Kamala Harris, Emmanuel Macron to deliver speeches at APEC, a day after Xi cautions ‘big power contest’ in Asia-Pacific

Blinken says addressing Ukraine war consequences is key focus of APEC

Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State speaks to the media during the APEC 2022 held at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC) in Bangkok. (Photo by Varuth Pongsapipatt/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Addressing the consequences of the Ukraine war on global economic challenges is a key focus of APEC’s meeting, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday.

“People in every APEC economy are struggling with the global economic challenges that have been exacerbated by Russia’s war. Addressing those consequences together was a key focus of our meetings here in Bangkok,” he told journalists.

The IMF previously issued warnings on the fragmentation of the global economy as a result of the war on Ukraine, and trimmed 2023 growth forecasts to 2.7% — predicting a slowdown from an expected 3.2% in 2022.

Blinken hailed Thailand’s “exceptional leadership” in directing the APEC bloc through challenging times, as well as the country’s efforts to ensure environmental sustainability is core at every discussion.

“The United States is committed to building on these and other areas of Thailand’s leadership when we take over the presidency of APEC next year,” he added. “Our focus will be on creating a resilient and sustainable future for all by building a region that is more interconnected, more innovative, and more inclusive.”

— Lee Ying Shan

Diplomats make last push for Ukraine crisis at APEC meeting

After ASEAN and G-20 meetings, the possible spillover of the war in Ukraine into Europe’s eastern flank looms large over the two-day APEC summit.

The meeting of world leaders in the Thai capital of Bangkok may be the last chance in a recent flurry of diplomatic efforts in the region to try and find consensus to forge a path toward peace talks between Russia and Ukraine.

“How do we help bring all the parties in the conflict here to the table and try to find a solution? We need to get to that point as soon as we can,” Kasemsit Pathosak, executive director of the APEC CEO Summit told CNBC.

Attendees for the group’s first in-person summit in four years include Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Major stakeholders like U.S. President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin won’t be there.

— Lee Ying Shan, Sri Jegarajah

China’s Xi cautions against ‘big power contest’ in Asia-Pacific

China’s president, Xi Jinping, warned in a written keynote speech Thursday against the weaponization of economic relations and turning the Asia-Pacific region into a power competition.

“Any attempt to politicize and weaponize economic and trade relations should also be rejected by all,” said the president, who cautioned that the Asia-Pacific area should not become an “arena for big power contest.”

His remarks come on the heels of the heightened rivalry between the U.S. and China for influence in the region.

The president added that China is committed to promoting the “stability and prosperity” of the area. He acknowledged how economies were contending with supply chain disruptions as well energy and food supply issues.

“”Openness brings progress while closing the door can leave one behind. Any attempt to disrupt or even dismantle the industrial and supply chains formed in the Asia-Pacific over many years will only lead Asia-Pacific economic cooperation to a dead end.”

— Lee Ying Shan

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