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The Williamsburg Conference 2002

The 30th Williamsburg Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from April 11 to April 13, 2002. The conference, hosted by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute of Malaysia, was convened by Carla A. Hills of the United States, Tommy T.B. Koh of Singapore, and Minoru Murofushi of Japan.


The Thirtieth Williamsburg Conference was held in Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia, from April 11 to April 13, 2002. The conference, hosted by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute of Malaysia, was convened by Carla A. Hills of the United States, Tommy T.B. Koh of Singapore, and Minoru Murofushi of Japan.

Thursday, April 11
Opening Reception and Dinner
Keynote Speech:
Malaysia and Asia: Seeking a Balance Between Peace and Prosperity
The Hon. Dato Seri Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia

Friday, April 12
Session 1: The War on Terrorism: Impact on Peace and Stability in Asia
  • How well are the United States and Asia working together on the war on terrorism? As the international coalition against terrorism focuses on terrorist activities/support in Asia, how are Asian countries responding?
  • What are the implications of the war on terrorism for the regional "hotspots" in Asia (Kashmir crisis, North and South Korea, cross-straits)?
  • Has the war on terrorism created opportunities for peace and cooperation between countries in the region? What are the implications for relations between the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia?
  • Can countries work together to combat transnational issues such as organized crime, drug trafficking, arms sales, illegal immigration, and fundamentalism?
Nicholas Platt, President, Asia Society
Opening Discussants
P.R. Chari, Director, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies
Pan Guang, Director, Shanghai Center of International Studies
Javed Jabbar, Chairman, South Asian Media Association, MNJ Communications Ltd.
Noordin Sopiee, Chairman & CEO, Institute of Strategic and International Studies

Session 2: The Economic Downturn: Prospects for Regional Economic Relations
  • What are the causes and consequences of the current economic downturn in Asia? What must the traditional powerhouses like South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, and Taiwan, to name a few, do to turn around? What are the prospects for sustained growth in China? What are Japan's economic prospects?
  • What can plurilateral organizations in Asia (WTO, ASEAN, APEC, ADB, and others) do to help? What can governments in the region do to enhance cooperation within these organizations? What are the prospects for AFTA and a regionwide cross-production initiative?
  • How are countries in the region addressing social concerns such as aging populations, labor shortages, and women in the workforce?
Minoru Murofushi, Chairman, ITOCHU Corporation
Opening Discussants
Motoshige Itoh, Professor of Economics, Tokyo University
Joseph Lian, Member, Central Policy Unit, The Government of Hong Kong,SAR
Karim Raslan, Partner, Raslan Loong

Saturday, April 13
Session 3: Malaysia and Southeast Asia
  • As an Asian nation with a large Muslim population, how does Malaysia perceive and deal with the war on terrorism?
  • How does Malaysia see its role in the region and Asia?
  • Describe the likely next generation of leaders in Malaysia and the rest of Southeast Asia and how they are likely to deal with new leaders in China, South Korea, and other countries in the region. How are they likely to view the world and in what directions are they likely to take Malaysia and Southeast Asia in the coming years?
  • What can ASEAN+3 do to build cooperation and help the region weather the worldwide economic downturn? Are the economic fundamentals in place for a quick recovery?
Tommy T. B. Koh, Ambassador-at-Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Opening Discussants
Thanong Bidaya, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Thailand
Karim Raslan, Partner, Raslan Loong
Michael Richardson, Senior Asia-Pacific Correspondent, International Herald Tribune
Jusuf Wanandi, Member, Board of Trustees, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Session 4: Role of the United States in the Region
  • What are the major tenets of U.S. policy toward Asia? Do nations in the region have concerns regarding U.S. policy in the region? How are they dealing with those concerns? Are there better ways to address these concerns?
  • How have recent events affected the proposed US implementation of NMD/TMD? If implemented will it encourage a regional arms race?
  • What is the impact of U.S. domestic politics on U.S.-Asia policy? Have these changed from what they were previously?
  • How might the 2002 mid-term Congressional elections influence U.S. foreign policy?

Carla A. Hills, Chairman & CEO, Hills & Company
Opening Discussants
James A. Kelly, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, U.S. Department of State
Timothy Ong, Executive Chairman, Asia-Inc.
Norman J. Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
Seiken Sugiura, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan