Asian Leaders Focus on Growth at 3-Nation Summit Meeting
A historic 3-nation summit meeting between China, South Korea, and Japan took place on Saturday. The three representatives discussed topics ranging from North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and the global financial crisis. From Martin Fackler of the New York Times:
The one-day meeting in Dazaifu, Japan, ended with sweeping promises to turn Asia into an engine of growth, but offered few specifics. The three leaders — Prime Minister Taro Aso of Japan, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China and President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea — also discussed regional political issues like ending North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
[…] Despite the lack of concrete results, the three-way summit meeting won wide attention in the region for being held at all. Despite their geographical proximity and shared cultural backgrounds, the three nations remain divided by often emotional disagreements over history and territory, as well as growing economic and technological rivalry.
[…] Among the meeting’s few concrete results were agreements by Japan and China to lend foreign currency to South Korea to shore up its currency, the won, which has dropped by a third against the dollar since the current crisis began. The agreements will expand what are known as currency swap deals in which the Korean central bank is allowed to borrow foreign currency from the other nations’ central banks using won as collateral. Tokyo promised to make available the equivalent of $20 billion, while Beijing pledged $26 billion.