powell expressed surprise that the press was noting that the APEC statement did not include explicit support for the U.S. military strikes nor name Osama bin Laden.

    "We didn't ask for that. At least, you know, nobody in my delegation asked for that kind of reference in the joint statement," he told CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent Bob Schieffer. "We were looking for strong joint statement that came down squarely against terrorism, put APEC...strongly on record against terrorism and, in fact, joined the coalition in support of the United States' goal of ridding this part of the world of the al-Qaeda organization."

    The leaders issued a broader economic declaration as well as their anti-terrorism statement, which was the first major political declaration in the 12-year history of a grouping founded to promote free trade and regional economies.

    "The current downturn has tempered the short term outlook for the region and the downturn risks have been increased by the impact of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. on September 11," Jiang said, summarizing the leaders' views of the gloal economic downturn and the suicide attacks.

    The Chinese leader, who spoke in English, was wearing a red silk jacket. Behind him stood the other APEC leaders — including President Bush and Russia's Vladimir Putin — all in similar jackets in vivid crimson, blue, brown or green.

    On day two of APEC summits, leaders traditionally wear a jacket or shirt reflecting the host country's culture and style.

    The financial heart of Shanghai has been blanketed in security for the highest-profile meeting of world leaders since the attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania in which some 5,400 people died. Eerily empty streets and skyscrapers gave China's showcase city the look of a futuristic film-set.

    The declaration against terrorism still offered no support for the U.S.-led strikes against Afghanistan and avoided direct reference to the Saudi-born bin Laden, viewed by Washington as the mastermind behind the September attacks.

    Indonesia and Malaysia, both Muslim-majority nations, object to the attacks, but Mr. Bush has said that support for his strategy is near unanimous.

    But the declaration did say the leaders "unequivocally condemn in the strongest terms" the hijack attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon which have rocked the U.S. economy and sent tremors through Asian countries that rely on U.S. export markets.

    It expressed deepest sympathy to the United States before calling for "increased cooperation to bring perpetrators to justice" and pledging a coordinated crackdown on groups involved in terrorism by choking off their funds, stepping up electronic surveillance of travelers and tightening customs controls.

    The statement also called for beefed-up security at airports and ports and on board aircraft.

    Sean McCormack, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, told Reuters the United States was satisfied with the anti-terrorism declaration.

    "This type of declaration in and of itself is unprecedented," he said.

    Jiang, host of a glittering dinner on Saturday which culminated in a spectacular fireworks display that lit up the art-deco buildings of Shanghai's waterfront Bund, greeted leaders on Sunday at the wedge-shaped Science and Technology Museum.

    The museum was chosen to reflect APEC's emphasis on technology and showcase China's economic prowess as it awaits entry into the World Trade Organization, expected by year-end.

    In opening remarks, Jiang stressed the damage to regional stock markets and aviation, insurance and tourism industries.

    "All this has made the already grave economic situation even worse," he said. Leaders have sought to boost business confidence by talking up the future of a region that accounts for almost half of world trade and 60 percent of output.

    On Saturday, Russia and China pressed for an early end to attacks on Afghanistan after a meeting between Jiang and Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding to reservations expressed by predominantly MusliIndonesia and Malaysia.

    Mr. Bush urged APEC leaders to join forces against "murderers with global reach."

    "They seek weapons to kill on a global scale. Every nation now must oppose this enemy, or be in turn its target," he said.

    In his weekly radio address, President Bush said APEC leaders were discussing ways to better protect people against bioterrorism.

    The summit brought Bush and Jiang face-to-face for the first time, and despite their age difference — Bush is 55 and Jiang 75 — the two leaders appeared to hit it off fairly well.

    Mr. Bush has been gushing about Shanghai, a city that was a dreary socialist backwater the last time he visited in 1975 when his father, former President George Bush, headed the U.S. liaison office in Beijing.

    His adjectives to describe China's showcase city have stretched from "miraculous" to "mind boggling." But on Sunday, state media said Chinese analysts were concerned about "lingering divergencies" on Taiwan, arms proliferation and missile defense.

    The broader communiqué stopped short of committing to expansive fiscal and monetary policies, calling instead for "appropriate policies and measures to increase economic growth."

    An earlier text had committed APEC to "pro-growth fiscal and monetary policies" to help the world economy get over the shock to confidence inflicted by the deadly attacks.

    "It is important for all economies to take timely policy actions to strengthen markets and facilitate an early pick-up in global economic activity," the final text said.

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