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APEC Fails To Agree on Joint Communiqué

May 28, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The two-day Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC) in Detroit ended today without a Joint Statement, but only a “Chairman’s Statement” by U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. The U.S. coverage blames Russia and China, which reportedly refused to agree to a Ukraine statement, but the Japanese coverage in NHK claims that the U.S. blocked it, because “U.S. leaders and their allies are concerned about Chinese policies that favor domestic, state-owned companies.” NHK also noted that Tai described the U.S.-China trade and economic relationship as “profoundly consequential.”

Chinese Minister for Commerce Wang Wentao attended the APEC meeting, and held meetings with Tai and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. The meetings were described as “candid,” calling for cooperation, while exchanging complaints about each other’s policies. The Global Times coverage emphasizes the positive: “Chinese analysts said [the meetings] could be a prelude to further high-level engagement between the world’s two largest economies and could pave the way for China-U.S. trade and economic ties to play more of a ballast role to help improve frayed bilateral relations.”

However, NHK also notes that “Ministers from the U.S., Japan and 12 other countries will stay in Detroit to strengthen a different economic initiative, the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum. It was launched last year by the Biden administration to curb China’s influence in that region.”

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