Powell Makes Friends in Asia

Secretary of State Colin Powell arrived in Shanghai, China Thursday in advance of President Bush's arrival for a 21-nation economic summit.

Speaking to U.S. business leaders there, Powell said he is pleased with the reception he has gotten from leaders attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation.

"Today, earlier this morning at the APEC meeting, I got a resounding signal of support from all members present. President Bush will get the same signal when he meets with those leaders over the weekend."

Powell noted that some at the meeting hope U.S.-led attacks in Afghanistan will end soon. 

"There was a hope that the military campaign would be ended quickly on a note of success, but I cannot say that concerns were expressed, just the hope that it would achieve its purpose soon," he said. 

That end may not come to pass too soon and the secretary urged business leaders to be patient and continue investing, increasing trade opportunities and consumer confidence.

Earlier in the day, Powell went to work preparing the presidential agenda and negotiating the wording of a joint statement against terrorism to be presented as the summit wraps up.

APEC includes some predominantly Muslim countries, which means the eventual wording of the statement may be a little weaker than the U.S. would like.

Already in the drafting stage, leaders omitted any reference to terrorist Usama bin Laden or the Al Qaeda network.

Countries like Indonesia and Malaysia said they will find it impossible to express support for the bombing campaign against Afhganistan. 

"They are being cautious in how they handle that issue for domestic reasons, and I don't think we should be too insensitive to the political concerns that they have," said Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer following bilateral talks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda and Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

Malaysia has warned that the attacks on Afghanistan won't work, and has proposed an international conference on terrorism.

Malaysian Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz said Thursday that leaders should try to discover "the root of the problem" and be careful with "whatever retaliation may be taken, so that it doesn't harm innocent people." 

Whatever the final wording, the Bush administration has said since Sept. 11 that the United States is thankful for whatever support countries can give.

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said that during a breakfast meeting the APEC foreign ministers also agreed to several points of the statement, specifically: 

-- Terrorism is a "threat to international peace and security" and "should be severely denounced and attacked." 

-- International conventions against terrorism and relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions must be "well carried-out" and nations must stop activities in support of terrorism. 

-- Terrorism financing should be fought in a drawn-out campaign that "involves every aspect of politics, economics, society and law." 

The joint statement will also include a condemnation of the attacks on the United States as "murderous deeds." After two days of discussion at the annual APEC meeting, ministers completed a draft proposal that agreed to combat terrorism in a "fight between justice and evil," China's foreign minister said.

During the conference, the APEC nations also are expected to urge the World Trade Organization to launch a new round of global trade negotiations next month -- two years after the WTO's Seattle summit ended without agreement after being marred by antiglobalization protests.

President Bush will start his four-day visit with Chinese president Jiang Zemin.  That meeting was supposed to take place after the APEC summit, but the president's trip to Asia has been cut back due to the terrorist attacks.

In a separate flare up Thursday, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian accused China of breaching protocol by failing to send the island's nominated representative an invitation to a weekend summit.

"I regret this total disregard of protocol," Chen told a group of U.S. congressmen in a telephone conference, according to a statement issued by his office.

Taiwan, regarded by China as a breakaway province, takes part in APEC meetings under the title "Chinese Taipei" -- an arrangement designed to overcome China's objections to recognition of Taiwan's sovereignty.

Taiwan usually sends a cabinet minister or business leader to represent the head of its government at APEC summits, but this year proposed sending former vice president Li Yuan-zu after Beijing rejected repeated requests to allow Chen to attend.

Beijing said Taiwant should send a minister with an economy-related post.  The dispute remained unresolved.

APEC members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.

Fox News' Teri Schultz and the Associated Press contributed to this report.