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Posted: 10/18/2004 9:49:17 AM EST
Some Asians - particularly in India, Thailand and China - are apathetic about the US poll, but others have strong views crystallised by US foreign policy issues that affect them at home: the war on terror, economic policies on protectionism and outsourcing, and potential regional flashpoints such as North Korea and Taiwan.

The Republican incumbent is viewed by the region's conservative business leaders as strong on the economy, while Mr Kerry scores more highly with the public, media and intelligentsia on international issues.

In Pakistan, the mostly Muslim citizens widely oppose US-led military action in Afghanistan and Iraq, but are not totally anti-Bush.

Surveys in the Philippines show it is one of the few countries where the local populace supports Mr Bush.

'If Filipinos were voting for the American president, George W. Bush would have this election in the bag,' wrote political scientist Alex Magno, an adviser to President Gloria Arroyo, in a newspaper column.

South Koreans, concerned chiefly with US policy towards North Korea, are split over Mr Bush's perceived hawkish stance. -- AFP
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