Apec vis-à-vis US-China tiff
The increase in antagonism between the United States and China has affected multilateral talks, too. Being aware of their responsibility as the world’s largest and second-largest economies, the two nations must reconcile with each other in abating the conflict.
The latest summit meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (Apec) forum ended without an Apec leaders’ joint declaration being adopted. It was the first time this has happened since the initial top-level Apec meeting in 1993.
The United States demanded that the declaration include a reference urging the World Trade Organization (WTO) to increase penalties against unfair trade practices. It was possible to view the US move as an attempt to exert greater international pressure on China, with a view to achieving WTO reforms targeting China.
In consideration of the “America first” policy pursued by the administration of US President Donald Trump, China sought to ensure the declaration includes objections to what it calls “unilateralism” by the United States.
Neither the United States nor China accepted each other’s assertions, forcing the chair nation of Papua New Guinea to give up on adopting the declaration.
The Apec forum is a framework for Asia-Pacific nations and territories to cooperate in striving for the stability and economic development of the Asia-Pacific region. If the meetings continue to have similar results, it could raise questions about the reason for the forum’s existence…
At an upcoming summit meeting, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping should promote constructive talks aimed at mending the rift.
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