A: The European Union as a whole has been a long-standing ally of ours, and through NATO we’ve been able to make some significant progress. We also have to look east, because increasingly, the center of gravity in this world is shifting to Asia. Japan has been an outstanding ally of ours for many years. But, obviously, China is rising and it’s not going away. They’re neither our enemy nor our friend. They’re competitors.
A: The key is to make sure that there’s legitimacy to those elections. And given the enormous tragedy that has happened, I think that it is understandable if those elections are delayed slightly. But it’s important that this is not used as an excuse to put off, indefinitely, elections. My main concern is making sure that the opposition parties feel comfortable that they have the opportunity to participate in fair and free elections. That also means that we reinstate an independent judiciary in Pakistan, that there is a free press, that the campaigning can proceed. Because our primary interest is making sure that whatever government emerges in Pakistan is viewed as legitimate. The vast majority of the Pakistani people are moderate and believe in rule of law. That’s who we want as allies in the fight against Islamic extremism.
A: The first thing we want to do is to contact the Pakistani government to get assurances from them that the nuclear stockpiles are secured. The second thing is to make sure that Musharraf is sending a clear message to the family of Bhutto and her supporters that he recognizes this is a tragedy and express sympathies to try to keep tempers cooled in the capital cities and major urban areas. And the third thing that we have to do is to make sure that elections continue. If they’re not going to continue as planned on January 8th, then shortly thereafter, but there has to be a clear message from the Musharraf government that in fact this won’t be used as an excuse to subvert democracy.
A: China is a competitor, but they don’t have an enemy, as long as we understand that they are going to be negotiating aggressively for their advantage, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re looking after American workers. That means enforcing our trade agreements; it means that if they’re manipulating their currency, that we take them to the mat on the that issue; it means that we are also not running up deficits and asking China to bail us out.
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