At APEC, Xi vows to open China as Taiwan promotes CPTPP bid

Biden raises U.S. engagement while grouping seeks trade-led COVID recovery


Kentaro Iwamoto, Nikkei

November 13, 2021


SINGAPORE -- Leaders from across the Pacific Rim on Friday vowed to promote free trade and regional economic integration to drive the recovery from COVID-19, against a backdrop of simmering U.S.-China tensions.


Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden both took part in the online annual leaders meeting of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, with each highlighting his country's contributions of COVID-19 vaccines and commitments to economic cooperation.


Xi vowed that China will "unswervingly" expand its "opening up" and share its development opportunities with the world and Asia-Pacific neighbors. Biden, meanwhile, underscored his commitment to strengthening the U.S. relationship with APEC economies "in order to advance fair and open trade and investment, bolster American competitiveness, and ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific," according to the White House.


Much of the joint APEC declaration issued at the conclusion of the meeting focused on responding to COVID-19. The members pledged to support global efforts to "share vaccines equitably," expand supplies and reduce costs, while also encouraging the removal of "unnecessary" export restrictions and the resumption of cross-border movement of people.


Trade was a key theme of the summit...