Asia-Pacific leaders condemn war, renew calls for open trade

Bangkok, Thailand, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022: Leaders from the Asia-Pacific region demanded an end to Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and committed to guiding the area’s economies toward sustainable growth at Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, APEC summit.

The majority of the 21 participants in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum had denounced the war, host Thailand achieved a diplomatic goal. Both China and Russia are members of APEC, and generally speaking, Beijing has avoided criticizing Moscow.

Different points of view were acknowledged in the statement released by APEC leaders. The global economy can have significant consequences because of the Ukraine-Russia conflict and other security issues.

At these summits, a lot of action takes place off-stage and during the breaks between the central meetings. Before the start of the final APEC meeting on Saturday, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged brief words. Vice  President urged both sides to maintain open channels of communication.

According to a Chinese government account, Xi stated that he saw his discussions with Biden as a move toward the “next stage” of relations between the two biggest economies.

As stated in the leaders’ statement, the majority of attendees had strongly criticized the conflict in Ukraine, highlighting the fact that it was increasing inflation, supply chain issues, food insecurity, and financial concerns in addition to creating huge human suffering.

The APEC summit will be hosted by the United States in San Francisco next year, with preparatory meetings taking place in different locations throughout the year. The APEC host, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, presented Harris with a “handover” in the form of a symbolic “chalom” bamboo basket.

Harris and the leaders of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea had a separate meeting to express their worries about the North’s launch of an ICBM that came close to the northern island of Hokkaido in Japan.

Officials appear to have opted to agree to disagree regarding the crisis in Ukraine while expressing concern over its worsening effects of war, at both the APEC meeting in Thailand and the G-20 summit in Indonesia.

Nearly half of global trade is represented by APEC members. Senior officials and ministers handle a large portion of APEC’s technical and incremental work, including commerce, forestry, food, health, security, small- and medium-sized businesses, and women’s empowerment.