US 'politicizing' Asian meetings

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, October 29, 2010
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Asian leaders gathered in Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi Thursday for a series of meetings amid a US attempt to reinforce its power in the Asia-Pacific region, and analysts say Premier Wen Jiabao is attending to mitigate concerns of some Asian countries over a rising China.

The meetings are taking place against the backdrop of mounting pressure on China over its currency and maritime territorial disputes.

Major concerns expected to be addressed during the series of meetings include the increasing US presence in Asia, as well as the influence that the presence of the US and Russia at the East Asia Summit will have on regional politics and economies.

Some analysts say that US' involvement in the meeting shifts its focus from economic issues to political ones, and that the US tends to combine territorial disputes in the region with other political issues - a practice that the analysts say can serve only to complicate the situation in the region rather than resolve issues.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, heading for an Asia-Pacific tour to "bolster ties with countries in the region," spent Thursday in Hawaii and was scheduled to give "remarks on American leadership in the Asia-Pacific region," according to Kurt Campbell, the US assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs.

The East Asia Summit, which used to include the 10 ASEAN countries plus China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia, has been extended to include Russia and the US. The two countries will become members next year. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Clinton will attend the summit as special guests this year.

Wu Xinbo, deputy director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times that the US' involvement in the meeting will result in a loss of its economic focus.

"The US hopes to instill US values into the meeting to contain China and influence ASEAN countries. It won't be a surprise if the meeting is dominated by empty talk and a war of words in the future," he said.

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