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NOVEMBER 3, 2000 VOL. 26 NO. 43 | SEARCH ASIAWEEK

Gore vs. Bush — Over Asia
Though Asia is marginal in the closely fought election battle between Al Gore and George W. Bush, the U.S. is in fact critical to the region, being any combination of protector, persecutor or partner. Come polling day Nov. 7, either Gore or Bush will win the right to lead the world's most powerful nation. Where they converge and diverge on hot-button Asian issues:

Gore vs. Bush -- Over Asia
Though Asia is marginal in the closely fought election battle between Al Gore and George W. Bush, the U.S. is in fact critical to the region, being any combination of protector, persecutor or partner. Come polling day Nov. 7, either Gore or Bush will win the right to lead the world's most powerful nation. Where they converge and diverge on hot-button Asian issues:

WHERE BUSH STANDS . . . WHERE GORE STANDS . . .
HARDER on human rights, Taiwan. If China feels the rhetoric going too far, it can turn to FOB(Friend of Beijing)George Bush to have a word with Junior EASIER on Beijing. Will continue Bill Clinton's policy of seeing China as "a strategic partner" for the U.S. Says his favorite dining-out food is Chinese
FREE TRADER, in keeping with Republicans and Corporate America. Will abandon Clinton administration's linking of trade with labor and environment NOT-SO-FREE TRADER. Has to look over shoulder in particular at U.S. labor, whose vote he needs. Will take harder line enforcing U.S. trade laws
TECH TRANSFER to other countries, especially China, will slow, if only to satisfy Republican hardliners. Expect greater scrutiny and higher hurdles TECH TRANSFER will speed up, if only to win friends in the U.S.'s influential high-tech business community. Even onetime pariah North Korea might benefit
STRONGER RELATIONSHIP WITH JAPAN. Will play down trade disputes and encourage Tokyo to adopt a more assertive defense posture in the region REBUILDING THE RELATIONSHIP WITH JAPAN. Gore will reverse the Clinton administration's Japan-bashing early on, followed by a period of benign neglect
CAUTIOUS, EVEN SUSPICIOUS approach toward North Korea. Won't scrap agreements currently reached, but will be a tougher future negotiator UPBEAT approach. As Madeleine Albright visit shows, Gore would be keen to engage Pyongyang to cement U.S. influence in the area
MISSILE-HAPPY. Committed to Theater Missile Defense in Asia (effectively targeting China and North Korea as enemies) if no national U.S. system built MISSILECONTROL. Go-slow attitude toward both TMDand U.S. system. But pledges more defense dollars -- which could find its way into missiles

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