WASHINGTON (AP) -- It was billed as an economic summit but President Bush saw it as another opportunity to talk about terrorism. The message was the same, the venue different.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit that ended Sunday in Shanghai, China, Bush spoke of little else to the 19 other leaders gathered there.
When he wasn't vowing to hunt down the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks, he was lashing out at the anthrax-by-mail phenomenon that shut down much of Capitol Hill last week and frightened millions of Americans.
After 76 hours in China, Bush is once again dealing with these issues at home. Air Force One landed at Andrews Air Force Base early Monday.
In Shanghai, amid its gleaming office buildings and a 70,000-strong police presence, Bush found universal sympathy over America's loss of more than 5,000 people in last month's attacks.
For the first time since the Asia-Pacific summit process began in 1993, the delegates produced a final document not entirely focussed on the arcane business of economic growth.
The 20 leaders condemned acts of terror "in all forms and manifestations committed wherever, whenever and by whomsoever, as a profound threat to the peace, prosperity and security of all people, of all faiths of all nations."
But leaders from predominantly Muslim Indonesia and Malaysia condemned the deaths of innocents resulting from the U.S. aerial bombardment of Afghanistan.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, speaking with Malaysian journalists, said he explained to Bush "the anger and frustration of the Muslim world." Indonesia says a collective international response to terrorism is preferable to unilateral action.
Still, U.S. officials said they were pleased with the overall support.
For Bush, there were other plusses in Shanghai. At a pre-Communist era guest house, he met with Chinese President Jiang Zemin who, while concerned about innocent victims of American air power in Afghanistan, is helping the anti-terror campaign, sharing intelligence and other means.
Bush also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who seemed increasingly willing to accept a U.S. missile defense shield, so long as it's limited and is accompanied by deep cuts in the two countries' strategic arsenals. On the terror issue, Putin has been a stalwart ally of Bush.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.