Last weekend, a major economic get-together took place in Beijing: the 7th ASEM [Asia-Europe Meeting]. This summit—which might be seen as a prelude to the forthcoming G20 meeting organized by George W Bush in Washington on November 15—drew together representatives from the 27 member nations of the European Union and the 10 members of ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], along with China, Japan, South Korea, India and Pakistan.
ASEM, embracing most of Asia and Europe, now represents almost 60% of the world’s population and 60% of global trade.
In this morning's The Australian, I learned that, according to a recent poll, "Kevin Rudd's stewardship of the Australian economy amid the global financial crisis has been endorsed by voters". But there seems to be no mention whatsoever of this weekend's 7th ASEM in Beijing. Weirdly [informed readers of my blog will correct me if I'm mistaken], Australia and our Mandarin-speaking prime minister do not appear to have been present in Beijing.