Trump takes part in virtual APEC summit amid refusal to concede to Biden
Donald Trump and Xi Jinping take part in virtual APEC leaders’ summit
The current US President took part in the APEC summit for the first time since 2017
US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping took part in a virtual summit of leaders of the Asia-Pacific region on Friday. The main topics for discussion were issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic recovery.
The United States and China are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which consists of 21 countries. Malaysia was the initiator of the APEC Leaders Summit. The virtual meeting took place just two weeks after the presidential election, in which, according to preliminary results, Joe Biden won.
Participants in the meeting called for more open and multilateral trade to support economic recovery and cautioned colleagues against trade protectionism. At the same time, Xi Jinping said that one of the reasons for the increased risks to the global economy was the “one-sided approach” to trade relations..
During the previous APEC summit, held in 2018, the member countries of the bloc, for the first time in its history, could not agree on a joint communique due to disagreements that arose between Washington and Beijing on trade and investment..
Trump imposed tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports, leading to a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Today’s summit was also attended by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Ahead of Friday’s meeting, several APEC leaders warned colleagues against protectionist policies, as this prevents the global economy from dealing with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. This, in particular, said the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Other APEC leaders also expressed hope that the new Joe Biden administration will become more actively involved in multilateral trade and support it..
Trump previously pulled the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. The United States also refused to participate in a major international free trade bloc, the Comprehensive Regional Partnership Agreement. This pact was signed last week by 15 countries with the active support of China.
The Trump administration is often criticized for its low activity in Asia. Trump attended the APEC summit only once in 2017. Last year’s summit, which was supposed to take place in Chile, was canceled due to unrest in the country.
Trump also missed two virtual meetings of Asian heads of state last week: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and the East Asian Leaders Summit..