Three Way

Andrei Marks · August 23, 2007

From the 2007-08-21 print of the Beijing Paper (新京报), on page A23 in the International News-Headlines section. The article was written by Wu Ni. I was a little busy yesterday and the day before and did not have a chance to get to a 网吧 to update my blog, so there will be three articles today.

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The North American Summit Holds a Wide-ranging Discussion About “Economic Prosperity”

- Analysts say the summit shows that America longs to intensify relations with its neighboring countries.

On the 20th, American President Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Harper, and Mexican President Calderon began a two day summit in Montebello, a city in the western part of the Canadian province of Quebec. This summit will revolve around the main topic of “economic prosperity”, and the issues to be discussed are border safety, promoting competitive power against India and China, energy sources, the environment, and food safety.

Actively Promoting a Free Market Economy

America, Canada, and Mexico are attending this summit because of their status as “North American Free Trade Association member countries”, the intention being to promote their “partnership for security and prosperity”. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in 2005 America united with Canada and Mexico to promote this plan, in the hopes that this partnership would strengthen cooperation in trade and security. It’s preticted that this “partnership for security and prosperity” will be brought into the agenda of this summit.

The leaders of the three countries are all considered new conservatives, and are all supporters of a free market economy. Bush’s former Under Secretary of State Nuolijia said, “Mexico and Canada have nicely presented two moderate right wing leaders, and they have many views in common with Bush.” It may also be on the agenda to explore how to join together and deal with Venezuelan President Chavez, because Chavez is actively promoting a turn towards the “left” in South America.

Will Discuss the Chinese Toy Problem

The summit’s issues include global competition, food and product safety, energy sources, the environment, and others, and the Chinese toy problem will also be within the scope of the discussion.

Border safety is going to be the most important issue of the summit. According to an August 19 report made by the Canadian media, the leaders of the three countries will issue a joint statement at this summit, establishing a detailed procedure for opening the borders, and determining how to guarantee keeping the three countries’ borders both secure and open in the case of another terrorist incident like 9/11.

Border economic security will be another important point to be discussed. The Canadian ambassador to the United States, Michael Wilson, indicated that a major intention will be to move this three year old project forward, and find a balance between “border safety” and the “free flow of people, goods, and investments”. This type of free movement is a key element that will make the three nations stronger and increase the competitive power of the world’s primary economic powerhouse.

It Will Be Difficult to Get Positive Results from this Summit

Christopher Sangzi, a specialist at Canada’s Strategy and International Problems Research Center, thinks that the summit will not achieve many gains, and will only make clear that America now wants to intensify relations with its neighbors. “The message America wants to communicate to Canada and Mexico is that even though Iraq and the War against Terror are the main points of United States foreign policy, America still wishes to spend time and effort to improve relationships with its neighbors.”

Translator’s notes:
- Not sure who the “Deputy Secretary of State Nuolijia” is. The State Department has Deputy Secretaries, none of whose names seem to fit, and then Under Secretaries, a ton of them, and I’m not going to look for a matching one.
- Also not sure what the Canadian Strategy and International Problems Research Center is, so I can find that guy’s name either.
- Fairly straightforward article. I thought the author was strangely mute about the poisonous toy problem, highlighting it yet giving it only brief mention, but I suppose that’s not something China wants to talk about all that much. Otherwise the article was fairly neutral.
- Although I am for the idea of a single North American nation, I can imagine the difficulties that would be involved in terms of culture, bureaucracy, language, etc., and I’m not even that knowledgeable about the inner workings of the governments of Canada and Mexico. Exactly how such a Union would be formed is an interesting idea, I’m sure that plenty of people have done research on this, I’ll look it up at some point.
- Oh yeah, almost forgot, the accompanying picture for this article was a lot of protesters standing behind a line of policemen.

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