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THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I'm speaking to you today from Shanghai, China, at an international meeting of Pacific Rim nations where we are continuing to enlist the resources of the civilized world in our war against terrorism.
I am meeting with leaders from China and Mexico, Russia and Canada, Australia and Japan, and many other friends, allies, and trading partners. We're discussing ways to cooperate to improve intelligence, freeze funding, and better track down terrorist groups. We're also discussing ways to better protect all our citizens from a new threat, the threat of bioterrorism.
America has now confirmed several different cases of anthrax exposure in Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. I commend the many health and law enforcement officials who have worked quickly to identify people who may have been exposed, and provide preventative antibiotic treatment. Their quick work has no doubt saved lives.
We do not yet know who sent anthrax to the United States Capitol, or several different media organizations. We do not, at this point, have any evidence linking the anthrax to the terror network that carried out the attacks of September 11. We do know that anyone who deliberately delivers anthrax is engaged in a crime and an act of terror, a hateful attempt to harm innocent people and frighten our citizens.
Our health care laboratories and law enforcement officials continue to work overtime to test samples, to track leads, to prosecute hoaxes that have now been reported not only across America, but across the world. These attacks once again reveal the evil at the heart of terrorism, the evil we must fight.
The nations meeting here in Shanghai understand what is at stake. If we do not stand against terrorism now, every civilized nation will at some point be its target. We will defeat the terrorists by destroying their network, wherever it is found. We will also defeat the terrorists by building an enduring prosperity that promises more opportunity and better lives for all the world's people. We will oppose envy, resentment and anger with growth, trade and democracy.
The countries of the Pacific Rim made the decision to open themselves up to the world, and the result is one of the great development success stories of our time. The peoples of this region are more prosperous, healthier, and better educated than they were only two decades ago. Many more live under democratically-elected governments.
This progress has been achieved by people of all cultures and all religions, by Christian and Buddhist South Korea, and majority Muslim Malaysia and Indonesia. And this progress proves what openness can accomplish.
The terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. They fear trade because they understood that trade brings freedom and hope. We're in Shanghai to advance world trade, because we know that trade can conquer poverty and despair. In this struggle of freedom against fear, the outcome is not in doubt -- freedom will win. And it will bring new hope to the lives of millions of people in Asia and throughout the world.
Thank you for listening.
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