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Dear President Clinton : voices from Asia and the Pacific

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Publication Date: January 1993

Publisher(s): East-West Center

Author(s): Richard Halloran; John Schidlovsky

Series: AsiaPacific issues ; no. 6

Topic: Government (Foreign relations)

Type: Report

Coverage: Asia Asia United States


On the eve of President Clinton's trip to Tokyo to attend the July summit of industrial nations, the East-West Center asked 14 leading Asian and Pacific journalists-all of whom have been associated with the Center-for their assessments and expectations of America's new leadership. Addressed directly to the president, the resulting "letters" reveal the complex issues America faces in the region. There is often agreement on issues: "The tough U.S. position on trade comes at a time when your government has not shown any real commitment to regional security in Asia," says a Thai journalist, summing up the feelings of many. But sharp disagreements also emerge: Some writers applaud the president's emphasis on human rights, while others feel America's view cannot easily be accepted in Asia. One message comes through clearly: While America has a large reservoir of goodwill throughout the region, dissatisfactions are mounting. As the writer from Australia states: "The warning signs are there for Americans to see, if only they will pay attention."