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November 20, 2005

APEC 2005 wraps up

APEC 2005 wraps up – Wikinews, the free news source

APEC 2005 wraps up

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Sunday, November 20, 2005

This article is part of the series
APEC
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2005

General
  • World Trade, Bird Flu to be discussed at 2005 APEC
  • More from APEC: EU not backing down
Protests
  • 20,000 South Koreans take to the streets to protest APEC
  • Farmers clash amidst high security at APEC summit in Sth Korea
Background
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • World Trade Organization
  • Globalization

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC 2005 wrapped up this weekend with trade impasse unresolved. Member countries fell short of blaming EU for causing the impasse. The EU has been largely criticized for not opening up its own agriculture market. South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said “The leaders here … are basically saying that now the ball is in Europe’s court”.

Member countries talked of high oil prices hurting their economies and agreed on energy efficiency, conservation and diversification. Supply and demand issues were not clarified.

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November 16, 2005

Farmers clash amidst high security at APEC summit in South Korea

Farmers clash amidst high security at APEC summit in South Korea

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

This article is part of the series
APEC
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2005

General
Protests
  • 20,000 South Koreans take to the streets to protest APEC
  • Farmers clash amidst high security at APEC summit in Sth Korea
Background

In the lead-up to the APEC forum, thousands of South Korean farmers clashed with police on Tuesday in the capital, Seoul, to demand the withdrawal of a bill to open up the country’s rice market.

Local police said that about 40 farmers were arrested. Protesters drove back ranks of riot police in full combat gear as they marched towards the national assembly.

Police put the number of protesters and farm activists at about 10,000.The farmers were stopped just short of the assembly and entered in a standoff with the police, who used water cannon to subdue the farmers and disband the protest.

“No to WTO, No to APEC, No to BUSH,” the protesters chanted. A representative for the farmers said one activist suffered a severe eye injury. Three police buses were burned in the protest. South Korean media reports that 70 protesters and 10 police were injured in the action.

Busan Mayor, Hur Nam-sik, said the protests should be contained. “I cannot block all the protests and demonstrations at APEC at all,” he said. “If the protests and demonstrations happen, it has to be in an orderly way, not to harm the image and progress of APEC.”

South Korean farmers regularly take to the streets demanding protection for the domestic rice market from imports. The farmers oppose government’s plans for wider liberalization of the nation’s rice market.

“The government must come up with realistic policies for the rice market and the farming industry to allow farmers to live comfortably,” said the Korean Advanced Farmers Federation.

The rally follows the death of a South Korean farmer, who allegedly committed suicide last Friday in protest of APEC policies.

About 2,000 South Korean farm activists plan to travel to Hong Kong next month to protest during a meeting of global trade ministers.

Highest Security Alert

Amidst the street clashes, South Korea has taken steps to insure against potential terrorist attacks at the forum. Civil and military forces in Busan are on the highest alert with some 37,000 deployed in the area.

Twenty one international leaders, including US President George W. Bush, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Russian President Vladimir Putin set to attend.

Trade and foreign ministers have begun two days of talks ahead of the main summit on Friday and Saturday. Authorities have designated security zones that will be off-limits to protesters.

Over 900 foreigners with criminal records have been banned from entering South Korea during the summit period. Police say 400 others will be deported if they engage in illegal demonstrations.

Organizers said they expected thousands of demonstrators to criticize the international trade policies, which they say favors rich countries over poorer ones. An anti-APEC rally in Seoul at the weekend drew around 20,000 people.

The main security focus during the summit is terrorist threats. Although there have been no specific threats, South Korea has sent troops to Iraq and was mentioned as a potential target by al-Qaeda.

US military declined to comment on whether their 32,500 American troops based in South Korea were helping bolster security for the APEC summit

Ships will be blocked from entering the area, officials said. Anti-aircraft missiles have been deployed around the city, and a no-fly zone designated above the summit venues.

Police have increased security at subway stations, department stores and cinemas. Thousands of volunteers nationwide are monitoring public transport for suspicious activity, and customs and security checks at all international airports have been increased.



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November 13, 2005

World Trade, Bird Flu to be discussed at 2005 APEC

World Trade, Bird Flu to be discussed at 2005 APEC

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, November 13, 2005

This article is part of the series
APEC
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2005

General
  • World Trade, Bird Flu to be discussed at 2005 APEC
  • More from APEC: EU not backing down
Protests
  • 20,000 South Koreans take to the streets to protest APEC
  • Farmers clash amidst high security at APEC summit in Sth Korea
Background
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • World Trade Organization
  • Globalization

APEC, the Asian Pacific Economic Conference, whose membership includes about 47 percent of global trade and 57 percent of the world’s GDP plans to meet in Busan, South Korea. The meeting will include US president George W. Bush, China’s Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi as well as 18 other heads of Asian governments.

WTO negotiations have met much resistance on reducing farm subsidies of some of the wealthier nations. Two previous talks have failed to break the stalemate

“Support for the WTO negotiations is the No. 1 issue and the leaders will make a standalone statement on this,” Choi Seok-Young, executive director of the APEC Secretariat said.

Officials have drafted a statement backing the WTO’s agenda. Officials are expected to sign the statement during the conference.

Many leaders hope to end the stalemate over agricultural subsidies currently plaguing the WTO. “It’s very important that they seek a breakthrough in this current deadlocked situation” South Korea’s senior official and chairman of the meeting Kim Jong-hoon said.

“APEC would like to change this message of crisis into a message of hope.”

“Bird flu will be one of the most important issues to be discussed because it could harm our people through illness, death and through loss of business and jobs.” Choi-Young also said that leaders in Busan this week may suggest ways to end the deadlock in agriculture and to move forward on industrial goods and services.

Protesters have other plans for the conference.

Sunday, protesters peacefully demonstrated in Seoul in advance of the conference in a rally organized by Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Organizers say thousands more will be in Busan during the meeting. Approximately 18,000 to more than 20,000 participated in Sunday’s rally. Protesters wearing red headbands caring signs saying “No Bush visit” and “No APEC.” Demands also included better conditions for temporary workers and better social security for all workers.

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20,000 South Koreans take to the streets to protest APEC

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