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Pacific Parameters

October 14, 1990

Excerpts of editorials and commentary from around the Pacific Rim. CHINA

"The United States has actually hampered itself by continuing its sanctions against China." Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, New China News Agency. NEW ZEALAND

"Two ships are currently at sea on a secret route carrying U.S. nerve gas to the Johnston Island incinerator in the Pacific. The chemical weapons, in the form of 100,000 artillery rounds, had been stockpiled in in West Germany. The New Zealand government . . . is unhappy at a remote part of the region being used in this way, but--as it often the case with big powers--opposition has been ignored.

. . . The U.S. produced this obscene toxic arsenal and should dispose of it in its eight American mainland incinerators." The Evening Post

"The Reagan legacy meant that sooner or later his successor would have to take politically uncomfortable steps to counter what Bush himself called a cancer gnawing at the country's health. Spending cuts and, particularly, revenue increases provide an immediate, and overdue, treatment. The danger is the remedy has been left for so long that it could trigger an inflationary relapse rather than a recovery." The Evening Post

"(U.S.) senators rejected the exhortation of their colleague and single holdout on the Judiciary Committee, Edward Kennedy, to vote 'our fears, not our hopes' (when considering David Souter's fitness to be a Supreme Court justice.) . . . The principle he proclaimed verges on social bankruptcy." The Herald

"There will be no winners in a (Persian) Gulf war. But while President Bush and Saddam Hussein continue to size each other up over an increasing divide without firing, there is still hope. World leaders, as King Hussein of Jordan says, have the ingenuity to devise a peaceful solution. He speaks for many in saying, "may God help us all if they cannot." The Evening Post HONG KONG

"Pictures (in Filipino newspapers) are sometimes identifiable only by their captions--a case in point being that (of) a blurred photograph of George Bush in one local paper (that) was printed with the caption "Helmuth Kohl." It drew just one letter of complaint." South China Morning Post columnist David Fox

"(To help control the cost of oil), the U.S. could tell the drivers of 185 million vehicles not to top (off) their gas tanks any more than usual. Two extra gallons per car tighten the market by 9 million barrels.

And most of all, Arab kings and sheiks might arbitrarily fix a low price for the short term, just as they set a high one in 1973 when they weren't so pleased with the U.S. That is surely the least they owe President Bush, without whom they would have no doubt been swept off their thrones by now." From Editorial in Asiaweek magazine THAILAND

"The image of Bush in the Arab world is that of a bully and a pirate fighting another pirate and bully, Saddam. But when it comes to choosing, the masses--not Saddam--will choose their own pirate." From an opinion column in The Nation "It is hoped that the (U.S. tobacco) industry shows social responsibility and respect for this country and its people by refraining from the use of any threat . . . to pressure Thailand to allow unrestricted advertising or promotion of U.S. cigarettes, which would not only be unfriendly but also unethical and morally wrong." Bangkok Post "Given the fact that an eventual U.S. withdrawal from Clark and Subic Bay (bases in the Philippines) appears--in the absence of dramatic geopolitical changes--to be a fait accompli, the question must be whether alternative forms of presence are possible that preserve American's stake in the region.

A more limited, perhaps rotational presence in the Philippines could be one answer; a shift to other permanent bases in Pacific Asia that facilitate the rapid deployment of U.S. forces could be another." The Nation SINGAPORE

"Chinese culture in Singapore is already being submerged in English culture.

We do not wish merely to retain a Chinese appearance while, deep inside, worshipping English and things Western to the extent that we despise our own culture and declare that English is our mother tongue."

Chen Keng Juan, president of the Singapore Chinese Teachers Union.

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