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Xi Warns Against 'Big-Power Contest' In Region


Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, arrive at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday, where they were greeted by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife, Naraporn. The Chinese president will join other leaders at the two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2022 summit, which kicks off today.

 


 November 18th, 2022  |  13:28 PM  |   242 views

BANGKOK, THAILAND

 

Xi envisages better roadmap for SE Asia

 

Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against making the Asia-Pacific region an "arena for a big-power contest" and made a commitment that China will jointly promote development to bring cooperation in the region to new heights.

 

Mr Xi conveyed his thoughts in a written speech released on the eve of the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit that kicks off on Friday in Bangkok. His speech was distributed for the Apec CEO Summit on Thursday.

 

He is among more than a dozen world leaders to descend on Bangkok, for the last of the three major summits this month that have seen discussions range from climate change to the war in Ukraine and rising food and energy prices.

 

Mr Xi is expected to have several more face-to-face meetings with leaders including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern.

 

There will be at least one notable absence from the Bangkok meetings as US President Joe Biden heads back to the White House for his granddaughter's wedding on Saturday. He will be represented by Vice President Kamala Harris at Apec. Ms Harris was expected to arrive late Thursday.

 

The Asia-Pacific region, especially its small and medium-sized economies, has been able to embark on a fast track towards modernisation and create an economic miracle after being freed from the shadow of the Cold War, Mr Xi said in his speech.

 

"The Asia-Pacific is no one's backyard and should not become an arena for [a] big-power contest," Mr Xi said. "No attempt to wage a new Cold War will ever be allowed by the people or by our times."

 

Any attempt to disrupt or dismantle the industrial and supply chains formed in the Asia-Pacific over the years will only lead Apec to a dead-end, Mr Xi said.

 

He said members should follow the path of solidarity. "The Asia-Pacific miracle has been created by all of us working hand-in-hand and overcoming difficulties and obstacles.

 

"Over the years, we in the Asia-Pacific have stayed together as one big family," he said.

 

"We have met challenges head-on in solidarity, defused various risks and navigated the surging tides of the global economy.

 

"Through cooperation, we have forged a sense of community, which has laid a solid foundation for steady progress,'' he added.

 

Mr Xi said the region has entered a crucial stage of post-Covid recovery. Its economies are confronted with disrupted supply chains, strained food and energy supplies, growing inflationary pressure and other difficulties.

 

"We should strengthen cooperation, support and help each other, and enable the Asia-Pacific to be a leader in boosting global economic recovery," he said.

 

Facing these new developments, Mr Xi said all Asia-Pacific countries should draw on past experiences and lessons, respond to the challenges of the times and advance regional economic integration to break new ground in development and build an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.

 

He called for higher-level opening-up and deeper cooperation within the Apec framework, a stronger push for a regional free trade area, and the implementation of the Putrajaya Vision, adopted at the 27th Apec summit in Malaysia in 2020.

 

"We need to engage fully and deeply in the reform of the World Trade Organization, achieve better alignment among the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, and build an open Asia-Pacific economy," Mr Xi added.

 

Meanwhile, Thailand is seeking to push for the bio-circular-green (BCG) economic model to promote sustainable development in the region.

 

All 14 leaders and six representatives of Apec member countries arrived in the kingdom on Thursday to attend the two-day summit.

 

The special guests from two non-member countries are Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud and French President Emmanuel Macron.

 

They have been invited to attend to discuss ways to promote trade and investment between Apec countries and trading partners outside the region.

 

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Apec leaders and delegates and the special guests will today attend the summit's first session which focuses on balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth, at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center.

 

In the evening, Apec leaders, representatives, the special guests and their spouses will be granted an audience with Their Majesties the King and Queen in the Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall at the Grand Palace.

 

Apec leaders will attend the second session on Saturday and Gen Prayut will hold a press conference afterwards.

 


 

Source:
courtesy of BANGKOK POST

by BANGKOK POST AND BLOOMBERG

 

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